On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars cover the shocking rejection of a peace deal negotiated between the Colombian government and communist FARC rebels. To learn more about what’s happening inside Colombia, we interview Sergio Andrés Rueda, a philosophy student, activist, and communist theorist at the Universidad Industrial de Santander in Colombia.
Sergio gives us background on the 52-year insurgency gripping Colombia that has left over 220,000 dead, mostly civilians, and close to 6 million displaced. He explains the origins of the FARC guerilla movement and why they have resisted successive Colombian governments. We discuss the role of the Colombian military and closely associated paramilitary groups in atrocities meant to drive peasant farmers from their land to open it up to elite buyers and private corporations. We discuss Plan Colombia and the role of the US in perpetuating and intensifying the violence.
Sergio goes over the major components of the deal, who was for it and who was against it, and why the popular referendum on the deal ultimately failed. We also ask Sergio about the motivations behind and impact of the decision of Human Rights Watch to oppose the deal. Finally, we discuss the situation today, following the rejection of the peace deal, and what comes next for the people of Colombia.