Selected Journalism

Photo: Wikimedia

Photo: Wikimedia

There Is No Plan B for the FARC Deal (The Atlantic Online)

With UN officials already on the ground to oversee a planned disarmament of the FARC that is now unlikely to proceed, and with rebel soldiers presumably paused on their way to the zones where they were to disarm, it’s back to the drawing board for all parties involved. “It’s very difficult to start a new negotiation after four years,” said Pilar Rueda, an advisor to the peace process’s gender subcommittee. Rueda, like many of the deal’s backers, was in shock on Sunday night.

Photo: DEA Public Affairs via Wikimedia 

Photo: DEA Public Affairs via Wikimedia 

To Be a Guerrilla, and a Woman, in Colombia (The Atlantic Online)

The Colombian government’s problem with women combatants is apparent from a public-service campaign designed to look like a lipstick ad. It reads: “Guerrillera, feel like a woman again. Demobilize.” Designed by the PR firm MullenLowe SSP3 in 2012 for the Colombian government, it features lipstick colors with names like “freedom,” “love,” “happiness,” and “tranquility,” and promises women that they can “smile and become the mother [they’ve] always dreamed of being.”

Photo: Eduardo Leal for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Photo: Eduardo Leal for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Politics Roils Colombia’s Tentative Peace Deal With the FARC (Foreign Policy)

Santos now must convince the public — particularly those who lost their homes and family members in the war — that the country has more to gain from an imperfect deal than from continuing to fight or delay. At a recent economic forum, the president went so far as to suggest that if the referendum failed, war would break out again. He said he had “ample information” that the FARC is “preparing to return to war, even an urban war.” Santos was probably trying to convince the public by making the stakes clear, but his opponents have portrayed it as a blunder — an attempt to “blackmail” the public.

Photo: Global Witness

Photo: Global Witness

Killings of Environmental Defenders Surged in 2015 (Foreign Policy)

He said that while in the West people think of environmental activists as “left-leaning, urban dwelling” people, those who are killed “are on the frontline. Many are ordinary people who wake up to the sound of a bulldozer on their land and start asking questions.”

 

Photo: USIP/YouTube

Dalai Lama: Those Who Cause Bloodshed Are Not “Genuine” Practitioners of Islam (Foreign Policy)

The days after a mass shooting in the United States have become a national ritual of helpless grief and anger. On Monday, the Dalai Lama joined the conversation by urging a Washington audience to build a world without violence — a topic that is even more prescient after early Sunday’s massacre in Orlando, Florida, which killed 50 people celebrating LGBT pride in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Photo: SUSANA GONZALEZ/Bloomberg

From El Chapo to The Snail, Is It Time to Stop Celebrating the Arrests of Drug Kingpins? (Foreign Policy)

Sometimes, arresting a boss has little to no effect on the greater organization, said Omar García-Ponce, a postdoctoral fellow at The Center for Global Development, a think tank devoted to reducing global poverty and inequality. Following Guzmán’s arrest, for example, the Sinaloa cartel he ran already had another leader lined up: Mayo Zambada, who controls the business side of the operation. “Nothing changed,” García-Ponce said. “The Sinaloa Cartel remains strong. They did not even feel the absence of a leader.”

Photo: Cris Bouroncle/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Cris Bouroncle/AFP/Getty Images

Last Year’s Goldman Prize Winner Was Murdered. Could This Year’s Winner Be Next? (Foreign Policy)

"I thought that we would have a little more peace, that we’d be able to make our life, but it wasn’t like that,” she said. “They keep attacking.”

In February, Newmont announced it would indefinitely suspend the mining project, known as Conga. But the company continues to maintain its security apparatus around Acuña’s land, according to her lawyer and the advocacy group Front Line Defenders, and continues to pursue her with legal action in civil court.

Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

It Takes Two Dead Activists for Banks to Suspend Funding for Honduran Project (Foreign Policy)

Nelson García, who worked with Cáceres before she was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen two weeks ago, was himself shot and killed outside his mother-in-law’s house at lunchtime Tuesday. His murder prompted two European development banks, Netherlands Development Finance Co., or FMO, and FinnFund, to suspend their funding of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project that Cáceres spent a decade protesting.

Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Why Was This Prominent Honduran Activist Murdered in Her Own Home? (Foreign Policy)

Cáceres, who founded the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations in 1993, was particularly focused on drawing international attention to the Lenca people, who had previously been relatively invisible on the world stage. Her death, Aguirre said, has shaken their community there. Many people reached out to Aguirre through e-mails and phone calls Thursday. “Everybody’s enraged about the situation,” she told FP. “She [Cáceres] knew what her mission here on Earth was. She worked on it every day.”

 

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Why Did One of America’s Most Controversial Immigration Detention Facilities Get Even Bigger? (Foreign Policy)

Critics say the case of Gerardo Corrales, a paralyzed 20-year-old who was detained at Adelanto for over nine months, casts significant doubt on  those claims . . . During his time at Adelanto, Corrales says staff there refused him physical therapy appointments, sufficient quantities of catheters, a change of clothes when a urinary tract infection caused him to wet his pants, or assistance with daily activities or when he feel out of his wheel chair. 

“They don’t care if you’re in pain … they basically just wait until you’re dying,” Corrales told FP in a phone interview while still in detention. 

 

Photo: Chris Hebdon

Photo: Chris Hebdon

Conversation with Franco Viteri (Earth Island Journal)

The Rights of Nature are written in the constitution, but in practice they’re still implementing mining and giving Indigenous territory to corporations. We can see the doublespeak of the current regime. They’re using the discourse of sumak kawsay to say “we’re caring for nature; we’re with the Indigenous peoples” – but it’s not reality. They showed that with Yasuní [National Park], when President Correa said that if they didn’t give him money to leave the oil in the ground, they would extract it. There was no desire to save Yasuní. He wasn’t defending it from his heart. He was defending it because he wanted to get money – and that’s not right.

Photo: Megan Alpert

Photo: Megan Alpert

Justice and Peace in the Shrinking Forest, Parts 1 and 2 (Guernica Daily)

The five men who had been held in preventative detention for almost ten months were now free. At the top of a hill, a new longhouse had been constructed for the ceremony, with a frame of thin tree trunks and a roof of layered leaves, many of them still bright green. A sound system was set up inside for the speeches that would be made. It was the only longhouse in sight; most of Block 16’s Waorani live in modest cement or wood homes. Many work for the oil company, Repsol, which operates in and controls Block 16. Outside the longhouse, women in feather crowns painted achiote onto the faces of defense attorneys and members of the press.

Photo: Megan Alpert

Photo: Megan Alpert

 

"They come, they photograph us, but they don't help": How ecotourism in the Amazon shortchanges the locals (The Guardian) 

They live in a forest that has been fractured by oil roads and polluted by oil operations. Their elders’ bodies still bear the damage done by the evangelicals. The Huaorani have never been fairly compensated for the pollution caused by oil companies, or the relentless push of missionaries. If they had been, ecotourism would not be necessary.

Photo: Megan Alpert

Photo: Megan Alpert

Spreading the Kimchi and K-Drama Gospel in Ecuador (Vice Munchies) 

On a typical Saturday, dyed-blonde, spiked heel-wearing members of the Korean pop music group 2NE1 dance across the wall of the Gran K restaurant in Quito, Ecuador, where they’ve been projected, larger than life. Owner Señora Choi Choon-Ja hurries from table to table, teaching a group of university students how to use chopsticks, grinding fresh coffee for a table of regulars, changing the music to the Boys Over Flowers soundtrack when a customer requests it, and heaping plate after plate of fried chicken, daikon, and kimchi onto the tables.