Given the mayhem occurring around the world and the first votes in the 2016 Presidential election at home, my guess is the celebration today of the 15th anniversary of a milestone partnership between Colombia and the U.S. will be largely ignored.
Colombia is a potential success story. A peace accord would not only end 50 years of civil war. It would also showcase ways that UN agencies can advance the cause of peace through humanitarian and development assistance.
After 60 more days, the FARC will lay down its arms, setting the stage for the end to the conflict by mid-2016. This is good news for Colombians, of course. But the peace agreement is also worthy of wider attention because it represents new thinking on how to end old conflicts.
Violence, destruction of homes, towns and loss of life is having an impact on the emerging personalities and psyches of all kids in conflict areas. But I am also seeing them rise from the ashes to lead a revolution in thinking and behavior, that will build a framework for a better life.
The U.S., therefore, instead of focusing on a military strategy which objectively puts itself on the side of the Colombian paramilitaries, should instead be supporting those brave souls in Colombia who are struggling for peace at the risk of their very lives.
The Ones Who Don't Stay, Paola Mendoza's first novel is a beautiful coming of age story filled with melodic prose, elegant metaphors and a bounty of breathtaking corners of wisdom. Paola brings to life a series of women and imparts each one with depth and sensibility.
Colombian refugees and internally displaced people are the frequently forgotten victims of the nearly 50-year-long conflict between paramilitaries, guerillas, and the Colombian military and security forces.