Colombia

  • Marczak in the National Review: Now Is the Time for Us to Secure the Peace in Colombia


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  • Schechter in RealClearWorld: Let's Celebrate Our Foreign Policy Success in Colombia


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  • Schechter Quoted in Portafolio on President Santos’ visit to Washington


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  • Marczak Quoted in Deutsche Welle on Columbia’s Peace and Venezuela’s Crisis


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  • A Roadmap for US Engagement with Colombia

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    The Atlantic Council’s Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force, co-chaired by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), has been working for the past year to put forward recommendations for continued US engagement in Colombia. Today, Colombia is a strategic US partner. Its achievements and experience fighting international networks of organized crime have transformed the country into an exporter of security expertise and training. It is the view of this high-level Task Force that Colombia continues to symbolize a bipartisan US foreign policy success story. Read our report to find out the task force's full recommendations.

     

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  • Colombia Peace and Prosperity Report Launch: A Dinner with President Juan Manuel Santos

    After almost twelve months of consultations and deliberations, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center launched on May 17 the Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force report: A Roadmap for US Engagement with Colombia. It was the culmination of the work of a notable group co-chaired by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ben Cardin(D-MD), who strived to provide a roadmap for US engagement with Colombia going forward. The goal was to keep the focus on the US-Colombia partnership as the country implements peace and agenda items compete for priority in the new US administration.

    With Plan Colombia, a bipartisan strategic framework sustained over almost two decades, Colombia and the United States consolidated a mutually beneficial relationship. Today, the United States is presented with the opportunity to maintain a major stake in the next phase of Colombia’s transformation. Solidifying a strategic bipartisan partnership with Colombia offers the United States enviable opportunities to reap the national security benefits of its $10 billion Plan Colombia investment.

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  • The End of Corruption Culture in Latin America?

    Accountability in the region creates space for safer investments

    Odebrecht was once synonymous with Latin America’s most ambitious public works projects. Today, those who hear the name think only of the web of malfeasance that has engulfed the region and continues to extend beyond the continent. But, as negative as these new revelations may seem, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and opportunities along the way. The pragmatic efforts of police and judicial actors show that some countries in the region are ready to face impunity head on. If Latin America can continue down the road to accountability, US investors could be the first to benefit.

    What started as a money laundering investigation in Brazil in 2014, the case of Odebrecht, Brazil’s largest construction company, has today developed into the deepest corruption scandal Latin America has seen, with top leaders implicated. Just this week, major newspapers reported the Brazilian Supreme Court has authorized investigations into more than one hundred Brazilian politicians. In December, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in a US court to paying nearly $800 million in bribes to win business in more than ten countries, dating back to the early 2000s. The company was subsequently slapped with a record fine of $3.5 billion by the Brazilian, US, and Swiss judiciaries in December. It seems the times are changing.

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  • Pushing for Peace in Colombia

    US Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, cites need to move quickly on achieving an accord acceptable to all sides

    Two ground realities in Colombia—former guerrillas gathered in remote rural cantonments with scarce infrastructure and nationwide elections in the spring of 2018—make it imperative that a peace agreement that is acceptable to all sides is quickly found, according to Kevin Whitaker, the United States’ ambassador to Colombia.

    On October 2, Colombians narrowly rejected the peace accord reached by their president, Juan Manuel Santos, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) following six years of negotiations.

    Polls preceding the plebiscite consistently and confidently predicted a triumph for the “yes” camp in support of the accord. In anticipation of such an outcome, FARC guerillas started to gather in cantonments—isolated rural communities with little infrastructure—as agreed to in the accord. There they would lay down their weapons and prepare for lives as civilians. Now, much like the peace deal, the lives of these people are in limbo.

    “Over time, it is difficult to maintain people in these rural settings without a lot of support structure around them,” Whitaker said in an interview. “The time pressure is there for everyone.”

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  • Marczak Quoted by Foreign Policy on A Nobel Peace Prize for Colombia


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  • Saldarriaga Jiménez in The Cipher: There Will Never Be a Perfect Peace in Colombia


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