Last year as Brazil geared up to hold the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a huge corruption scandal hit the country: “Operação Lava Jato”, or “Operation Car Wash”. After much turmoil and international attention, many thought the scandal would subside with the new year. However, this has not been the case. And the scandal is still making headlines over a year since it first began, having become clear that it involves more than just Brazil.
Juan Manuel Santos
A great deal of media coverage has been devoted to the persistent instability in Colombia and ongoing negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government. However, little attention is paid to the effects that this conflict has had on Colombia’s southern neighbor, Ecuador, and the tenuous relations between the two nations.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently concluded the annual Article IV Consultation with Colombian policymakers, which took place from March 3rd-13th.2The IMF mission was headed by Valerie Cerra, who concluded that Colombia had a strong macroeconomic policy framework and was able to weather the global financial crisis through an inflation-targeting regime, maintaining
On December 9th, 2013, then mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petro was dismissed from his post and subsequently banned from holding public office for 15 years.1 Petro was a former M19 guerrilla and longtime opposition leader who was known for being the highest ranking former guerilla in Colombia. The man who made the decision to fire Petro due to ‘gross mismanagement’ was Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez, who has a reputation for doing away with leftist politicians.
Colombians’ decision to reject the deal that would bring peace to their country after 52 years of armed conflict shocked the Colombian government, the FARC rebel group, and the world on October 2. In late September, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos signed the accord with rebel leader Timoleón “Timochenko” Jímenez and then put the deal to a popular vote, expecting an easy win over his opponents who were calling for Colombia to say “no” to the deal.
On Sunday, incumbent Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos won re-election. Santos defeated his run-off opponent, fellow conservative Oscar Ivan Zuluaga 51% to 45%.1 His victory was a comeback in nature, after emerging from the first round 500,000 votes behind Zuluaga. Yet on June 15th, Santos won by almost one million votes.2
On June 15, 2014, elections were held for the second time in Colombia in two months to determine who would serve as president for the next four years. Colombian elections, like presidential elections in many Latin American countries, take place in two rounds, if no winner can secure over 50% of the votes in the first round. In 2014, the current president, Juan Manuel Santos, of the center-right Party of the U, faced off against four challengers: Óscar Iván Zuluaga, of the Democratic Center; Clara López Obregón, of the Polo Democrático Alternativo; Marta Lucía Ram
The peace negotiations currently underway in Colombia between the Juan Manuel Santos government and the guerilla group known as theFARC are setting the conditions for the eventual electoral participation of FARC excombatants,including the opportunity for them to run for office. This Insights reportexamines the attitudes of Colombians towards the FARC’s formal participation in thecountry’s political system.
After nearly two years of peace negotiations between FARC and the Colombian government, the FARC have done something they have never done before. In all the 50 years that FARC has been terrorizing Colombia, they have never once sequestered a government or military official, but on November 16th, 2014, a leading general in the Colombian military was captured while traversing a remote river in an indigenous region of the Colombian rainforest.
Rodrigo Vasquez–a self-described producer, film director, creative director, designer, cameraman and journalist from Buenos Aires, Argentina–has traveled to dozens of countries around the world where he has reported on issues of social, political and economic injustice. For an installment in Al Jazeera’s news program People & Power, Vasquez took his camera into the jungles of Colombia to investigate the state of the hemisphere’s longest lasting guerrilla war.