History in the making in Colombia: Agreement about justice and reparations for victims

The word “historic” is used quite a bit these days. And yet, the agreement reached between the Colombian government and the FARC is such an historic event, although we will have to wait most likely until 23 March 2016, until a final peace agreement is going to be signed. What happened? The government and the leftist guerrilla group reached an agreement inside the fourth point on the negotiation agenda, the victims chapter and decided to sign a final peace agreement in the next six months. Continue reading “History in the making in Colombia: Agreement about justice and reparations for victims”

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Clarifying the past: Colombia’s big step forward at peace negotiations

Colombia will create a truth commission. The Colombian government and the left-wing guerrilla FARC decided on 4 June 2015 to set up a body that should clarify major human rights violations committed by all sides. It should reveal past atrocities, recognize the victims and make sure that these kinds of crimes will not be repeated in the future. While a big step forward, many challenges remain ahead. Continue reading “Clarifying the past: Colombia’s big step forward at peace negotiations”

Decision between war and peace in Colombia

The first round in the Colombian presidential elections brought the two favorites into a run-off that will take place on 15 June 2014. However, it was quite surprising that it was Iván Óscar Zuluaga who gained almost 30% while incumbent Juan Manuel Santos only obtained 25% of the votes. Considering the fact that just half a year ago Zuluaga was basically unknown among Colombians and Santos was able to use all the state machinery in his favor, this first round certainly was a surprise. Now, the run-off will decide between war and peace in Colombia. Continue reading “Decision between war and peace in Colombia”

Colombia’s left not wanted in politics

The former mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petro. He was kicked out of office on 20 March 2014. (c) Wikipedia

It was like a telenovela, a Colombian soap opera. The fight between the mayor of Bogotá and the country’s powerful inspector general has dominated the headlines in Colombia since early December 2013. It was, as the New York Times put it, “an absurdist drama in which two actors alternately fascinate and irritate their audience with squabbling, philosophizing and the occasional kick in the pants.” On 20 March 2014, however, the leftist mayor was removed from office by Colombia’s president and is barred from public office for 15 years. This decision has not only an impact on local politics in Colombia’s capital but also on the peace process on Cuba between the Colombian government and the FARC. Continue reading “Colombia’s left not wanted in politics”

Colombia on the crossroads after parliamentary elections

Voto en blanco (c) commons.wikipedia.org
The actual "winner" of the elections are the 63% who did not vote for a party. (c) commons.wikipedia.org
The actual “winner” of the elections are the 72% who did not vote for a party. (c) commons.wikipedia.org

It was an exciting race in front of the screen. On Sunday, 32.8 million Colombians had to the chance to head to the polls to elect the lower and upper house of parliament. Colombian commentators declared ex-president Álvaro Uribe as the winner of the elections with his newly created party Centro Democrático gained 14.3% although his success might have been too little to stop the peace process with the FARC.
Continue reading “Colombia on the crossroads after parliamentary elections”