After half a century, Colombia may put an end to its conflict—if the U.S. will allow it.
The presence of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is evident in Venezuela’s Amazon region, where the guerrillas can be seen on speed boats, in camps, or interacting with local indigenous communities.
Colombia’s FARC guerrillas announced Friday a “pause” in the peace talks in Havana, which formally opened a year ago. But analysts say it is only a temporary glitch.
Almost a quarter of a million Colombians have been killed in the country's internal conflict since 1958, most of them civilians, a government-funded report has said.
The Colombian army killed Marta Díaz’s son Douglas in 2006, dressed him in combat fatigues and reported him as a FARC guerrilla killed in a shootout. Díaz searched for him everywhere, in prisons, hospitals and morgues, until she finally managed to track down his remains in 2008.
The United States and Colombia are the leaders in mental anxiety in the Americas.
Both have good reasons: Colombia has witnessed the longest lasting violence in any contemporary country: from 1949, with some interruptions, then on again from 1964 with the notorious guerilla group, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
Drugs and arms traffickers are muscling in on Colombia's Pacific coastal region, forcibly displacing local people, according to a new report by the Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES).
Colombian government and guerrilla delegates have announced an agreement on the question of land reform – an important step in the peace talks that began six months ago in Havana.
"I was displaced here by mining a month ago. Illegal miners forced me out of my municipality. No, don't write down where I'm from, let alone my name," said a 40-year-old black man frightened for his safety. IPS agreed to say only that he is from Colombia’s southern Pacific coast region.
The crisis in Venezuela caused by the violent opposition of followers of Henrique Capriles, who is accusing President Nicolás Maduro of election fraud, and peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas in Havana, are occupying the attention of national and foreign media.
Colombia has suffered an internal armed conflict for so many decades that it almost amounts to a "forgotten crisis" for external donors. But the president of neighbouring Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is well aware of the conflict, and understands that it destabilises Latin America, where centre-left governments proliferate.
Having survived the announced end of the world on Dec. 21, we can now try to foretell our immediate future, based on geopolitical principles that will help us understand the overall shifts of global powers and assess the major risks and dangers.
People in the streets and squares of the Colombian capital are breathing easier. The air is fresh with hope, in contrast to the former leaden and fearful atmosphere of eternal violence and interminable conflict.
Scepticism, fear of expressing an opinion and a dash of hope make up the cocktail of responses from Colombians asked about the possibility of the decades-old civil war finally coming to an end as a result of the peace talks between the government and the FARC guerrillas, which began Monday in Havana.
Closed-door talks between members of the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government began in Oslo Wednesday, after the delegates were taken from the airport to an undisclosed location.