The Peace Process in Central America towards the End of the 1980s Analysed by a Book Presented by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation
Balas highlights the role of democracy in conflict resolution.
The Director General of External Action, Rosa Balas, and the Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno Piñero, have presented the book La paz en Centroamérica, 1987-1990. El Plan Arias desde adentro, a work published by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation along with the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, in collaboration with the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), in Madrid. It is research on the Peace Plan in Central America from August 1987 to the end of the Arias administration period.
The Ambassador of Costa Rica in Italy and co-author of the book, Cristina Eguizábal; the General Secretary of the Italo-Latin American Organizzazione Internazionale, Donato Di Santo, and the Director of External Relations of the SEGIB, María Salvadora Ortiz, have laso participated in the presentation. The Ambassador of Costa Rica in Spain, Doris Osterloff, and the diplomat Luis Cavalieri, counsellor of the Italian Embassy in Spain, have also attended the event among other authorities.
The Director General of External Action has pointed out that the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation’s publication ratifies the commitment and the historical relationship of Extremadura and Ibero-America and it, furthermore, responds to the “cross-border and European identity and to the Ibero-American vocation stated in the Statute of Autonomy of this land”.
Balas claimed that La paz en Centroamérica, 1987-1990. El Plan Arias desde adentro is the result of research work carried out throughout more than twenty-five years by three women: Cristina Eguizábal, Ana Yancy Espinoza and Tatiana Benavides.
It is an integral vision of the affairs that took place during those years that reflects “the environment of the time”, the difficult conditions that tormented the Central American region and these countries citizens’ and presidents’ determination to achieve peace. This work, above all, describes and analyses the contribution made by the President of Costa Rica at the time throughout all the negotiation process and the implementation of peace, a task that earned him the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize.
In this sense, the regional head of External Action wanted to stress the work done by President Arias and thus highlighted his “personal value” as he saw “that peace clearly had to be given an opportunity and it was the right time to do so”. Balas asserted that Oscar Arias rose “diplomacy to the degree of excellence in order to achieve the long-awaited peace” thanks to his “extraordinary capacity and ability to negotiate” employing “soft power”, she added, “a type understood in terms of attraction capacity and influence”.
The peace negotiation described in this volume was one of the “bravest and decisive episodes in the history of Central America”, as described by the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan, in the prologue.
Balas has pointed out that this book is a retrospective view of the past, but it is, above all, a projection towards the future so that we may learn from the lessons history offers us.
This is unique research work, as the main actors of the process have been interviewed and unpublished first hand documents have been analysed, including President Arias’ personal diaries. The material’s analyses and systematization was carried out by specialists and qualified scholars.
This book was presented months ago for the first time in Costa Rica, coinciding with the activities that the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress was carrying out to commemorate the peace agreements’ 30th anniversary. The Director General of External Action stated that when this monography was presented in the Costa Rican capital, the merger between the European Academy of Yuste Foundation and the Extremaduran Centre for Studies and Cooperation with Ibero-America that would result in the European and Ibero-America Academy of Yuste Foundation was still being forged. The resulting institution wishes to “serve as a meeting point between Ibero-America and Extremadura from Extremadura itself, supporting the defence of the key role that we Ibero-Americans have in the world”.
La paz en Centroamérica, 1987-1990. El Plan Arias desde adentro is the 9th volume of the Collection “Pensamiento Iberoamericano”, a book included in the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation’s editorial initiative, whose aim is to publish essays and studies focused on analysing the Ibero-American reality in all its fields with the contributions and authorship of renowned Ibero-American personalities.