On Sunday, Colombians will head to the polls to elect a new president. At play in this year’s election are a range of issues: Venezuelan migration, economic situation, rampant corruption, high levels of inequality, but above all is the country's historic peace accord that ended over half a century of armed conflict.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced on Friday that Colombia would be officially invited to join the group. The Paris-based economic organization was founded in 1961 and has traditionally included industrialized nations, though in recent years it has extended its membership to emerging economies.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed air strikes by the United States and its allies on Syria’s chemical weapons program but Argentina, Brazil and Peru voiced caution during a regional summit about the escalating military action.
Ecuador on Friday confirmed the deaths of two journalists and their driver who had been kidnapped by renegade Colombian rebels -- and quickly launched a retaliatory military operation in the area where they were snatched.
Colombia and Brazil tightened border controls with Venezuela on Thursday as both nations grapple with a mounting influx of hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants fleeing a worsening economic crisis In a visit to the border region, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he would impose stricter migratory controls, suspend new daily entry cards for Venezuelans and deploy 3,000 new security personnel along the frontier, including 2,120 more soldiers.
At least 8,000 Venezuelans cross the border between Colombia and Venezuela daily to the department of Arauca, southeast of Colombia. Although the migratory flow at this point does not compare with the thirty or forty thousand Venezuelans who cross the Simón Bolívar bridge between Santander and Táchira every day, in Arauca the majority of migrants arrive in conditions of extreme vulnerability.
At least seven police officers were killed and 41 others wounded on Saturday when alleged drug traffickers detonated a bomb at a station in the Colombian city of Barranquilla. The attack comes as President Juan Manuel Santos seeks to end the armed conflict that has wracked Colombia for 50 years. Much of the violence has been linked to drug trafficking.
The ousted mayor of Caracas pledged to spread his protest against Venezuela's socialist government across the world as he arrived in Spain on Saturday, a day after escaping from house arrest and slipping past Venezuelan security forces into Colombia.
Veteran Farc (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) leader Rodrigo Londono — known as ‘Timochenko’ — will run for the presidency of Colombia next year, with the backing of former Farc rebels, the group’s new political party announced. However, he and other ex-commanders will likely face trials for human rights crimes and it is unclear how they would serve in office if sentenced.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos are pledging to strengthen ties in areas like science, security and tourism as Colombia transitions into a post-conflict era. Netanyahu arrived in Bogota on Wednesday for the second-leg of his trip as the first Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America.