En estas líneas me detengo en la pregunta que mañana la ciudadanía de Colombia deberá responder en las urnas. Esta pregunta constituye un eslabón fundamental de todo un ciclo político cuya potencialidad es inconmensurable para el país (y, consecuentemente, para toda América Latina). Mi afán aquí no es ni criticar al gobierno, ni debilitar el proceso plebiscitario, sino que, muy por el contrario, mi punto es simplemente contextualizar y señalar algunos errores de procedimiento que se podrían haber evitado.
The porous 2,219 km land border between Colombia and Venezuela was closed in August of 2015, by order of the Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, as part of a campaign against smuggling and alleged paramilitaries operating in the area. Since then, hundreds of Colombian citizens living on the Venezuelan side of the border have been expelled and several thousand returned on their own with fear of deportation.
Latin America and the Caribbean are the world’s most urbanized regions with an enormous 80 percent of the population living in urban cities.1 The rapid rate of this urbanization is resulting in cities being pushed to their functioning capacity. The need to efficiently and cost-effectively move people has resulted in many cities building Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. This worldwide transportation trend uses benefits from traditional buses and rail lines to integrate a successful public transportation system.
During the past decade, drug consumption surveys and expert analyses have warned about growing drug use in Latin America. According to the 2013 World Drug Report, cocaine use in Latin America increased significantly during the first decade of the 2000s while the U.S. cocaine market, although still the largest in the world, has been declining. Similar upward trends exist in marijuana, synthetic, and prescription drug use. These trends are seen as unprecedented as they affect primary drug producers, such as Colombia and Mexico, and are seen as generating significant violence.
On Wednesday September 23rd in Havana, Cuba, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Timoleón Jiménez, also known as “Timochenko,” made historic progress in peace negotiations, coming a step closer to ending the decades long conflict.
Military dictatorships in most Latin American countries during the 1970s suppressed the population, but out of it grew a movement that remains strong. People who were typically voiceless, began to use walls as a microphone for their political and social expressions. While street art is not always politically linked, the movement grew from the need to not be silenced anymore.
With the late-summer release of Netflix’s new hit series, “Narcos,” which documents the rise of Pablo Escobar and his position as one of the most powerful men in Colombia, as well as one of the richest men in the world, the former drug lord has reemerged as a hot topic in American popular culture nearly 22 years after his death. This is not the first time, though, that Escobar’s life has been dramatized for either film or television.
The recent impeachment scandal occurring in Brazil stemming from President Dilma’s alleged involvement in the Lava-Jato scandal has resurrected stories from past impeachment scandals around Latin America.
A crime normally associated with countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, acid attacks have been on the rise in Colombia. In 2014, more than 100 cases were reported, with nearly 1,000 reported in the past decade. According to executive director of the Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), a nonprofit group in London, per capita Colombia has one of the highest rates of acid attacks in the world.
It is no secret that the armed conflict in Colombia with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians during its more-than-50 year lifespan. The numbers are staggering, as more than 220,000 people have been killed, 80 percent of whom were civilians, 150,000 people have been displaced each year since 1985, and more than 63,000 people have been officially reported as missing.