It is often declared that “Peace Won” in Colombia on Sunday, June 15. However, I have yet to hear someone without power and money say the same. Here on the CPT-Colombia team, we are all just breathing a collective sigh of relief that presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga walked away from Sunday’s 2nd round election the loser.
Current President Juan Manuel Santos won the election with just 51% of the vote, but enough to keep alive the negotiations to end Colombia’s 60-year conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC (Colombia’s largest guerrilla army). Santos bet his entire election on maintaining the negotiation process that was begun in Havana in 2012, upping the ante 5 days before the election with the announcement that he would begin parallel talks with the ELN (Colombia’s second largest guerrilla army).
Where are you coming from, my brother?
Who took away your land and sent the police after you?
Hasn’t the pain left a wound,
Or have you left your soul on your land?
Isn’t it enough to be a repressed woman
who has dedicated herself to harvesting pain?
You are a victim of killer bullets,
shots from the thugs of this terrible oligarchy.
Farmers from faraway lands, to what have you dedicated your life?
To be a victim of the company that has ruined your life?
There is no solace in your gaze, today your life is over
because you’ve been condemned to begging.
The Colombian people are getting ready to go to the polls on May 25 to elect a new leader for the country. The incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos is seeking re-election in a race against five candidates, all aspiring to the most powerful office in the land and discussing issues such as education, corruption, environment, and as always, the peace accords.
We as CPT Colombia, hope the next president fulfills her/his promise and works for the Colombian people. According to our work, the requests of our partners, and communities we accompany we have created a list of questions that we would like to ask the next president, to highlight some of our concerns and key issues for Colombia today.