On Monday, a historic “permanent ceasefire” agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC was ratified, paving the way for an end to a civil conflict lasting more than half a century. Or so the headlines read.
Representatives of the two parties have spent the last several years hammering away at peace negotiations in Havana, Cuba, and while there was dancing in the streets this week at news Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ military forces would cease attacks against the FARC, there was no guarantee against increasingly powerful private armies and death squads continuing their war on rural peasants and urban Unionistas.
And worse, fears are, those loyal to former president and head of the official opposition in Colombia, Alvaro Uribe will follow his lead in opposing the peace accord the only way they know how, with violence.
Daniel Kovalik teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers union. He’s also a long-time peace and justice activist, specializing in that in Colombia and Central America, where he serves as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations. Kovalik is also co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia.
Dan Kovalik in the first half.
And; all is not well in British Columbia either, where the oppressive weight of colonial history is straining relations with First Nations on myriad issues. There is a distinct sense of tension here, a feeling of impending collapse, as though one were watching a heavily laden camel standing unsteadily beneath an overloaded hay loft. The anticipation is a wondering, “Which issue will prove the proverbial straw to lay the dromedary low?”
Kiff Archer has worked decades with his partner, Deb “Wilhpun” Nelson to help save the Bears and Wolves of the Bella Coola Valley, at the end of the only road entering deep into the Great Bear Rainforest. He’s just returned from the Kwatna Gathering, a meeting of Bear-loving Central Coast nations, who have called a moratorium on trophy hunting in their territories.
Kiff Archer and standing Stronger Together to end trophy bear hunting forever in the Great Bear Rainforest in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz of good goings-on in, on, and around our streets, and beyond there too, for the coming week. But first, Dan Kovalik and Colombia’s dissonant Peace Accords.