Colombia after the FARC deal

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Colombia after the FARC deal

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← Previous article : « Some Israelis will be more equal than (...) » â†' Next article : « Lebanon fouls the Mediterranean » > > September 2018

‘Peace is trapped in the networks of betrayal’

Colombia after the FARC deal

Colombia elected rightwing Iván Duque as president in July, a win for opponents of the peace agreement with the FARC. Does this mean a return to armed conflict is ever more likely?

by Loïc Ramirez Le Monde diplomatique Colombia after the FARC dealâ†'
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Child’s play: during the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Colombia and Senegal in Icononzo Juancho Torres · Anadolu · Getty

When Colombians voted for a new president on 17 June, I watched people stream into a polling s tation in Cúcuta’s San Martín district in the northeastern department of Norte de Santander. The ultra-conservative Democratic Centre candidate Iván Duque was in the runoff against former Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro; the left saw Petro reaching the runoff as an achievement, since progressive candidates here have long been eliminated in the first round, and sometimes assassinated.

Duque, a young senator little known just a few months ago, benefited from the backing of his mentor, former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez. During his two mandates (2002-10), Uribe applied aggressive policies against guerrillas and all other opposition. He was a faithful ally of the US, though a 1991 US intelligence report claimed he had links to the Medellín drug cartel.

‘See their polo shirts?’ asked Martín Rogelio Ramírez, Colombian Communist Party secretary in the city of Cúcuta. ‘That orange colour is a code. Duque supporters wear orange. It makes them identifiable.’ He n odded towards a house covered in Duque posters. Men in orange caps were watching people around the door. Ramírez claimed: ‘Inside, Duque’s people are handing out money to anyone with a smartphone photo to prove they voted for him.’ This was impossible to verify, but the show of support for Duque was striking; his image was on stickers, posters, car windscreens, shops and t-shirts, in breach of the ban on election propaganda near polling stations. There were no images of Petro. Ramírez said: ‘The right holds this city.’

‘Make sure our comrades can vote’

The army had deployed troops and armoured vehicles at the entrance to villages. Dozens of Colombians were bussed across the river Táchira from Ureña a few kilometres inside Venezuela. Many people on both sides of the border have dual nationality. The Duque poster in the window of one bus made the passengers’ voting intentions plain.

Petro supporters had (...)

Full article: 2 909 word s.

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Loïc Ramirez

Loïc Ramirez is a journalist. /B_note> Translated by George Miller

(1) Sibylla Brodzinsky, ‘Ex-Colombian president’s family face US extradition over drugs charges’, The Guardian, London, 11 June 2012.

(2) María Isabel Rueda, ‘“Justicia para policías y soldados”, pide Paloma Valencia’, El Tiempo, Bogotá, 3 July 2018.

(3) ‘Buena parte de la estabilidad política se debe a las FARC’, El Espectador, Bogotá, 26 November 2008.

(4) Report no 2 of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, Bogotá, July 2017.

© Le Monde diplomatique - 2018 Source: Google News Colombia | Netizen 24 Colombia

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