A note on PACIFISTA discusses the recently released International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. The report states that the high volume of cocaine flowing out of Colombia will increase the pressure on the authorities of the countries that it crosses, such as Mexico and Central America. It also indicates that illegal profits from the sale of this narcotic will fuel corruption and violence in these territories. Given that figures for 2016 are being prepared, the document does not allow a comparative analysis of the situation in the last couple of years. However, taking into account the uptick trend since 2012, it can be estimated that the acreage dedicate to coca cultivation will multiply.
"El silencio de los fusiles" (The silence of the rifles), a documentary by Natalia Orozco narrates, from within, the peace negotiations. The news site ¡Pacifist! spoke with Natalia Orozco about the lessons, challenges and perceptions that remained after the four years she spent alongside guerrillas, negotiators of the Colombian government, and victims.
After finishing the documentary, did you change any position regarding peace in Colombia?
I did not change my positions but I did confirm certain convictions. I did not start to cover the possible end to the conflict with prejudices but with questions. When those responses started coming in, I understood that a human being could have committed monstrous things but that does not mean that he or she are monsters. During production, I also understood that victims, through forgiveness and reconciliation, have committed the single act of greatness in the history of the armed conflict. They have the final say in overcoming the war. ¡PACIFISTA!
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) welcomes the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP). Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, thanked the parties for the confidence they had shown in the organization and for recognizing its neutrality, Independence and impartiality. ICRC
Libraries in general, and public libraries in particular, play an active role in times of armed conflict. Many spaces that at one time were affected by the violence, or threatened by urban guerrilla units, or common criminals, have been transformed by the creation of library-linked reading programs, generating new dynamics of access to culture in communities, especially written culture, allowing "the recovery of hope to compensate for their lives, their dignity as persons, the creation of opportunities for security and the return of trust in the social environment" (Jaramillo, 2012: 78). IFLA
On November 24, 2016, the government of Colombia and the biggest guerrilla group in the country, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia–Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP), signed a final peace agreement. This accord put an end to the longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere and to long and convoluted peace talks. Download here.
"However, funding gaps, administrative delays and the political balance of power ahead of 2018 threaten to curtail transitional arrangements and structural reforms aimed at remedying the root grievances of the conflict. The opposition could financially starve institutions, programs or policies in the peace agreement if it comes to power. The terms of transitional justice, measures on rural reform and land access, and community-based approaches to removing coca crops and establishing alternative income-generating activities could all be in danger. Defending the agreement will be an intrinsic part of the political battle ahead"...Relief Web
The National Security Archive's Colombia Project contains a trove of "secret government archives on United States policy in Colombia" spanning several decades and documenting involvement in "security assistance, human rights, impunity and counternarcotics programs." Project Director Michael Evans says that, "there are a lot of archives of which little is known, such as those of the DAS [Secret Police] with illegal surveillances against civil society in Colombia, but information on that topic is available in the United States. The same thing happens with the collaboration of intelligence agencies and paramilitary groups. There are also files that can incriminate FARC, other guerrilla groups and paramilitaries. To sum up, they help find information that has been hidden or attempts have been made to hide it." Verdad Abierta
As the period concludes, and as noted in my letter dated 14 December 2016 to the President of the Council (S/2016/1063), a new peace agreement has now been signed and ratified and has entered into force, signalling the beginning of peace implementation in Colombia and paving the way for the Mission to carry out the full range of its mandated tasks. Download report here.