The peace agreement recently concluded between the Government of Colombia and the farc-ep not only marked a milestone in the history of Colombia and peace making; it also introduced an unprecedented penal measure: negotiated criminal punishment. This example demonstrates that criminal punishment can be moulded to accommodate the needs of a society undergoing a political transition triggered by a peace negotiation. In the 1990s Garland already pointed out that penal measures are shaped by their social and historical context, and also affect their social environment. Based mainly on a sociological perspective on punishment, this article analyses the relationship between the punishment negotiated in the recent peace talks with the FARC-EP and the Colombian government's trying to come to terms with atrocities committed during the armed conflict. Based on the Colombian experience, this article also outlines contextual factors, which shape how punishment is negotiated in the context of peace agreements.
- Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC-EP)
- Peace negotiation
- Political transition
- Punishment in transition
- Sociology of punishment