If I were smarter, I’d have recorded my Latin American Studies Association panel discussion and shared the audio as a podcast, like Greg Weeks did.
Instead, here’s the 36-slide presentation I used to explain the experience of U.S. support for Colombia’s peace process under the Trump administration. It’s below, or just download the 16mb PDF file here. Scroll further down for a quick overview.
In a nutshell, here’s the story this is trying to tell.
Since Trump’s inauguration, there have been three battle lines:
- How to talk about Colombia’s peace accord.
- How to talk about Colombia’s coca production problem.
- What the aid package should look like.
And there have been four key sets of actors in Washington:
- The Trump White House.
- Veteran diplomats and other pragmatic officials.
- Foreign aid appropriators and foreign relations authorizers in Congress.
- Hardliners in Congress. (Sen. Marco Rubio, who has played a big role, straddles 3. and 4.)
Spoiler: so far at least, (2) and (3) have won the day on all three battle lines. But if Colombia elects Duque, and if Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo harden the U.S. line and work the bureaucracy harder, the coming year could be much worse.
I have this all written out as a 19-page draft, still in need of unifying prose, edits, and footnotes. In the meantime, enjoy the slideshow, which has links to sources for nearly everything.