Colombia cattle ranchers fear ‘communist’ redistribution of lands after FARC deal

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Colombia’s federation of cattle ranchers, representing the country’s large land owners, on Friday rejected a recently made agrarian deal with the FARC that according to the agricultural businessmen includes Venezuela-like expropriations of private property.

Jose Felix Lafaurie, president of FEDEGAN, said the joint report from the negotiating table in Havana “generates more questions than answers,” and opens the door to legally acquired land being expropriated.

His letter to chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle Lombana also warns that FARC and other illegal armed groups are concentrating land ownership, saying that ranchers will not accept losses of land while illegal groups benefit.

Lafaurie is a loyal ally of former president Uribe and strong critic of Santos. Mired in corruption scandals several times, he has managed to continue his political career while also running significant business interests of his own.

While Lafaurie accepted that illegally taken land should be returned, his letter expressed concern that the ability to expropriate legally owned, but unused lands to give it to small farmers would “open a Pandora’s Box” in which legal land owners would become targets of a process in which the government agencies would have too much discretionary power.

However, FEDEGAN cattle ranchers have been accused of being some of the chief propagators of paramilitary violence in Colombia, and Lafaurie himself has admitted to FEDEGAN paying AUC paramilitaries, the main perpetrators of massive land theft.
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Who are Colombia’s ‘enemies of peace’?

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Since the Colombian government initiated peace talks with the FARC, the phrase “enemies of the peace” has become a regular occurrence. However six months down the line, the question…

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“Uribe tiene que entrar al proceso de paz”, dice Álvaro Leyva

El ex Constituyente Álvaro Leyva Durán ha sido protagonista de todos los procesos de paz que se han intentado con la guerrilla de las Farc y el ELN, desde hace 30 años. Conoció e interactuó con los comandantes de las Farc Jacobo Arenas, Manuel Marulanda Vélez y Alfonso Cano. Igualmente lo hizo con el cura Pérez, jefe máximo del ELN. Leyva tomó parte en los diálogos de Casa Verde en el gobierno de Belisario Betancur; en los de Tlaxcala, en el gobierno de César Gaviria, y en los del Caguán –a la distancia–, con el gobierno de Andrés Pastrana.

Leyva formó parte junto al presidente Juan Manuel Santos de la llamada “conspiración” contra el ex Presidente Samper, con la que buscaron un proceso de paz integral con las Farc y las Autodefensas de Carlos Castaño, a condición de la renuncia de Ernesto Samper, cuestionado por cuenta del Proceso 8.000. Pero también ha participado de iniciativas de búsqueda de la salida al conflicto, incluido el Proceso de paz del Caguán durante el gobierno Pastrana. Sin embargo, el presidente Santos no convocó a Álvaro Leyva a participar en las negociaciones de paz que comenzarán el próximo 17 de octubre en Oslo (Noruega) y tendrán como escenario La Habana (Cuba).
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The isolation of Álvaro Uribe?

¿Pero como así, mijo?

These are worrying times for Colombia´s ex-president Álvaro Uribe, as the political tide turns against him, the media deserts him, and the governing class close ranks behind President Santos.

Is Uribe in danger of losing his political voice?

Uribe is a politician used to the limelight, and unconditional support and loyalty. In 2010 he left power as Colombia`s most popular ever president. And despite the attacks on his government throughout the last two years, he has maintained a strong following not only among those who instinctively share his politics, but among the millions – particularly in rural areas – whose feel their lives improved significantly during the Uribe government as the FARC was pushed back.
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Peace talks in Colombia – Nine reasons to be optimistic

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday confirmed preliminary talks are underway with the FARC to secure peace in Colombia. Official negotiations are scheduled for October.

Details are yet to be confirmed by the presidential palace and so we must wait for news on the location (expected to be both Cuba and Oslo), who will be present (the Chilean and Venezuelan governments appear set to act as guarantors), and the agenda (to include drug trafficking, land reform, and political representation).

While international and Colombian media alike have welcomed the news, at home in Colombia, there is some understandable scepticism. And in certain sectors there is even hostility to the idea of sitting down with criminals and murderers.

The talks represent the clearest opportunity in the history of the 50 year war to find a exit to this meaningless struggle in which the lives of thousands of Colombians have been sacrificed to a unrealistic and immoral communist revolutionary dream.

The time has come for optimism and this website has ninereasons to dream of peace.
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Dare we dream of peace in Colombia?

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed Monday evening that his government has entered into exploratory talks with the FARC to negotiate an end to 50 years of conflict.

Earlier in the day Venezuelan television channel Telesur reported that that both sides had signed an agreement to advance official peace negotiations scheduled for 5 October, in Oslo; details Santos refused to confirm.

The president has received support from across the political spectrum and in the country’s media. Ex-president Alvaro Uribe, however has denounced his successor as a traitor and an appeaser.

After ex-President Pastrana’s failed attempt to secure peace over a decade ago, and following a recent upsurge in FARC activity, there are also parts of Colombian society sceptical of Santos’ ability to end the continent’s longest-running civil war.

Dare we dream of a Colombia in peace?

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Colombia’s Santos sacks his Cabinet to save his government

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Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos demanded the mass resignation of his cabinet Wednesday in an attempt to re-launch his flailing government, and kick-start the 2014 re-election campaign.
After a catastrophic few months for the president in which popular support for his administration has plummeted, and during which the FARC guerrillas reappeared as major players on political stage, Santos has decided that the fight back must begin.
The nation awaits news of the changes that Santos will make to his ministerial team, but the talk is that they will be wide-ranging and dramatic.

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General Santoyo and the evil of Pablo Escobar

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When General Mauricio Santoyo stood up in a Virginia court room to plead guilty to charges of working with Colombia’s narco-terrorist paramilitaries on Monday, he showed the world that Pablo Escobar’s legacy lives on.

Santoyo’s guilt links him to the Office of Envigado, the criminal organisation of hired guns Escobar established in the 1980s. Although ‘El Patron del Mal’ may have died before his wealth was able to buy him the power he sought, his Medellin Cartel has since transformed into a successful and ruthless political machine.

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Uribe’s opposition a gain for Colombia’s democracy by Colombia Reports

Editorial by Colombia Reports

The rift between Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos and his predecessor Alvaro Uribe is a welcoming step in Colombia’s development as a democracy.

Colombia may almost always have officially been a democracy, but the quality of the country’s democracy has traditionally been very low when measuring along the lines of participation, representation, accountability, transparency and solidarity.

Add the fact that power struggles in Colombia have long gone hand in hand with violence, either through competition between political elites, the repression of opposition, or by violently trying to overthrow the establishment.

Colombia’s transition from an almost feudal system ruled by elites represented by two political parties to an actually functional democratic state is a work in progress and is long from being finished.

In order to reach a quality democracy, Colombia first had to break from a traditional two-party hegemony.

Before the 1991 constitution, Colombia was run, through pseudo-elections, by the Conservative and Liberal Party. Even though this hegemony was officially ended by the latest constitution and a number of armed opposition forces were included to the democratic process, it wasn’t until 2001, when Uribe came into the picture, that Colombia started breaking from its past.

First, Uribe broke from his Liberal Party to successfully run as an independent candidate, drawing support from several sectors in society and becoming Colombia’s first independent president.

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FARC leader returns from the dead to offer Colombians peace

Leading FARC terrorist Fabián Ramírez, thought to have been killed in an air raid in 2010, reappeared in public yesterday through a video broadcast by Caracol Television in which he appeared to offer Juan Manuel Santos’ government a way out of Colombia’s civil war.

During an interview with British journalist Karl Penhaul, Ramírez, the second in command of the Marxist guerrilla group’s ‘Southern Bloc’, is seen arguing for an ‘agreement (between the government and the FARC) to end the war’. Peace, he says, should be sought through dialogue and negotiation. Is he fooling anyone?

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President Santos’ fightback?

It never rains but it pours

It is hard for a politician to admit failure or error. But President Juan Manuel Santos started this week by doing just that. ‘We got it wrong’, said Santos told the nation, and ‘there will be corrections’.

Next month Santos celebrates two years in power. For the first year the president enjoyed record levels of public support, often in the 80%s. This honeymoon is now well and truly over, and following a series of difficult political decisions and on the back of a growing opposition from ex-President Alvaro Uribe, Santos has slowly been slipping in the polls. By last weekend, however, support for Santos had, for the first time, fallen below 50%. Santos is 15 points below Uribe’s worst ever poll rating.

How will Santos fightback?

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Ni Uribe ni Chávez asistirán a cita en Manaos

Se frustra idea de Lula de propiciar acercamiento

Los presidentes de Brasil y Venezuela, Luiz Inácio Lula y Hugo Chávez, se encontrarán hoy en la ciudad fronteriza de Manaos.

Mientras el mandatario de Colombia manifiestó que no asistirá por problemas de salud, el de Venezuela dijo no tener tiempo para cumplir la invitación hecha por el presidente de Brasil.
“No me da tiempo (…) mañana llega el presidente palestino”
Mahmud Abás, dijo el gobernante venezolano en declaraciones a los periodistas tras despedir a su homólogo de Irán, Mahmud Ahmadineyad, en el Palacio de Miraflores.
Chávez agregó que le había pedido al canciller, Nicolás Maduro, representarle en la reunión en la ciudad brasileña destinada a debatir una posición conjunta de cara a la Cumbre del Cambio Climático de la ONU que se llevará a cabo en diciembre en Copenhague.

Por su parte, Uribe informó en una carta enviada el martes y que ayer fue revelada, que “infortunadamente, un quebranto de salud me ha impedido atender su generosa convocatoria, como hubiera sido mi deseo”.

Uribe se está sometiendo a sesiones de fisioterapia para tratar una lesión en sus gemelos, ocasionada por la caída de una potranca, el pasado fin de semana, en su hacienda ‘El Ubérrimo’. Los médicos le han aconsejado reposo, y reducir los viajes.

La reunión de Manaos, convocada para que los países de la región amazónica logren concertar una posición unificada que podrían presentar en la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas para el Cambio Climático, que se realizará en Copenhague, el 10 de diciembre.

Sin embargo, Lula sugirió que el encuentro fuera aprovechado para propiciar una reunión bilateral entre Colombia y Venezuela, países que viven una crisis desde julio pasado por cuenta de las críticas, insultos y amenazas realizados por Caracas, en contra del acuerdo de cooperación militar firmado entre Bogotá y Washington. La próxima cita bilateral podría ser en la Cumbre Iberoamericana, que se realizará en Portugal, la próxima semana.

REDACCIÓN POLÍTICA – El Tiempo

La cumbre en la Casa de Nariño

La cumbre de Santos, Noemí, Rivera y Arias con Uribe no cambió las cosas

Foto: Archivo

El Jefe de Estado les reiteró a sus pupilos que no es partidario de perpetuar al Presidente.

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