FROM Adam Isacson
After Decades of war in Colombia, peace has a chance In 1964, Colombian peasant farmers—virtual slaves of urban landowners--formed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC. Since then, 200,000 people have died and millions have been displaced in the Western Hemisphere's longest-running conflict. Now, there's a peace deal — if Colombia's voters approve it next month. But both sides -- peasant farmers and Marxist rebels against urban landowners using death squads and right-wing paramilitaries -- have committed atrocities over the years. Can victims and perpetrators learn to live side by side? We look at the history, the hopes and the fears of a beleaguered nation.
Reality at the Mexican Border Donald Trump appeals to Republican voters by repeating his promise to build a "big, beautiful" wall on the US-Mexico border. But it turns out that the border already is more secure than ever. More Mexican immigrants are leaving the US to return home than the other way around. And increased security is producing unintended consequences — for a massive trade relationship and for people who live and work on both sides of the border. We hear how it looks now to those cross-border neighbors, including the many new agents of an expanded border patrol.
After 50 Years of Guerilla Warfare in Colombia, Peace Is in Sight Succeeding governments of Colombia have been fighting against the Revolutionary Armed Forces — abbreviated the FARC — for 50 years. Yesterday in Havana, Cuba, representatives of the government of Colombia and FARC rebel leaders were all dressed in white after reaching stage four of a six-stage peace agreement , scheduled to be completed in the next six months. If it can be finalized, it will mean the end of guerilla warfare that's lasted for 50 years. Adam Isacson studies regional security policy for the Washington Office on Latin America , a human rights organization.
President Bush's Fence-Mending Trip to Latin America President Bush is visiting Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico this week, carrying with him a complicated economic and trade agenda. But after keeping Latin American issues on the back burner for six years can he effectively compete with rising radical leaders like Hugo Chávez? September 11 and then the war in Iraq got in the way of Bush’s promise to focus US foreign policy on Latin America. Now, he faces a series of what promises to be some massive and noisy protests in a part of the globe where he’s deeply unpopular. Guest host Marc Cooper speaks with journalists and experts in energy, foreign policy and national security. (This program was originally broadcast earlier today on To the Point .)
Too Late for Bush to Mend Fences with Latin America? When George Bush came into office six years ago he vowed the Southern Hemisphere would be his top foreign policy priority--but that was before September 11 and Iraq. Now, midway through his second term, the President has begun a week-long visit to the region , to try to woo back Latin America and boost American influence. One of the few concrete agreements that might come out of the trip is a deal with Brazil about ethanol production. However, Bush is up against some stiff political competition from radical leaders like Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, who argues the US has nothing good to offer its southern neighbors. Can the President overcome his widespread hemispheric unpopularity? Can he offset the growing influence of regional leftists like Chávez? Guest host Marc Cooper speaks with journalists and experts in energy, foreign policy and national security.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.