There is not one single word that refers to the peace process, or to the supposed US$450 million promised by Obama for "Peace Colombia". This item has been reduced to US$370 million and has not yet been approved by the Congress. Trump is only interested in ending drug trafficking, which is difficult if one takes into consideration that coca cultivation tripled in two years, and aerial fumigation is ruled out as a concession to the FARC. Fanny Kertzman. Dinero
"The Black people, as well as the Afro-Colombian Raizal and Palenqueros in Colombia have historically lived a situation of exclusion and racism that in today's day and age has become a humanitarian crisis that threatens our very existence." In April of this year, according to reports from our communities, we have suffered new mass displacements and confinements affecting thousands of our families, new murders, disappearances, kidnappings and reports of a resurgence of armed in San Juan, Alto Baudó and Río Sucio, Carmen del Darién in the department of Chocó; in the south of Bolivar, in the rural and urban areas of Tumaco and in northern Cauca, areas where FARC are concentrated," said the spokesman of the main Afro organizations. Entorno Inteligente
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
Colombia has created a "special peace visa" for foreign citizens fighting alongside FARC guerrillas who want to remain in the country after the disarmament and transit to legality as agreed with the government, according to a decree known this Friday May 19, 2017. Holders of this visa must appear in the lists delivered by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the framework of the peace pact signed last November.The validity of this visa will be indefinite. Diario El Comercio
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
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
The presidents of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and the United States, Donald Trump, held their first diplomatic meeting Thursday at the White House. The session lasted 50 minutes and the Colombian leader was accompanied by some members of his government team. At the end of the meeting, the heads of state gave a joint press conference detailing some conclusions of this meeting. Semana
Amid a huge boom in cocaine production, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos meets with President Trump. Santos will try to convince the U.S. to maintain its support for Colombia's peace process. NPR
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.
"In Colombia they are killing a social leader every four days," says Diego Alarcón, editor of Pacifista, who points out that "the mainstream media are almost ignoring this phenomenon because they are more focused on covering the outstanding points of Peace in Congress." Pacifista seeks, therefore, to show the reality so that it "ceases to be invisible", adds Alarcón. Actualidad Deutsche Welle
Colombia will discuss next Wednesday in New York investment opportunities that opened in the country after the signing of the peace agreement with FARC, government sources said today. "Colombia is experiencing the best moment in its history. Peace presents more opportunities to invest, generate productive projects and grow in Colombian territory, which also offers the possibility of exporting to other countries in the region," said in a statement Felipe Jaramillo, the president of the Government agency ProColombia. W Radio
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
The implementation of the peace agreed in Colombia has been full of obstacles. The UN, however, believes that peace in Colombia is "irreversible." Since it was signed, not a single soldier, police or civilian has died at the hands of FARC. Deustche Welle
In Colombia, ideological vestiges of the Cold War have been refashioned to direct fear and anger towards a fictional “gender ideology” that supposedly poses a spiritual threat to Christian values. In the lead-up to the peace referendum, right-wing groups were able mobilize the imaginary threat of a queer, communist conspiracy to generate panic and turn it into political capital. Jacobin
"Chocó is in a condition of subhumanity," said Efe Dilon Martínez, executive secretary of the Departmental Civic Committee for the Salvation and Dignity of Chocó, an organization leading since last Wednesday an indefinite strike to demand that the government complies with the commitments it made in August last year. After eight months, the government "has only met 5%" of the agreement, and this has again brought out to the streets the people of Chocó, a department which by the end of 2015 registered an extreme poverty index of 37.1%, and poverty of 62.8% compared to 7.9 and 27.8% for the country as a whole, according to official figures. Martinez also lamented that the department faces "more conflict" than it had before the beginnings of the peace process. El Pilón
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.
Marking a symbolic step for the end of the conflict, a group of rebels have officially laid down their arms, according to UN monitors. The UN said the rebels can formally "begin their reintegration into civilian life." Deutsche Welle
From The Colombian Peace Process with FARC: Achievements, Failures and Challenges, a two-day conference hosted by Nancy Doubleday, McMaster’s HOPE Chair for Peace and Health, in cooperation with Bertrand Russell Research Centre. “Certainly, in Canada we have an experience that’s quite different from Colombia in many ways,” she says. “But nonetheless, we have a common concern and we can learn from each other. In Colombia, there is a process, there is social innovation which will bring economic, social, and peace dividends, and a societal will to move on and try to deal with the past. Their remedies are interesting and very relevant to addressing the needs in this country as well.” Daily News
Hip-hop and agriculture might seem like a strange mix. But rapper Luis Fernando Alvarez "El AKA" believes it's the perfect partnership to unite the community. "Hip-hop attracts young people, and agriculture the older ones." Deutsche Welle
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.
The truth as a right of the victims and as a decisive element for the reconciliation of society has been one of the most important factors in peace processes around the world, which have left great lessons for overcoming the violence.Tatiana Dangod, El Heraldo
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio threw his support behind Colombia’s peace process Tuesday, giving the Colombian government a major political boost as it seeks to persuade President Donald Trump to continue U.S. backing of the controversial plan. The Miami Herald
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
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.
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.
While touring the Amazon region of Colombia where one of the monitoring mechanism facilities was set up under a historic peace agreement, a delegation from the United Nations Security Council met today with members of La Reforma community, as well as Government representatives and FARC-EP members. After finishing the visit to Colombia, the Members of the Security Council will return to New York, where they will hold an informative session about their visit later in May. United Nations News Centre
When Santos arrives in Washington this month, Trump should make clear that neither the appropriation nor approval for the deal will be forthcoming.
The FARC agreement needs significant changes in order to preserve democracy in Colombia. The Colombian people desire peace, but its price should not be the handover of the government to the narco-terrorists or military — with a substantial assist in blood money from US taxpayers." Monica Crowley , New York Post
In its most recent report, the Center for Research and Popular Education (CINCEP) and the Program for Peace was titled: "Paramilitarism DOES exist (El paramilitarismo SI existe)." It's a clear response to denials by the Government and the Public Force [Army], which, in the face of allegations of murders, threats and attacks on political leaders and human rights defenders, have maintained that they are not systematic cases but isolated events, repeating that paramilitarism is extinct. According to the data gathered by investigators, during 2016 paramilitary groups threatened 395 people, carried out 83 extrajudical executions, wounded 44, disappeared 9 and tortured 12. El Espectador
In early April, the U.N. envoy for Colombia, Jean Arnault, told the council that consolidating peace will be a long-term process but in the short-term it’s key to lay the foundations by ensuring that the rebels lay down their arms and are reintegrated into society. He said the registration of arms that FARC combatants turned in at camps was almost completed and the next step was to collect weapons and unstable armaments in caches. Voice of America
At a FARC camp near the northern Colombian town of Conejo, the main attraction is an adorable month-old girl named Desiree, whose parents are FARC guerrillas. Rebels take turns cradling Desiree in their arms and cooing at her. "I've always liked kids," says her father, Alfredo Gutiérrez, a lanky rebel who has been at war for 21 of his 39 years. He thanks God that he and his wife can raise their daughter now in peace. NPR
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 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
“Every time a leader or a defender is killed in the country they are killing the hopes of the community for getting out of the problems. They are sending a message to those communities that peace isn’t possible,” he says, suggesting that only the institutional presence of the state can deal with the issue. “People think the presence of the state is the presence of the army and that’s not true. State presence is health, education, justice, food – not only battalions. Battalions or armed soldiers don’t deal with the problems of our society.” (Photograph: David McKechnie) Irish Times
Other than standing in full support for the Peace Process, the Colombia Peace Report is an independent aggregation news site published in New York City. We gather materials in several languages (our headlines and blurbs will be in English linking to the original language) covering the multiple facets of this seemingly impossible and highly complex process in a nation of 65 million people where generation after generation have resolved their personal, social and political differences through violence. And life has had no value. We invite you to send us information via email.