Violence and fear, pre-election postcard – 24 Hours

Deserted streets, doors secured with padlocks, suspicious looks, silence reigns.

Most escaped before the arrival of drug traffickers Y rebels who settled in their homes. The extortion, poverty, unemployment, forced criminal recruitment, homicides, sexual abuse Y disappearances They haunt the neighborhoods of the Colombian Pacific, where the heir gangs of paramilitarism and drug trafficking still survive.

The war between the combatants of the National Liberation Army (THE N), the last recognized guerrilla in the country, and the Gulf Clan, the feared army of drug traffickers, the towns that border the rivers are fought over with blood and fire haze Y San Juanon the route for cocaine trafficking.

The walls of the towns are witnesses pierced by the shots and marked with acronyms of the two groups in dispute, the THE N and the Gaitanista self-defense groups of Colombia (AGC), as he calls himself Gulf Clan. As one group advances, they cross out the other’s graffiti on the facades.

Framed in a thick jungle on the banks of the Peaceful, the region of 317 thousand inhabitants is an apocalyptic postcard. 90% of the 9.2 million victims of the armed conflict are displaced and of those almost 300 thousand correspond to Buenaventura, the port that moves 40% of the country’s non-mining-energy trade, and a refuge for those who try to flee violence that in that place continues its course regardless of the peace agreement that 2016 that disarmed the guerrilla of the FARC.

In this periphery, the enthusiasm for the expected victory of the left in the presidential elections on May 29 goes unnoticed. They will not be able to vote for exile from their places of registration. When the government gave up on Gulf Clanafter the capture and extradition to USA of his bossOthniel”, they showed muscle and withdrew from the ELN, explains Juan Manuel Torres, a researcher at the Fundación Paz y Reconciliación (Pares) think tank.

In the south and east of the rural area, FARC dissidences that rejected the peace agreement are also expanding; in the urban perimeter, hundreds of young people divided into Shotas and Espartanos, two opposing factions of the paramilitary organization La Local, are fighting.

“The displacement mutated (…) now it is drop by drop, silent. It’s worse,” observes Torres. On May 29, the first round of the presidential elections takes place, with the left in the lead in preferences.

From South America, most influential personalities

The Chilean President Gabriel Boric, the colombian innovator David Velez and the Colombian pioneers Cristina Villarreal Y Ana Christina Gonzalez, as well as the Brazilian Sonia Guajajara are some of the 100 most influential people chosen by Time magazine.

Boric, 36, shares a poster in his category with leaders such as the Ukrainian Volodímir Zelenski, the American Joe Biden, the Chinese Xi Jinping, and even the Russian Vladimir Putin.

The young Chilean president, the Nobel Prize in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, highlights that he is turning Chile once again into the world’s social, political and economic laboratory.

Colombian David Vélez is the founder of the Brazilian online bank Nubank. “He empowered more than 54 million people,” said Colombian President Iván Duque.


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Violence and fear, pre-election postcard – 24 Hours