Five Links from the Past Week
- As many as 300 paramilitary fighters are on a new year’s offensive in Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in the conflict-battered municipality of Bojayá, Chocó, Colombia. Semana magazine tries to explain what is happening.
- Colombia’s government has issued a draft decree that would govern a renewal of aerial fumigation of coca-growing areas with the highly questioned herbicide glyphosate—a U.S.-backed practice that has been suspended since 2016. The Trump-Pompeo State Department quickly hailed the issuance of the decree, which now goes into a public comment period.
- Here’s the latest report of the UN mission verifying implementation of Colombia’s peace accord. “2019 [was] the most violent year for former combatants since the signing of the peace agreement, with 77 killings to date, compared with 65 in 2018 and 31 in 2017.”
- 2019 Gave Us a New Kind of Country in Venezuela, conclude Rafael Osio Cabrices and Raul Stolk in Caracas Chronicles. The Maduro state is shrinking. The economy has dollarized. The army is loyal but may becoming irrelevant. There are resemblances to both Russia and sub-saharan Africa.
- Trump’s Lawyer and the Venezuelan President: How Giuliani Got Involved in Back-Channel Talks With Maduro, a bizarre story by Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger, Anthony Faiola, and Josh Dawsey in The Washington Post.