Quaderno 1.17 – The Tension “Justice v. Peace” in Post-conflict Societies. The Colombian Case

di Claudia Pacileo


The purpose of this research paper is to highlight the essential contribution given by justice, truth and reparation programs for the attainment of peace. In particular, attention is given to the crucial role of justice for a sustainable peace, highlighting the difficulty in balancing the latter with the need of justice amongst a community ravaged by conflict and grave violations.

The investigation goes to focus on the Colombian case, which is a paradigmatic example of the tension between justice and peace. The research briefly recalls the conflict and traces the steps of the peace talks in the country, until the October 2, 2016 plebiscite on the ratification of the final peace accord.

The critical analysis of the plebiscite outcome and the research made on the conception Colombian people have about transitional justice allows us to conclude that it is necessary for Colombia to reach a peace agreement based on justice, and thus respectful of the rights and needs of the victims affected by the armed conflict. A peace agreement that overlooks about the need of justice and that is unable to correctly balance justice and peace is doomed to failure because there cannot be peace without justice.

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