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
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
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
In addition to these concerns, the Trump administration’s plans to cut spending on diplomatic efforts could have an impact on important initiatives and U.S. relations across the hemisphere, such as U.S.-Mexico cooperation on a number of bilateral issues, and the development of a lasting peace in Colombia. WOLA
According to the report, there have been constant delays and major shortages of supplies, both in the volume of foodstuffs and the number of people they are supposed to feed. This is nothing new and has already been denounced, it says. FARC now owes around 13 million Colombian pesos in Caldono. The note says other camps face similar situations. There are currently over 7,000 FARC fighters in 26 camps across Colombia. ¡Pacifista!
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.
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
"The fact that we might see some months from now this guerrilla group the FARC - that at one point was the worst terrorist and criminal group in Latin America - disarm and demobilize will be a very important achievement." Juan Carlos Pinzón, Colombian Ambassador to Washington, via WLRN.
Sweden has signed a defence cooperation deal with Colombia, hoping to export Gripen fighter jets to the South American nation. Colombian senator and human-rights activist Iván Cepeda said contributing to increasing Colombia's weapons arsenal is the worst thing Sweden could do. Defence World.Net