Colombia after the FARC deal
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âPeace is trapped in the networks of betrayalâColombia after the FARC deal
Colombia elected rightwing IvÃ¡n 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 LoÃ¯c Ramirez Colombia after the FARC dealâ'
When Colombians voted for a new president on 17 June, I watched people stream into a polling s tation in CÃºcutaâs San MartÃn district in the northeastern department of Norte de Santander. The ultra-conservative Democratic Centre candidate IvÃ¡n Duque was in the runoff against former BogotÃ¡ 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 Ãlvaro Uribe VÃ©lez. 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 MedellÃn drug cartel.
âSee their polo shirts?â asked MartÃn Rogelio RamÃrez, Colombian Communist Party secretary in the city of CÃºcuta. âThat orange colour is a code. Duque supporters wear orange. It makes them identifiable.â He n odded towards a house covered in Duque posters. Men in orange caps were watching people around the door. RamÃrez claimed: âInside, Duqueâs people are handing out money to anyone with a smartphone photo to prove they voted for him.â 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. RamÃrez said: âThe right holds this city.â
âMake sure our comrades can voteâ
The army had deployed troops and armoured vehicles at the entrance to villages. Dozens of Colombians were bussed across the river TÃ¡chira from UreÃ±a 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 passengersâ voting intentions plain.
Petro supporters had (...)Full article: 2 909 word s.
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LoÃ¯c RamirezLoÃ¯c Ramirez is a journalist. /B_note> Translated by George Miller
(1) Sibylla Brodzinsky, âEx-Colombian presidentâs family face US extradition over drugs chargesâ, The Guardian, London, 11 June 2012.
(2) MarÃa Isabel Rueda, ââJusticia para policÃas y soldadosâ, pide Paloma Valenciaâ, El Tiempo, BogotÃ¡, 3 July 2018.
(3) âBuena parte de la estabilidad polÃtica se debe a las FARCâ, El Espectador, BogotÃ¡, 26 November 2008.
(4) Report no 2 of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, BogotÃ¡, July 2017.Â© Le Monde diplomatique - 2018 Source: Google News Colombia | Netizen 24 Colombia