It was like a huge party in Colombia. “Congratulations!” people said to each other, before hugging. “Only 20 minutes to go!” one office worker said, hurrying on her way to Bolívar square, in the heart of Bogotá. And everyone knew what she was talking about, and hurried along too. Complete strangers exchanged winks of complicity.
The novel inclusion of a gender perspective in the peace talks that led to a historic ceasefire between the Colombian government and left-wing guerrillas is a landmark and an inspiration for efforts to solve other armed conflicts in the world, according to the director of U.N.-Women in Colombia, Belén Sanz.
“If you’re going to talk about Colombia and the peace process, do it somewhere else,” was heard at a regional preparatory meeting for the World Humanitarian Summit, according to Ramón Rodríguez, with the Colombian government’s Unit for Attention and Integral Reparation for Victims (UARIV).
While Colombia’s peace talks continue in Havana, Cuba, back home in the region of North Cauca, Black Colombians have found their cries for access to their ancestral lands met with tear-gas and rubber bullets.
“It was not possible” to reach a final agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Colombian government’s lead negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, announced in Havana on Wednesday Mar. 23 – the deadline set for a peace deal.
There is a growing sensation in Colombia that the peace talks with the FARC guerrillas are “about to come to an end” – in success or failure, according to the government’s chief negotiator, Humberto de la Calle.
Three major advances were made over the last week in the peace talks that have been moving forward in Cuba for nearly two years between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas, while the decades-old civil war rages on.
Despite looming differences over Colombia's drug policy, President Barack Obama renewed his support for a peaceful settlement to the civil war that has plagued the country for over half a century in a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Tuesday.
“All of the countries of the Amazon basin say they want to protect the environment, but they all have agreements with transnational corporations for the construction of roads or for mining and exploitation of forests,” Curripaco indigenous leader Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, from the south of Venezuela, told Tierramérica.*