In general, Colombia hasn't taken the proper measures to improve its competitivity on the global stage, so rushing into a free trade agreement is foolhardy, especially when Colombia already enjoyed low-tariff access to the US market for many products. Infrastructure is a particularly weak point that drags down every sector of the Colombian economy. The author summarizes that the free trade agreement is bad business for Colombia. He rips apart the Interior Minister's claim that "the best way to learn how to swim is to jump in the water," by comparing Colombia's situation to jumping into an empty pool from an Olympic-height diving platform.
Here is an article by Alejandro Reyes, expert in Colombia's land tenure issues. He identifies 5 rural issues as key to solving the country's internal conflict. They are:
- insecurity in rural areas
- concentration of land in few hands
- informality of peasants' title to property
- weak institutions and lack of government presence in rural areas
- lack of rural development