“But peace, or rather what Colombian politicians call the “post-conflict process”, also comes at a cost.Roy Barreras, who jointly chairs the peace commission in the Colombian senate, recently put this cost at $45bn £28bn over the next decade.
He said major investment was needed in areas such as land distribution, registration and management, as well as in local government and agriculture, if peace was to be achieved in areas which for a long time have had a minimal state presence.
But he told the senate that figures by the non-profit think tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace IEP, suggested this cost would be offset by a predicted $49bn in extra revenue created by investors’ regained confidence in a peaceful Colombia.
His sentiments were echoed by Daniel Mejia, director of the Research Centre on Drugs and Security at the University of the Andes in Bogota, who also thinks the cost of implementing a peace deal could be recouped within a decade.
“We have to see the peace accord as an investment which is costly in the short run but which has very important benefits in the medium and long term,” he told me.”