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
People paint a mural alluding to peace on the road leading to Planadas, Tolima department, Colombia. Photograph: Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images
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
Congratulations to Helena Michelle Hengelbrok the winner of this years Stanley J. Stein Senior Thesis Prize!
Honorable Mentions to:
Melody Zhang Qiu
Jamie Lee Shenk
Congratulations to Melody Zhang Qiu and Zachary Wilhelm Wall the co-winners of this years Kenneth Maxwell Senior Thesis Prize in Brazilian and Portuguese Studies!
Honorable mentions to Seth Merkin Morokoff.
Latinos in the United States typically live longer than whites — a phenomenon commonly referred to as the “Hispanic Paradox” or “Latino Mortality Advantage.”
While not totally understood, these epidemiological findings have interested scholars, mostly because Latinos, on average, have lower socioeconomic status than whites. This is typically associated with higher death rates and worse health outcomes.
Good health at the start of migration, lower rates of smoking and strong social networks are some of the reasons researchers believe Latinos have an edge over their white counterparts in the United States.
But current health trends suggest the gap between U.S. Latinos and whites may soon be shrinking, according to Princeton University research, which points to higher obesity rates, higher incidence of diabetes, and significant disability issues as potential downfalls for Latinos. While Latinos still smoke less than whites in the United States, this may not be enough to counteract the other negative health trends.
Study author Noreen Goldman, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Demography and Public Affairs, recently answered questions about her research. Her findings were published in Research on Aging, an academic journal. Read More
Brazil’s Senate voted last week to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, a move that suspends the president for 180 days. Rousseff, who is accused of using public bank money to cover budget gaps, now faces an impeachment trial. The suspended president is calling the situation a “coup d’etat” and maintains she didn’t act criminally regarding budgetary affairs.
The impeachment raises significant questions for Brazil’s economic and political future. John Londregan, professor of politics and international affairs, answered questions about these issues and how they will affect Brazil going forward.
Londregan, a faculty associate at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, is a specialist in the development and application of statistical methods in political science. He also studies politics in South America, with a particular focus on Chilean legislative and electoral politics. Read more