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This is a historic day for the people of Colombia. With the finalizing of a peace agreement between Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the longest-running war in the Western Hemisphere is coming to an end. We have witnessed, once again, that a sustained commitment to diplomacy and reconciliation can overcome even the most entrenched conflicts.
This accord is a tribute to the hard work and cooperation of countless Colombian leaders and citizens—across parties and administrations—who painstakingly laid the groundwork for this milestone. I especially want to commend President Juan Manuel Santos for his courageous leadership during four years of difficult negotiations. I likewise thank the government of Cuba for hosting these talks, its co-guarantor Norway, and the United States’ Special Envoy, Bernie Aronson, for his contributions to the peace process. Read more
IT HAS been a long time coming. After 52 years of fighting, almost four years of peace negotiations and three months after a final deadline, the Colombian state and the Marxist guerrillas of the so-called Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have agreed to a bilateral and “definitive” ceasefire. That is cause for celebration, for Colombia and for the region. But the peace deal is controversial. Putting it into practice will be tricky and it may be made harder by the unpopularity of the government of Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president.
On June 23rd Mr Santos was due to fly to Havana, the site of the talks, for a ceremony with the FARC’s leader, Rodrigo Londoño (aka “Timochenko”), in the presence of Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, and five Latin American presidents. In practice, the two sides all but stopped firing a year ago, when the FARC declared a unilateral ceasefire and the government halted offensive actions. But the government’s formal declaration of a ceasefire is historic. Read more
In a world where good news is often a rarity, the peace accord struck last week between Colombia’s government and the leaders of the country’s main Marxist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), stands out. The deal, four years in the making, brings to an end an era of often violent confrontation whose origins may be traced back to the peasant revolts of the 1960s. The Farc insurgency was rooted in a quest for social justice and land reform, issues that had dogged the country – sparking multiple uprisings between peasants and a landed elite – since its independence from Spain in 1891. Read more
The end of the conflict will mean the opening of a new chapter of our history. It means beginning a transition phase that may contribute to a greater integration of our territories, a greater social inclusion—especially of those who have lived at the margins of our development and have suffered the conflict—and strengthening our democracy so that it may be deployed in all of the national territory, and that it may assure that social conflicts are mediated through institutions, with full security guarantees for those who participate in politics. Read more
This is a historic day for the people of Colombia. With the finalizing of a peace agreement between Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the longest-running war in the Western Hemisphere is coming to an end. We have witnessed, once again, that a sustained commitment to diplomacy and reconciliation can overcome even the most entrenched conflicts. Read more
Two Princeton University seniors have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize to spend one year pursuing international civic engagement projects after graduation. The $30,000 prize will support a project by Yessica Martinez in Colombia and Damaris Miller in Nepal and India.
The award to Martinez will help her use poetry to empower a community in her native Colombia that faces a moment of transition and change. Miller’s award will assist her work to assess the environmental efforts of monasteries and help the institutions’ residents identify ways to increase their environmental sustainability.
“I would like to share with all of you that the Library’s Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the artist book Les Discours du Pince-Gueule (1966), a beautiful collaborative piece between Julio Cortázar and the artist Julio Silva. Along with the book, we were also fortunate to acquire many of the drawings and proofs that led to the 1966 limited edition, as well as several albums of photographs of Silva and Cortázar by photographers Pierre Boulet, Colette Portal, Yan Voss, and by Cortázar himself.
To view selected images and read more about the acquisition, please see a posting by Julie Mellby, the Graphic Arts Curator, at https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2014/12/01/julio-cortazar-and-julio-silva/.
This acquisition was possible thanks to the generous support of Stanley J. Stein, the Walter Samuel Carpenter III Professor in Spanish Civilization and Culture, Emeritus, in honor of Barbara H. Stein, Princeton University’s first bibliographer for Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Thank you so much, Stan!”