LA Forum - Eyewitness Colombia: Elections, Peace Accords & US Imperialism
On June 17th, right-wing candidate Ivan Duque won the presidency over leftist candidate Gustavo Petro in what were the first presidential elections since the 2016 peace deal was struck with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government. The two candidates, representing opposite poles in Colombia’s political spectrum, declared contrasting positions on economic development, the peace process and national security. However, the one pivotal difference is that Duque, the president-elect, seeks to throw out the current peace deal between the government and former FARC members in favor of a new, less amicable one – which could involve former members of the group being jailed.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government has continuously pressured the Colombian government to conduct forced eradication programs and violate Section 4 of the Peace Accords, which works to minimize coca production via voluntary substitution programs. These forced eradication programs instruct military officers to go into farmers’ homes, terrorize them and destroy all of their crops, such as the 2017 massacre in Tumaco, which was not a random act, but instead an extension of the forced eradication programs that the U.S. is promoting.
Come and join us as we'll hear an eyewitness report on the elections process, what is at stake as Peace Accords need to survive during a crucial time where social and economic reform are needed, and the role US imperialism played in the decision of the Colombian elections.
We will also be screening an episode of The Empire Files: In the Deadliest Country for Unions & Social Leaders