In 2015, nearly 41,000 women reported suffering abuse at the hands of their partners, with 80 percent of attacks occurring inside the home, according to Colombia's National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences. [...] One woman is killed every four days in Colombia. Many are victims of femicide - a killing of a woman by a man because of her gender - often at the hands of a former or current partner. Reuters
The Forests for Peace in Colombia seek to plant one tree for every one of the over 8 million victims of the Colombian civil war, a staggering figure that includes the dead, the disappeared, and the displaced over the course of close to 60 years of one of the world's longest civil wars and which is coming to an end since peace became a reality this year. El Tiempo
"The Colombian Red Cross has sent specialized personnel who have immediately begun to provide assistance to a population mercilessly hit by the destructive force of nature: Health; Search and Rescue; Water and Sanitation; Management of Corpses; Psychosocial Support; Restoring Family Contacts (RCF); Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (EDAN); Administrative support; K-SAR teams (search and rescue with canines); Communications; Telecommunications, according to the international agency on its website." With the program Litros que ayudan, you can donate water. El Molino Online
Peace brings hope and also destruction to La Macarena. Without the threat of rifles, environmental rules have lost strength. In the last two summers fishing has multiplied and everyone has taken advantage of it to expand their land. [...] FARC and the communities established a strict ban on the hunting of tapir and paujil and limited that of other species. These measures, sustained for 20 years, paid off. Maybe that's why the Manaos, that huge herd of wild pigs-up to 200 individuals-disappeared in the 1980s. But that powerful symbol of the jungle is again threatened. El Espectador
After clearly defining the goals, the main challenges are the problems left by the war. Now that there's peace, you can think of the territory in its entirety, but doing so involves a lot of infrastructure investment. Green growth must be developed throughout the country, that is, an immense allocation of resources is needed -- human, technical and financial resources. There are areas that need to be supplied with services, schools, hospitals, health centers. And that is not an easy job. This is the time to connect the territories that have been isolated by the armed conflict and then it will time to conquer those areas in terms of sustainable development. El Espectador
Colombia's road to peace is riddled with potholes, and today the country hit a big one. On May 17, Colombia's Constitutional Court, accepting a legal challenge introduced by Ivan Duque of the right wing Democratic Center party, amended two aspects of the law allowing Congress to approve the legislation underpinning the government's peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). After voters struck down the original FARC peace deal in a national referendum in October 2016, the government decided to approve the laws to implement the agreement through Congress using fast track powers granted by the Constitutional Court. These powers cut down the time needed to approve the laws in Congress, something the government, which only has about a year left to finalize the deal before it has to hand over power to a successor government, desperately wanted. Now that they have been altered, implementing meaningful peace could become much more difficult.Stratfor Worldview
The 2016 report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia warns of the restrictions, gaps and ambiguities of the Amnesty Law and of the JEP regarding public officials. It calls for recognition of state crimes. Colombia Plural
This is crucial because in their current form, the new provisions in the transitional justice law are a slap in the conflict’s victims’ faces. They violate both the spirit and the intent of the peace accord—especially a part of the accord that took 19 long months to negotiate. If for some reason the Constitutional Court fails to bring Colombia’s transitional justice system in line with international standards and the spirit of the accords, WOLA will urge the International Criminal Court to act. WOLA
The debate on the so-called "responsibility of command" (RdM) in the constitutional reform that incorporates the "special peace jurisdiction" (JEP) into Colombian jurisprudence has been very difficult for at least three reasons: (i) Because if we do not solve it properly we run the risk of affecting the legitimacy and legal security of the peace agreement; (Ii) it is legally complex and can make it boring and difficult for many to understand; and (iii) has been unduly polarized because retired officers, especially ACORE (Associate of Retired Colombian Officers), have wrongly stated that those who argue that the regulation of RdM in JEP must respect international law is part of a conspiracy of leftists, who receive money so that the high military commands are judged more severely than the guerrillas; even that they are judged "in the most violent manner."
JEP adequately applying this RdM (Responsibility of command), both to the guerrilla fighters and to agents of the state is fundamental not only to avoid the impunity of those who have incurred this responsibility, but also to give a solid legal foundation to the peace process due to the obligations that Colombia has in terms of international law and that would allow eventual interventions by the ICC, should Colombia not comply with them. Rodrigo Uprimny, La Silla Vacía
Almost 100 FARC political prisoners began an indefinite hunger strike on Saturday to demand better prison conditions and an acceleration and commitment to the peace process. The FARC inmates insisted that the state speed up its execution of the peace process, especially “that the release of political prisoners and the amnesty law become a reality.” Telesur English
The ambassador of Cuba, in a letter to FARC secretariat member Iván Marquez, offered 1,000 scholarships to study medicine in the island: 500 for FARC ex-combatants and 500 to other Colombians. The proposal, according to the diplomat, was sent to the Monitoring, and Verification Commission as a contribution to the implementation of the peace agreement and post-conflict. Cuba played a major role in the negotiations that concluded with the November 24 final peace agreement. El Espectador
The leader of the Colombia’s disarming guerrilla group FARC met with the leader of the fighting ELN guerrillas in Cuba to discuss a “complete peace” in Colombia. The last time both Marxist groups met to formally discuss peace with the government was in 1991 when both groups decided against it and embarked on a major offensive. Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports.
Although its inhabitants voted massively in favor of peace in the plebiscite, in Chocó people still live under fear and suffer the pain of war." Paradoxically, in Chocó, where war was felt with the most intensity, 98% voted 'yes' -- in favor of peace and yet we continue fleeing bullets, abandoning the territories", says Father Jaime Zapata.
Colombia’s government and rebel group ELN announced on Thursday that they have made a breakthrough agreement on landmine removal. In their first joint press conference after peace talks began in Quito, Ecuador, two months ago, the delegations announced they would begin working out logistical challenges for an agreed joint landmine removal program. Colombia Reports
In contrast to the FARC’s hierarchical structure, the ELN have a collective decision making structure which will complicate the negotiating process. A 2016 report from Conflict Analysis Resource Centre, CERAC, says that “A negotiated solution to the conflict with the ELN is not only necessary but will bring fewer human and economic losses to the country than an elusive termination to the conflict by military means.” Bogotá Post
Clouds gathered Monday over peace talks aimed at ending Colombia's half-century conflict after the ELN rebels claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at a bullring in Bogota. The leftist rebels' claim of responsibility, issued late Sunday on Twitter, pollutes the air at the peace talks as President Juan Manuel Santos seeks a deal with Colombia's last active rebel group to end a conflict that has killed 260,000 people. The ELN also claimed responsibility for a February 14 attack on a military patrol in eastern Colombia that wounded two soldiers, as well as several bombings on the Cano Limon Covenas oil pipeline.Enca
"[...] We are proposing the formation of 16 regional citizen committees to support and accompany the implementation of the peace agreement signed between the Government of Colombia (GOC) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP). These citizen committees, which would make up what we call Territorial Accompaniment and Support Systems (TASS), would include representatives of local civil society organizations, the private sector and the international community, who would provide oversight to support the peace agreement and to verify changes are taking place. These changes include accountable spending for any “peace dividend” so that rural livelihoods and social services can jump start development in communities put on hold by decades of conflict. Each committee would issue a biannual report documenting advances achieved, difficulties encountered and proposals for resolving roadblocks." [...] Emilio Huertas -- The Huffington Post
While Colombia’s peace deal has made substantial progress in ending the half-century long conflict, it has not solved all of the issues. The departure of FARC leaves behind a terrorist and drug cartel vacuum in Colombia and it is likely that other terrorist and drug trafficking groups will rise and try take the place of FARC. There is the additional threat of the estimated 300 rogue FARC rebels who refuse the terms to the peace agreement. They continue to fight and recently kidnapped a UN anti-drug official. Violence also prevails as demonstrated by the June 17th bombing in Bogotá. But despite the difficulties, President Santos remains optimistic: “Peace will be built little by little, like a cathedral, which you build brick by brick.” Sarah Froehlke. Center for Security Policy
But like longtime inmates who view their prison walls as protection from an unsparing outside world, some of the rebels express trepidation about breaking free. For them the FARC has been a surrogate family, providing food, clothing, shelter, protection, companionship, and a sense of purpose. Individual enterprise and ambition—keys to success in the capitalist world—were frowned upon in the FARC. Asked about their postwar plans, several teenage rebels in Guaviare say they will do whatever their comandantes order. Bloomberg
The event where FARC will complete the historic laying down of weapons is scheduled to take place June 27 in Mesetas, department of Meta -- in a region where the former insurgents's Eastern Bloc is concentrated and it is stronger. The ceremony will be led by President Juan Manuel Santos and the top FARC commander Rodrigo Londoño, 'Timochenko'. El Tiempo
The United States said on Tuesday it was weighing whether it would condition its support to specific modifications to the peace agreement reached last year between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC. "It's a question of how far we want to go in trying to interfere, condition or somehow undo the agreement they've reached with the FARC," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, referring to Colombian authorities while appearing before the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations. 20Minutos
The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center launched the Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force to provide a roadmap for US engagement with Colombia. As Colombia strives to implement peace and agenda items compete for priority in the new US administration, Colombia could fall off the radar without an outside push. In A Roadmap for US Engagement with Colombia, the task force identifies key areas in which the United States can support Colombia at this critical moment. The report was presented to Colombian President Juan Manual Santos and Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster. Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force
Efti (Centro Internacional de Fotografía y Cine) in Madrid will host until July 25 the exhibit "Macondo, Memories of the Colombian Conflict." The project was 15 years in the making by Spaniard Álvaro Ybarra (winner of World Press Photo y member of Getty Images). 20 Minutos
Colombian journalist Marisol Gómez Giraldo goes behind the scenes in this early account of the country's tumultuous peace process. "Gómez’s book will not be the definitive account of the peace talks. While often engaging, it is a first draft of history, not least because it was released the day after a national plebiscite in which Colombians, asked to support or reject the terms of the agreement with the farc, voted against the accord by a razor-thin margin". Americas Quarterly.
Rigobel Quesada Garcia, 27, had benefited from amnesty for political crimes committed by FARC members, outlined in last year's peace deal, and had been released from prison a month and a half ago. He was shot while walking down the street in a deserted area of San Vicente del Caguan, a town in southern Colombia that became a demilitarized zone during a failed peace process between 1998 and 2002. Quesada was transferred to San Rafael Hospital, where he died. Telesur
Participants in the press conference stressed that the Civic Strike will continue until the President appears and faces the community, and accepts, with his decision-making capacity, that the participation of more than 150,000 people of Buenaventura and 177 social organizations calls for a political solution -- not a military one -- a solution that meets the pressing needs of the ethnic communities that live around the port of Buenaventura. Kaosenlared.com
Throughout Colombia, paramilitaries are threatening and assaulting the population in an attempt to derail the peace process. Barring that, they hope to render null and void all agreements for social investment and land rights that would hamper the free reign of big landowners, narco-traffickers, and transnational corporations. Make no mistake, paramilitaries are closely tied to these interests. U.S.-based corporations like Coca-Cola, Drummond Coal, and Chiquita all have paid and granted access to death squads targeting unionists. People's World
Indigenous groups in Colombia this week suspended the process of prior consultation related to the implementation of the peace deal with the FARC, saying that the government has not shown a genuine desire to include them in matters related to ethnic development. “Following the systematic weakening of the fundamental right to previous consultation, as well as our full commitment to contribute to peace in Colombia, we decided to suspend the process of previous consultation about the laws currently negotiated (with the government) until we are guaranteed a space for direct dialogue,” a national indigenous organization (Spanish abbreviation MPC) said in a statement.
The group specifically accused the government of avoiding presenting certain laws at the negotiating table, and of not including proposals meant to preserve and develop the rights of the country’s Indigenous community. Humanosphere
The U.N. Women agency says having women at the negotiating table increases the chance of a peace agreement lasting 15 years by 35 percent, while ensuring they play a key role in constructing peace also raises the chances that it will last.
Colombia's peace accord pledges to improve access to land for women farmers through a land bank and subsidies.It also promises to investigate military forces or rebel fighters who raped women. About 20,000 Colombians, most of them women and girls, have been victims of rape and sexual violence, a weapon used by all sides in Colombia's war, government data shows. Relief Web
This report explores the historic experience of indigenous women in Colombia – a group usually absent from political decision-making processes – and how formal and customary institutions impact their inclusion in Colombia’s political settlement. It charts the emergence of different pathways for change for indigenous women, including the evolution of women’s engagement in the Colombian peace process as well as the inclusion of gender and ethnic minority issues in negotiations. The report looks at how the peace process is an opportunity for indigenous women to play a key role in peacebuilding and the reconfiguration of the political settlement in Colombia. Via Conciliation Resources. To download Report.
Mid-rank FARC commander Adriana stands in front of a banner which reads: “Welcome to a territory of peace.” Born in central Tolima, Adriana took a bus to northern Colombia to join the FARC when she was 20 years old: “I came from a poor family with limited resources, and I was unable to finish my studies. I wanted to dedicate myself to a cause, and I was concerned about the social and economic problems in this country.” Now, nearly 20 years later, she tells us: “I am more convinced than ever that joining was a good decision. Here, we work collectively to achieve peace and social justice for the Colombian people. When there is no more misery and unemployment, then there will be peace.” (Photo: Julia Zulver.) Open Democracy
“As a woman and a representative leader of women in the community, being part of this process has given me more strength, and I have emerged, I am now a visible person, and I feel that I am an example for other women to follow and that we recognise the importance of organising ourselves because we united women are able to make our homes and children prosper. We contribute a lot, and we are the centre of the community.” Jesuit Refugee Service
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a Georgetown audience today that “advancing the rights and full participation of women and girls is the great unfinished business of the 21st century.” The former presidential candidate’s remarks were part of the annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security ceremony, hosted annually by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS). Clinton presented four awards in a packed Gaston Hall to Colombians who played a crucial role in the 2016 historic peace agreement that ended over five decades of conflict in their country. Georgetown University
Violence in the country seems to have no end, however. The paramilitary groups have gained prominence in Colombia, and by assimilating an the ideas of the extreme right have turned to threaten and intimidate social leaders, demilitarized guerrillas and human rights defenders, reaching a figure of 156 social leaders killed between January Of 2016 and March of 2017, according to data from Colombia's Defensoría del Pueblo. This social conflict, which seemed solved in 2006 after the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) - a group that included different paramilitary groups - has continued to grow because the dissidents of this peace process have managed to find an audience among the younger urban population. Notimerica Europa Press
FARC confirmed in a statement that the murders of Kellys Henao, 20 years old, Alberto Osorio, 33, and Marcela Osorio, 14, were likely committed by alleged members of paramilitary groups operating in the area of Remedios. The letter also confirms that that the victims of the triple homicide are relatives of Guillermo León Osorio, a guerrilla fighter who is in the process of being reinstated into civilian life in the area of Carrizal, in Remedios. FARC also reported that the family of another guerrilla, Wilson Adrian Tapias, has received threats and are not protected by the authorities. Blu Radio
Digital Magazine PACIFISTA! spoke with Mauricio Morales, a photographer who is with over 300 people displaced from their homes in Alto Baudó, a mostly Afrocolombian community in the department of Chocó. The displacement of last week became known because it involved about 500 people. But if it had been only 50 or 10 ... Would I be here? Would we haven known about it? PACIFISTA!
When I moved from the Criminal Chamber of the Medellin Tribunal to the Chamber for Justice and Peace, I had a very different vision of paramilitarism. I held to the idea that this phenomenon was dysfunctional to the State, to the political regime. And yet when I came here to the Chamber for Justice and Peace, I discovered that there were very close links between those armed groups and the public authorities, that is the State. We have stated this in several judgments, based on an analysis of the evidence. PACIFISTA!
"The last thing a resident told us was that one of the paramilitaries who entered Domingodó was frantically looking for people in some houses. It's known is that the Gaitanistas took a villager, who was released a few minutes later," a member of a social organization told Espectador, asking to remain anonymous. El Espectador
In addition to implementing the agreement with the FARC-EP, the Colombian Government has begun peace talks with the ELN. Watchlist urges the Government to consider children affected by armed conflict in the early phases of these discussions, and the ELN to put an immediate end to its recruitment and use of children.
Undoubtedly, Colombia has made great strides in advancing peace through negotiations with the FARC-EP and initial discussions with the ELN. Ensuring that children’s rights are protected and respected would help to consolidate these gains and create a lasting, sustainable peace. Relief Web
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) released on Monday April 10 three teenagers, bringing to 60 the total number of minors they handed over to the authorities as part of the peace agreement, reported the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Bolsamania
"So we should ask ourselves today what is the real future of the minors who leave the ranks? Where do those without families go or those whose parents are around the camps? What opportunities have been created for them? Where are the country schools?
"These days, in the cities I've been hearing words like the children should come back so they can become doctors, teachers, or whatever they want to be, to play, to do what a child, a girl, a teenager should be doing. But if there's no food, no games, no study and dreams land in opposite realities, where drugs, prostitution, poverty and hunger remain part of the alternatives to survive." Con la Oreja Roja
" [...] the shortage of resources and personnel translates into long waiting times for the families of the more than 60,000 disappeared in Colombia, according to the report "Hasta encontrarlos" (Until we find them) of the Historic Memory Center, published in 2016. Pacifista
Because of its privileged geographical situation in a mountainous region, near the highway Medellín - Bogota, since the middle of the eighties, Granada was targeted by armed groups: guerrillas, the paramilitary, and the army. It suffered harassment, massacres, car bombs, displacement, military occupation, kidnappings and extrajudicial executions. Global Voices
The United Nations warned last year that the local Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations needed "urgent" protection. Authorities say there are 6,000 people displaced and 7,000 confined to their homes in the surrounding Choco region for fear of violence.
"We cannot guarantee that the peace process will end the violence," says Luis Carlos Arce, governor of Alto Tumando, another settlement of displaced people.
"The violence of hunger, its impact on education and health -- that is not going to end."
Fic-Vic is a film festival for peace, created by Juvenal Camacho, and supported by local businesses and through the work of volunteers. It has shown 13 short films throughout Colombia, including in remote Quibdó, Pasto and other areas. "The objective is to make the festival visible showing that peace can also be built with few resources", says Camacho who travels Colombia with a briefcase full of films and the dream of having victims tell their own story this way. Pacifista
In Colombia the National Center for Historical Memory (CNMH) tackles the difficult task of working with the memories of a society marked by the anguish of civil war. The work of the CNMH will determine to what extent the historical memory demands a new foundation for the republic, its institutional reforms or its consolidation. Paper prepared by the IEEE Analyst, Andrés González Martín.
Despite these amazing breakthroughs, [toward peace] we have to recognize that we are not with Alice in Wonderland yet. The latest decision of the Constitutional Court constitutes a serious obstacle to the implementation of the peace agreements. Las2Orillas
Santos delivered a stirring public address on Monday in which he defended his administration’s commitment to the peace process and sent a clear message to both the Colombian people and the opposition led by former President Alvaro Uribe that the peace accord with the Marxist-inspired FARC will not be be undone. “We will not go back. For no reason will we return to the terrible times of violence, fear, murder and massacres. Colombia is leaving behind that story of blood and pain forever,” he said in a televised address to the nation. Stephen Gill, Colombia Reports
[...] Santos is racing against the clock: Colombia's congress will begin a three-month break beginning in December, and many of its members will soon be preoccupied with re-election campaigns.Opposition lawmakers will likely try to present changes to the peace deal legislation, but they will not be able to block the peace deal if the ruling coalition successfully cuts down on congressional absenteeism and keeps its lawmakers united. The ruling coalition will prioritize parts of the peace deal — such as a land reform law and a law outlining the structure of transitional courts to grant former FARC members amnesty — so that even if all parts aren't passed, the bulk of the deal is implemented. Stratfor Wordlview Colombia: FARC Peace Deal Is on the Rocks Again
One of the most controversial points in the Santos-FARC Agreement is the issue of special circumscriptions in Colombia. The treaty calls for creating in, several regions historically affected by the conflict, special electoral districts so a representative can be elected in addition to those already named. [...] On this topic, the opposition Democratic Center said that it finds it contradictory to grant such areas to FARC when they are the ones that have prevented democracy from functioning there. And that the guerrilla group will have 16 additional seats to the 10 that it already has in the Congress (that is, 5 in each chamber)." PanAm Post
A ruling by Colombia's Constitutional Court has created an opportunity for opponents of the country's peace process with FARC to sabotage the implementation of the accords, potentially fueling dissent among the guerrilla ranks as well as violence and uncertainty in the underworld. Insight Crime
The 2018 budget request would not only undo the “Peace Colombia” increase, it would cut still further, bringing aid in this bill from $391 million to $251 million from 2017 to 2018. This would deal a moral and fiscal blow to Colombia’s effort to implement an ambitious peace accord, at a time when low commodity prices and a weaker currency have hit the national budget hard. Meanwhile, even though U.S. officials voice frequent concern about record reported levels of coca cultivation in Colombia, the budget request would reduce State Department International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement funds by $10 million from 2016 levels and $18 million from 2017 levels. WOLA
The money will be divided between a number of causes with $187 million destined to help the reintegration process of former combatants, and almost USD$150 million for the war against drugs. The remaining amount is likely to be split between a range of post-conflict causes. Bogotá Post.
Democratic and Republican leaders backed the so-called "Peace Colombia," which was created in 2016 by former President Barack Obama to support implementation of "post conflict programs" such as the demobilization of guerrillas, alternative development, strengthening of state institutions in remote regions, coca eradication and removal of anti-personnel mines. El Espectador
The very same contractors who've already received 53 billion pesos to build the transitional zones that are not finished will now receive an additional 108 billion. By government request, the controversial suppliers formed temporary unions, and 4 of the new legal representatives are the same Of the companies that initially signed. The other one has a company at the headquarters of the fifth provider. Colombia Soberana
As Colombia works towards implementing an ambitious peace deal and fighting new and old criminal groups, extreme levels of corruption within its own government are an often overlooked but crucial threat to battling poverty, drugs and violence during this historic window of opportunity for change.
Corruption in Colombia may be worth as $14 billion, Comptroller General Edgardo Maya Villazón announced at a recent anti-corruption forum organized by El Tiempo. Insight crime
Paris's Sorbonne university awarded an honorary degree and a medal to President Juan Manuel Santos, for his efforts toward peace in his country, a distinction that he dedicated to his people. [...] The ceremony, begun at the rhythm of the vallenato "La Gota Fría", took place in the same educational center where his great-uncle Eduardo Santos, who was also president of Colombia, had studied Sociology and Literature in 1909. Last year Sorbonne gave the same title to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. El Colombiano
But the agreement does more than silence weapons; it delivers a welcome end to conflict for Colombians, a majority of whom have never lived in a country at peace. The agreement sets out to bridge the historic divide between the Colombia of developed urban centers and that of the vast, impoverished interior, where historically there has been little or no government presence and, as a result, limited security, weak rule of law and deficient health care and education. New York Times
Peasants from Cauca, Putumayo, Nariño, and Meta have recently clashed with the Army. The public force arrived at dozens of coca plantations, equipment in hand, to forcefully eradicate them. The peasants, as expected, have prevented it from happening. The magazine Pacifista! interviewed Eduardo Díaz, charged by the government with the implementation of a illicit crops substitution plan, about the government's relationship with the growers, about FARC responsibility in increasing the crops and on the position of Colombia before the Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Pacifista!
According to these new polls, accusations of corruption have stuck against president Juan Manuel Santos: 66% of Colombian voters have an unfavorable view of him. And 51% think he is corrupt. Colombia Peace Report
Hoy desde Cauca les digo a los violentos: NO vamos a permitir que atemoricen a nuestros líderes sociales y defensores de Derechos Humanos Today, from Cauca I'm speaking to those who promote violence. We will not allow that they frighten our social leaders and human rights defenders
"The Uribe administration sat for almost three years with the Eln in Cuba negotiating. What a great contribution to this process it could make. Let's keep the process with ELN outside of the political realm. That will benefit the process, it will be good for the country, and the whole world". Presidencia Colombia
Journalist Alfredo Molano has explored almost all of Colombia to document through his books and chronicles the nation's depth and, as someone who understands the nation's reality, believes that "many guarantees are lacking" for the implementation of the peace agreement with FARC because there are regions where the presence of the state is almost non existent. El Diario.
"The reality is that in the phase of post-conflict, the Colombia Project will be decisive in building a lasting and sustainable peace. According to Rafael Mejia, major changes are to be expected as a result of the implementation of the Havana agreements. For example, demobilized FARC guerrillas will join the economic and social reintegration programs offered by the national government, and this will allow many to reunite with their families and some may return to their rural communities. This will imply that demobilized people and people affected by the conflict, including agricultural producers, will enjoy fundamental rights such as living in peace, enjoying a family, freedom of movement and many others, such as education, health, housing and work.
In this process, the rural inhabitants will be able to recover lands ravaged by the conflict and those who reintegrate will have as other Colombians opportunity to access productive land and to have a decent job. Semana
The Colombian Cycling Federation confirmed that Colombia Oro y Paz, a Category 2.1 racing event will roll through the roads of Quindío. The information was made public on Friday after the maximum director of the sport of cycling in the country confirmed the registration of the contest before the International Cycling Union, UCI, for next season. Crónica del Quindío
La Variante is home to more than 300 former FARC soldiers. Some had served decades with the FARC, others had joined just 12 months before the peace deal was announced. Men, women and increasingly children wait in an uneasy boredom for their transition into civilian life. Some still wear their uniforms. Most — for now — still carry their guns. Vice News
The National Registrar, Juan Carlos Galindo, confirmed in a conversation with RCN Radio that data of 6916 members of FARC were gathered during the first phase of the identification process of guerrillas and militias carried out by the public agency in every one of the transitional demobilization zones. RCN Radio
The 26 camps that are being build for the demobilization and disarmament of Colombia’s FARC rebels may remain once the first 180 days of the peace process are over to facilitate the former guerrillas’ reintegration. [...] These camps should have been ready in December already, but according to the UN mission chief last week, many are between 10% and 50% of completion. The government has vowed to finish construction before the end of April, two months before the camps were supposed to be deconstructed. Adriaan Alsema. Colombia Reports.
Tense exchange between two key figures in Colombia's peace process, High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo and Timochenko, nom de guerre or FARC's Commander. At issue: FARC's letter to mayors in La Guajira inviting them to discuss development plans. Confidencial Colombia
With walks, banners, music, murals made with handprints, observation competitions, talks, white flowers, emotional messages, and other events throughout the various regions, Colombians will celebrate a Day of Memory and Solidarity with the victims of the armed conflict. El Espectador
Colombia's FARC guerrillas handed over the definitive list of 6,804 fighters concentrated in disarmament zones as part of a weapons delivery process and move to legality after signing a landmark peace agreement, the government said on Tuesday. El Nuevo Herald
"We have told [the Colombian government], 'No, we've got to get back to the spraying, we've got to get back to destroying these fields, that they are in a very bad place now in cocaine supply to the United States.' And the president talked to President Santos directly about that," Tillerson said during June 13 testimony to Congress, seemingly referring to Santos' visit with Trump at the White House in May. Insight Crime
In the face of Colombia’s coca boom, patience and perseverance are needed most. The Santos government’s eradication efforts will probably bring some reduction in the much-watched statistic of cultivated hectares, taking some political pressure off next year. Success doesn’t depend on Santos, ultimately, but on his successor continuing and intensifying the peace accords’ commitment to investing in rural areas.
If Colombia’s political leadership slacks off again, allowing violent criminals to fill the vacuum, it will have blown a huge opportunity. And Colombia’s stubborn coca problem will only persist. World Politics Review
As he prepares for his first official visit to the Trump White House this Thursday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the Congress's approval of $391 million in resources would strengthen the Peace Colombia program. Part of these resources will be invested in the crop substitution program unveiled Monday in Briceño, Antioquia, which seeks to change coca leaf for bananas in 62 thousand hectares. Blu Radio
Seventeen years and $10 billion after the U.S. government launched the counternarcotics and security package known as Plan Colombia, America’s closest drug-war ally is covered with more than 460,000 acres of coca. Colombian farmers have never grown so much, not even when Pablo Escobar ruled the drug trade. The Washington Post