In less than a week the foreign policy of the U.S. suffered two defeats on two closely related issues: the triumph of Hugo Chávez and the failure to impose the Pentagon’s objectives at the Tenth Conference of Ministers of Defense.
Fifteen brave Guatemalan women from the indigenous qeqchí people testified before the High Risk Court in Guatemala City on Sept. 24-28, as part of the first criminal trial for sexual slavery and rape during the armed conflict. This legal action is historically transcendent, not only for being the first time that sexual violence during the armed conflict in Guatemala has come to trial, but also because it is the first trial for sexual slavery that has been brought to a national court. Previous cases have been presented in international courts.
It potentially affects half the U.S. population, men and women whose lives could be disrupted forever from one day to the next. It costs billions of dollars, at a time when schools are closing down and essential public services disappearing. It deepens the nation’s racial divide and tears families apart. It kills tens of thousands of people, in the U.S. and abroad.
Following President Juan Manual Santos’s August 27 announcement that exploratory talks were underway with the FARC to put an end to Colombia’s armed conflict, the organization “Colombians for Peace” issued a proposal for achieving peace from the perspective of civil society. The Americas Program was present and interviewed one of the spokeswomen, social and political leader Piedad Córdoba, about this new and, hopefully, definitive peace process.
This is a partial translation of a document released by Colombians for Peace following the government announcement of peace talks with the FARC guerrilla forces. The Americas Program offers this original translation to spread ideas and initiatives that seek to promote peace in Colombia and other nations in conflict.
It’s still hard to believe. After two months and four high profile shootings – commencing with mass killings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado – neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has said a word about gun control.