The Peace Dialogues in Colombia are a wind of hope for Colombians, who have spent more than five decades living in a conflict which has soaked their land in blood and pain. The following is an interview with Carlos Lozano Guillén, Marcha Patriótica's spokesperson, newspaper editor and a consultant for previous peace dialogues, conducted by Fernanda Sánchez Jaramillo, a Colombian journalist and union advocate based in Vancouver, Canada.
FSJ: You were in Havana recently. Who did you meet with and how was the atmosphere there?
President Rafael Correa handily won a third term as Ecuador's head of state Sunday in a landslide victory demonstrating what many are calling a "clear mandate" for the continuation of his progressive economic policies and widespread support for his growing "citizens' revolution."
"This victory is yours. It belongs to our families, to our wife, to our friends, our neighbors, the entire nation," said Correa on a state television broadcast. "We are only here to serve you. Nothing for us. Everything for you, a people who have become dignified in being free."
Six weeks ago the left-leaning president of Paraguay Fernando Lugo was ousted in what some called an "institutional coup." Upset with Lugo for disrupting 61-years of one party rule, Paraguay's traditional ruling elite claimed he was responsible for a murky incident that left 17 peasants and police dead and the senate voted to impeach the president.
The vast majority of countries in the hemisphere refused to recognize the new government. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) suspended Paraguay's membership after Lugo's ouster, as did the MERCOSUR trading bloc. Last week the Council on Hemispheric Affairs reported: "Not a single Latin American government has recognized [Federico] Franco's presidency."