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Colombia News Brief for August 8 to August 16, 2017

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Welcome to LAWG’s Colombia News Brief, a compilation of the last week’s top articles and reports on issues of peace, justice, human rights, and more in Colombia. Throughout the summer months, dependent on the capacity of LAWG, the Colombia News Brief will be sent out either weekly or bi-weekly.

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The United Nations team in Colombia loads a helicopter with weapons collected from a FARC demobilization zone. Source: UN Mission in Colombia

Peace Accord Implementation

Statement By Jean Arnault, Special Representative Of The Secretary-General (Srsg) And Head Of The UN Mission In Colombia
UN Mission in Colombia, August 15, 2017

“Extraction operations are currently underway in four areas: La Reforma, Yari, La Guajira and La Variante. The material transported in the containers consists of 8,112 guns and almost 1’300,0000 incinerated cartridges…Regarding the arms caches operations, to date there is information about 873 of which 510 arms caches have been successfully executed.”

UN removes last container holding Colombia rebel weapons
Christine Armario, Associated Press, August 15, 2017

“U.N. observers on Tuesday removed the last of more than 8,000 guns once carried by the guerrillas of Colombia’s largest rebel army and collected at 26 demobilization sites around the South American nation under a historic peace deal.”

Colombia officially declares peace with FARC after handover of weapons
Deutsche Welle (DW), August 15, 2017

“Colombia has declared its conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) officially over. The rebel group handed over the last of its weapons to be melted down under UN oversight.”

Colombia’s FARC Finalize Disarmament Today. What’s Next?
Mimi Yagoub, InSight Crime, August 15, 2017

“August 15 is the final day of the historic disarmament of Colombia’s FARC rebels, paving the way for the next crucial part of the peace process: successfully reintegrating them into society. But the former combatants are vulnerable and tensions are high. Will the government be able to prevent the deterioration of Colombia’s security situation and ensure that demobilized fighters do not return to crime?”

Lo que viene tras el fin de las zonas veredales
Gloria Castrillón, El Espectador, 15 de agosto de 2017

“A partir de hoy funcionan las carpas azules, lugares donde la Fuerza Pública se reunirá con las comunidades y excombatientes para tomar medidas que garanticen la seguridad de unos y otros.”

Hoy más de la mitad de los colombianos cree que sí es posible hacer la paz
Staff, ¡Pacifista!, 2 de agosto de 2017

“La encuesta revela que el 52.8 % de los encuestados es optimista frente a la posibilidad de que Colombia pueda construir un escenario de paz. El 45.9 % es pesimista.”

La doble cara de las zonas de las Farc
La Silla Vacía, 15 de agosto de 2017

“Ahora que las zonas transitorias se convierten en Espacios de Reincorporación y Capacitación se verán también las dos caras del posconflicto: la oportunidad de reincorporar a los guerrilleros a la vida civil a partir de una reincorporación más profunda del campo a los beneficios del siglo XX (por lo menos); y el riesgo de que las Farc, el Gobierno y la sociedad no estemos a la altura de este reto.”

Iván Márquez reveló cuál sería el nombre del partido de las Farc
Olga Patricia Rendón Marulanda, El Colombiano, 15 de agosto de 2017

“‘Iván Marquez’ dijo que el partido político que conformarán las Farc ‘seguramente se llamaría’ Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria de Colombia.”

Ginny de la Paz
Aldo Civico, El Espectador, 1 de agosto de 2017

“Durante más de una década, desde el Instituto para la Paz de Estados Unidos (USIP), Ginny se dedicó con gran competencia y pasión a la construcción de paz en el país, y trabajó incansablemente para que las voces de la sociedad civil, y sobre todo de las víctimas, fueran reconocidas en el acuerdo de paz final entre el Gobierno y las Farc.”

How Violence Is Changing in Post-FARC Colombia
Robert Muggah And Katherine Aguirre, Americas Quarterly, August 14, 2017

“Homicide rates have fallen in the 12 months since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) agreed to a permanent ceasefire, but other forms of victimization have started to rise. More than 50 social leaders have been assassinated since the beginning of the year.”

Arsenal Belonging to FARC Renegades Found in Southern Colombia
Latin America Herald Tribune, August 10, 2017

“Authorities discovered an arms cache belonging to members of the FARC rebel group who reject the peace accord the group signed with the government, Colombia’s defense minister said on Monday.”

Drug Policy

Coca and the Colombian Peace Accords: A Commentary on the Pilot Substitution Project in Briceño
Martin Jelsma and Coletta A. Youngers, Washington Office on Latin America, August 10, 2017

“Local residents are deeply concerned that they will eliminate their primary source of cash income and the government will fail to deliver on what it has promised. ‘We’ve had many international visitors come through our little towns,’ said one woman. ‘But we know that they will leave and the government will leave, and in the end, we will just have to fend for ourselves.’”

Colombia: Searching for an alternative to coca
Camilo Mejia & Steven Cohen, BBC, August 14, 2017

“‘Everyone from here who has gone to university has done so because of money from growing coca,’ explains Jon, who has been harvesting the leaf since childhood and is now studying forensic science at a technical institute in Mocoa, Putumayo’s capital.”

Los cocaleros le apuestan al 2018
Juanita Vélez, La Silla Vacía, 8 de agosto de 2017

“El movimiento cocalero, que ha sido tradicionalmente la base social de las Farc y podría ser uno de los fortines de su futuro partido, quiere poner candidatos a competir para llegar al Congreso en el 2018.”

Remarks by Vice President Pence and President Santos of Colombia in Joint Press Conference
The White House, August 13, 2017

“We did talk extensively about aerial spraying and the need for enforcement of the peace agreement and arrangements that are made transitioning citizens of Colombia away from illicit crops.  And the United States will look to Colombia to follow through strongly on that, and we’ll be supportive of those efforts.”

Así fue la reunión entre Santos y Pence
El Colombiano, 14 de agosto de 2017

“No se puede olvidar que Colombia se ha convertido en un socio estratégico de Estados Unidos en la lucha contra los delitos transnacionales y el crimen organizado.”

Human Rights

Violan y asesinan a una líder social en Cauca
Mario Zamudio Palma, ¡Pacifista!, 9 de agosto de 2017

“‘La mujer fue torturada, violada y asesinada,’ dijo este miércoles Rocío Cuenca, secretaria de la Mujer del Cauca. Se refiere al caso de Idalia Castillo Narváez, una líder social de 37 años que murió en la vereda Bella Vista del municipio de Rosas, en ese departamento. Castillo hacía parte de la mesa directiva de víctimas y era la vicepresidente de la Junta de Acción Comunal de su municipio.”

Comadreando se resiste a la violencia en Buenaventura
Verdad Abierta, 13 de agosto de 2017

“Paso a paso y sin hacer mucha bulla, las mujeres del Puerto han creado una red de confianza para desenterrar las violencias que pasan inadvertidas a los ojos de las autoridades.”

Hungry Venezuelans turn to Colombia for a plate of food
Luz Dary Depablos, Associated Press, August 14, 2017

“Under a scorching sun just a short walk from Colombia’s border with Venezuela, hundreds of hungry men, women and children line up for bowls of chicken and rice — the first full meal some have eaten in days.”

*The Colombia News Brief is a selection of relevant news articles, all of which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Latin America Working Group.