BOGOTA, Colombia — The process of ending Colombia’s half-century war with leftist guerrillas has been its own multiyear struggle of halting talks, aborted cease-fires, frustration and distrust.
Deadly attacks by both sides and escalating rhetoric threw the process into doubt earlier this year, but experts say recent moves signal that a settlement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, could be within reach.
Despite springtime violence, President Juan Manuel Santos announced his intention to accelerate talks taking place in Havana while slowing down military operations against the Marxist-
inspired guerrilla group. For its part, the FARC has called a unilateral cease-fire that runs through mid-August, which it says shows its commitment to a negotiated peace.
“Overall, I’m pretty optimistic,” said Oliver Kaplan, a professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, who has written about the peace process. “I don’t want to say it’s inevitable, but I think it’s likely to get pushed through.”