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 Trump administration would be wise to steer clear of internal divides within a polarized Colombia and keep its eye on the prize — the opportunity for peace after half a century of war," Virginia Bouvier, senior advisor for peace processes at the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace, told The Times via email. She said it was not clear the episode would have an impact on U.S. relations with Colombia, but that it was likely to deepen the political divide within Colombia as the nation attempts to recover from a conflict that cost more than a quarter of a million lives and brought the nation to the brink of collapse. Los Angeles Times
Here is WOLA’s evaluation of several of the points made by Álvaro Uribe in this document, and evaluations of their accuracy. The vast majority of his claims are either inaccurate, or debatable.(Inaccurate=pink. Debatable=orange.) WOLA Peace Report
We cannot separate the case of Venezuela from our risky situation. Chavez and Maduro have been the supporters of terrorism in our country. The two largest organizations, FARC and ELN, have been protected in Venezuela, and with large presence in this country, they kidnap, extort, threaten and attack its citizens. Venezuela needs to remove Maduro and his regime and to adopt the rule of law with a strong private sector to overcome poverty. Maduro supports himself upon corruption, narco trafficking, the military, war planes, civilians with guns provided by the regime (Colectivos), and repression. They apply the Cuban version of dialogue as a way to scale up repression. FULL TEXT IN ENGLISH
The President of the US, Donald Trump, welcomed on Good Friday Colombian former presidents Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana to the Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. First to speak publicly about the meeting was Mr. Pastrana, who thanked in his Twitter the magnate for, "the cordial and very frank conversation." Sources of the meeting, however, have confirmed to El País the presence of Mr. Uribe who has described it as a "social gathering" that came about through an "invitation from a third party."El País.
"The Colombian military is one of the biggest human-rights abusers in the Western Hemisphere, so this practice of forced recruitment is far from its greatest crime. It pales next to the widespread killing of civilians to boost kill counts — euphemistically known as 'false positives' — or the collusion with right-wing paramilitaries in the displacement of millions. Nevertheless, it is one of the most glaring examples of the appalling inequality in Colombia. [...] Hopefully, Santos’s promises to abolish military service will eventually prove to be in good faith. So long as the lives of the working class are treated as dispensable commodities, the country will never achieve a lasting peace." Kieran Duffy, Jacobin
President Trump privately met with former Colombian presidents Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana last week at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Arranged by Sen. Marco Rubio, the meeting was not on the president's schedule or disclosed to reporters who were with him in Palm Beach. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said,“There wasn’t anything beyond a quick hello.” House however, Pastrana took to Twitter to thank the U.S. president for the “cordial and very frank conversation” about issues in Colombia and the region. The Hill
What happened, explains the source to CNN, was that Pastrana was dining in the club restaurant [Mar-a-Lago] with a group on Friday and in one of the corridors he greeted President Trump. The source describes the meeting as very brief, barely exchanging greetings in the hallway, there is not even certainty that Uribe was there. Mar-a-Lago is a social club where Trump has his own private residence, which has become his second office. It is a place frequented by the club members and their guests. CNN en Español got in touch with both Pastrana's team, who said that the former president will not say anything. On the other hand, after several calls to the Uribe team we still have not received a response. CNN Español.
Look at the data: 1,497 days have passed without occupations of population centers, 692 without harassment and 499 without abductions. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of soldiers wounded in combat treated in the Military Hospital of Bogotá decreased by 72%, from 131 to 36. The UN commission and FARC have identified and registered about 7,000 weapons, and 140 have already been handed over to the UN. The next delivery will be another 1,000. FARC has readied 1,500 guerrillas to support demining in the country. Gustavo Páez Escobar in El Espectador
Chanting slogans against Santos, against corruption, and against the government of Venezuela, thousands of Colombians took to the street in a series of demonstrations organized by former president and now senator Alvaro Uribe, and former Procurator Alejandro Ordoñez. The demonstration, which analysts interpret as the first salvos of a contentious 2018 presidential election, is another sign of the deep polarization ripping apart Colombian society and which stems partly from opposition to the peace treaty with FARC. Pacifista!