Colombian Presidential Election Heats Up in Final Weeks

With the first round of Colombia’s presidential elections set to take place on May 29, the stakes are rising as candidates representing vastly different views prepare to face off. Colombia experienced massive protests in 2021, according to BBC News, and this election will demonstrate the strength of opposition movements in the country. The election is currently contested among three major candidates: Gustavo Petro from the left-leaning “El Pacto Historico” coalition, Federico Gutierrez of the right-wing “Coalición Equipo por Colombia,” and an anti-corruption candidate named Rodolfo Hernandez. 

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Colombia Decriminalizes Abortion, Highlighting a Departure from Stigma

On February 21, 2022, Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled 5-4 to decriminalize abortions, making the procedure legal up to 24 weeks of gestation, reports The Guardian. The historic ruling will change the lives of women and young girls who often resorted to clandestine abortions and were penalized under the healthcare system, says Al Jazeera. Many pro-choice individuals and feminists in Colombia welcomed the decision as a reaffirmation of women’s bodily autonomy, hoping the ruling will inspire other countries to push for legislation protecting women’s rights. 

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FOCUS on Narco-States: Guinea-Bissau 

Guinea-Bissau, a small African country that ranks as one of the poorest in the world, has been infiltrated at every level ‒political, economic, social‒ by the illegal drug trade. The country serves as a midpoint in cocaine trafficking routes from Latin America to Europe. Over a decade ago, it was labeled Africa’s “first narco-state.” Last year, Ruth Monteiro, Guinea-Bissau’s Minister of Justice and Human Rights, stated that the country is still a “paradise for drug traffickers,” reports BBC. 

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Is the Colombian-FARC Peace Perpetual?

While the disarming of FARC ideally decreases the chances of groups splintering and becoming yet more bactrims, the threat is still ever present. Every attempt to stem the violence has ended with more people getting hurt, whether it was the PU party summarily executed or the paramilitaries turning into better-armed street gangs.

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