While I was away on vacation, the Latin American Studies Association’s LASA Forum published an obituary I wrote for a badly missed colleague, Virginia (Ginny) Bouvier, who passed away just over a year ago.
Ever the optimist—and always curious about new ways to communicate—Ginny started a blog, Colombia Calls, in late July 2012, a month before we would all learn that the government and FARC had been secretly negotiating an agenda for formal talks, which would begin in November in Havana, Cuba. The very first post, “Approaching a Tipping Point in Colombia?” is almost eerily prescient. It starts: “Occasionally, and I believe this is such a time, one is privileged to stand before a moment of potential change. It is the moment when the repeated striking of the flint produces a spark. Eventually, the spark flickers, catches hold, and bursts into flame. . . . Here in Colombia, where I arrived last night, I am seeing the spark. Colombians across the country, who have been demanding peace for years, are now seeking to exercise this constitutionally-sanctioned right to live in peace.”
Ginny worked on Colombia at the U.S. Institute of Peace and had a remarkable career and family. I’m grateful to LASA Forum for giving me the space to tell her story over 4 1/2 pages.