UNNAMEABLE: THE SILENT BYSTANDER IN COLOMBIA’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

UNNAMEABLE: THE SILENT BYSTANDER IN COLOMBIA’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Steve Murphy, the former DEA agent romanticized in “Narcos,” the Netflix series on Pablo Escobar that is still earning money for its producers, is a polished public speaker who takes his story around the world.

In Lithuania, in 2017, he marveled out loud that 24 years after the death of the world’s first narco-terrorist, once thought to be among the seven richest men on the planet, we are still talking about him.

Everywhere in the world. Everywhere – except Colombia.

Here in Medellin, Escobar’s home base, successive governments seem to have done everything in their power to obliterate his memory.

They razed the Monaco, an apartment block he built and once lived in with his family, and in its stead put up a polished black granite wall patterned on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, in honour of victims of narco-violence that wracked the country in the 80’s and 90s.

Every death is marked by a bullet hole. 

At nearly 50,000, the toll rivals the number of US soldiers killed in Vietnam.

The park where it sits is also a dog run.

“As if razing the Monaco wasn’t enough,” said a former associate of the drug kingpin bitterly, “they have dogs shit on his legacy.”

It’s unlikely there is enough canine excrement in the world to bury Escobar’s legacy.

This country still supplies an estimated 43-percent of the world’s cocaine (down from 80% in Escobar’s day, according to Murphy).

This country still supplies an estimated 43-percent of the world’s cocaine (down from 80% in Escobar’s day, according to Murphy).

Official figures are difficult to come by.

One government minister is quoted as saying the business is worth between eight and twelve billion dollars a year to the Colombian economy.

That’s as much as a billion dollars a month, a figure that easily beats petroleum exports, and it’s a lot of illegal narcotics produced in and flowing out of this country.

One wonders how this could be going on, without the complicity of some if not all levels of government, as in Escobar’s day.

Both candidates who emerged victorious in the first round, on May 29, right-wing businessman Rodolfo Hernandez, and left-wing Senator and former guerrilla, Gustavo Petro, ran on “anti-corruption” platforms.

But nobody ran on an “anti-cocaine” platform. In fact, cocaine was barely mentioned.

Nobody’s going to touch that business,” said a resident of Envigado, the working-class suburb where Escobar grew up and his mother taught school, “they’d have to be crazy.”

 It would be unfair to say the government does nothing to stop the illegal drugs trade.

Colombia’s Truth Commission, formed under the peace process of 2016 to investigate the deaths and disappearances of more than half a million Colombians between 1985 and 2018 (ten times US dead in Vietnam), chastised the nation’s media, dominated by private sector interests, for “coddling” Colombians with” fragmentary” accounts of events, leading to a “fragmented and unreal” perception of the country.

High profile arrests and extraditions are run of the mill, in local media.

Colombia’s Truth Commission, formed under the peace process of 2016 to investigate the deaths and disappearances of more than half a million Colombians between 1985 and 2018 (ten times US dead in Vietnam), chastised the nation’s media, dominated by private sector interests, for “coddling” Colombians with” fragmentary” accounts of events, leading to a “fragmented and unreal” perception of the country.

Even Google self-censors on the importance of illegal drugs to Colombia. Ask for the top exports, and it spits out petroleum, coffee, flowers, and bananas. 

It’s the unnameable,” said a close Colombian friend, cautioning me about possible reprisals for publishing this article. “Why are you going to name it?”

President-elect Petro campaigned and won, on June 19, on a platform of radical change.

Swearing to fight corruption, one wonders how far he will dare go. Will he target the unnameable, silent bystander looking over his shoulder?

Or will his “radical change” turn into “change to keep things the same?”

How far dare he go, to rein in oil exploration in the Amazon, as he promised, where community leaders are routinely assassinated by paramilitary groups?  

How far dare he go, to rein in oil exploration in the Amazon, as he promised, where community leaders are routinely assassinated by paramilitary groups?  

As an aside, shares in Ecopetrol, the nation’s euphemistically named oil company, tumbled more than 30-percent in one day last week.

Analysts blamed “uncertainty” about Petro’s moves in the face of a global recession. He takes office August 7.

Will he really dare  shift power to the people, from the four families who reputedly control the country?

The stakes are high, in a country that could explode into violence at the drop of a hat.

The past five decades have taught us that. Half a million dead or disappeared means almost everyone in this country of 52-million knows someone who has been affected, or has suffered personally from “the violence.”

Senator Gustavo Bolivar, one of Petro’s stalwarts, has begun to publicly express doubts, after Petro met with former President Alvaro Uribe days after his election victory, and agreed to open a “channel of communication” with him.

This, after 20 years of publicly vilifying each other. Will Uribe get off with a pardon, or will he be held accountable for alleged illicit conduct in office? Will he even be formally investigated?

Remember the victims,”  Bolivar tweeted.

The President-elect is conscious that his first priority, despite pressure from his radical base, must be to reassure the ten million Colombians who voted against him, that they are not en route to becoming the “next Venezuela.” 

He has earned the benefit of the doubt, at very least.

                                                                    

David Gollob is a Canadian screenwriter and freelance reporter. Formerly a Managua-based Latin America correspondent for CBC, BBC and The Times, today he lives in Medellin, Colombia.

David Gollob

dgollob@gmail.com

tel. +57.314.551.1399

CANADA DAY REFLECTION

CANADA DAY REFLECTION

A Canada Day (01/07) tradition is for Canadians to celebrate the moment and indulge in a congratulatory review of our past. This year, on Canada’s 155th anniversary, I’m breaking this old habit, and asking: where is Canada going?

Yes, Canadians can be proud of their achievements since 1867.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently published a survey on quality of life, ranking 3 Canadian cities – Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto – among the top 10 in the world to live.

We have a highly educated citizenry.

A Canada Day (01/07) tradition is for Canadians to celebrate the moment and indulge in a congratulatory review of our past. This year, on Canada’s 155th anniversary, I’m breaking this old habit, and asking: where is Canada going?

Abundant natural resources.

A robust banking system.

A system of governance admired by the rest of the world.

A multicultural society with deeply diverse communities living in relative harmony. A thriving population of immigrants seeking to join us from every part of the world.

And entrepreneurs determined to make Canada an innovation economy.

Why worry, you might ask?

Despite this success, the past decade also shows symptoms of serious problems.

Hundreds of thousands of public servants fell victim to the Phoenix Payroll fiasco; causing many who serve our country with fervour to go without salary for months – sometimes longer – while experiencing financial precarity through no fault of their own.

Hundreds of thousands of public servants fell victim to the Phoenix Payroll fiasco; causing many who serve our country with fervour to go without salary for months – sometimes longer – while experiencing financial precarity through no fault of their own.

Not a single person was held accountable for this negligence.

Public procurement is so messy that PPE, testing, and vaccination suppliers were reluctant to do business in Canada even during COVID – driving up our costs compared to countries with more sophisticated systems. In the longer term, our national security also suffers, with our Navy and Air Force falling into obsolescence in part because of the snail’s pace of our antiquated procedures.

The government even struggles to deliver far more basic services.

We are faced with unprecedented backlogs in the issuance of passports and the processing of immigration applications. Far too many Canadian families have no family doctor.

Our health system showed its weakness during COVID – revealing that our hospitals lacked sufficient beds and staffing resources to handle unexpected peaks in demand.

First Nations still lack safe drinking water.

If you think the domestic picture is concerning, imagine what is happening internationally.

We are faced with unprecedented backlogs in the issuance of passports and the processing of immigration applications. Far too many Canadian families have no family doctor.

Our foreign policy has faded dangerously close to irrelevance over the past fifteen years.

Our contribution to NATO falls short of our commitments, becoming a source of embarrassment vis-à-vis our allies. Donald Trump proved that our once unshakable partnership with the USA can no longer be taken for granted. American disruption could easily spill over into Canada.

Tensions with Russia over Ukraine once again pose a challenge to the sovereignty of our Arctic.

In other words, the world is changing rapidly as the environment, and Canada seems incapable of catching up to the pace of either geopolitical or climate change.

At times, we seem oblivious of our responsibility to help shape world affairs. Conversations about how Canada can adapt – and help others adapt – are fewer and farther between, even though the challenges get bigger and bigger.

How do we manage a volatile USA?

What role does our relationship with Mexico play in stabilizing the region?

How do we mitigate China’s evolution into a Superpower?

How can Canada mobilize others to meaningfully fight climate change?

Can Canada leverage platforms such as the G7, the G20, the Commonwealth or La Francophonie to secure better alignment between the developed and developing world?

Can Canada leverage platforms such as the G7, the G20, the Commonwealth or La Francophonie to secure better alignment between the developed and developing world?

Canadian History – both domestic and international – is rooted in cooperation. We thrive socially, culturally, and economically based on our ability to build communities of shared interests.

Historically, those efforts have been strengthened by the leadership of those bold enough to remind us how far we must still go, and generous enough to remind us of what we are capable.

Leadership.

Cooperative leadership with the ambition to explore innovative solutions to increasingly complex problems by looking creatively at the world and the different voices who make it go round.

May this 155th Canada Day inspire us to unleash the leaders within ourselves, and recognize the other leaders who understand our problems can best be solved through cooperation and imagination.

They’ll be easy to recognize, since they will be the ones finally engaging in open dialogue about the most difficult questions. It is time…

On governance, on public health and essential services, on the world stage, and on the environment:

where should Canada go?

Jean-Paul Ruszkowski

Jean-Paul Ruszkowski is a general practitioner with 40 years of professional experience. He has held high-level positions in the private sector, the public sector and most recently as CEO of an NGO, the Parliamentary Centre, dedicated to strengthening the legislative power of the institution that represents citizens of various political leanings, legislates and oversees the executive.

His experience is multidisciplinary and multicultural. In addition to his duties in Canada He has worked in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

He is recognized by his peers as a team builder and a promoter of empowerment. He has contributed to the dialogue and harmonization of multiple interests in the implementation of governance-strengthening projects.

Throughout his career he has sought to innovate.

He is a strong supporter of the importance of leadership in the sustainability of institutions.

As CEO of the Parliamentary Centre, he has participated in numerous knowledge exchange seminars with multiple stakeholders in governance.

He works in English, Spanish and French.

He likes to hike in the mountains and travel.

Los puntos de vista y opiniones expresados ​​aquí son los del autor y no reflejan necesariamente la política o la posición de CEIM. Cualquier contenido proporcionado por nuestros bloggers o autores es de su opinión. El contenido de este sitio no constituye el respaldo de ninguna afiliación política y no refleja las opiniones de los miembros del personal y la dirección.

EL DILEMA EUROPEO DE LA IDENTIDAD NACIONAL

EL DILEMA EUROPEO DE LA IDENTIDAD NACIONAL

El fracaso de la Europa Federal

La idea de una Europa Federal tiene sus orígenes desde la preconcepción de la Comunidad Económica del Carbón y del Acero (CECA) con el Tratado de París.

De hecho, la idea de una sola Europa puede situarse desde antes de la creación de la figura del Estado-nación con el Sacro Imperio Romano y la aplicación del ius commune.

Sin embargo, el gran paso hacia esta federalización de la Unión Europea se da en el contexto de la Unión Europea y la propuesta de creación de una Constitución cuyo principal objetivo era unificar, actualizar y modernizar la estructura institucional de la Unión sin que esto significara la eliminación de las identidades nacionales de cada país miembro de esta integración económica.

Pero, al considerar la existencia de una Constitución Europea se habla de una característica de un Estado y que se encuentra vertido dentro del marco constitucionalista. Gomis et al. (2003) suponen que:

Concebir la Unión Europea como una federación supone, se diga o no, entender que actúa como un nuevo centro en el que se aglutinan, siguiendo los clásicos moldes, un territorio, un pueblo y un poder político cualificado, que es la soberanía, y que permite dictar una Constitución.

Concebir la Unión Europea como una federación supone, se diga o no, entender que actúa como un nuevo centro en el que se aglutinan, siguiendo los clásicos moldes, un territorio, un pueblo y un poder político cualificado, que es la soberanía, y que permite dictar una Constitución.

Estaríamos, pues, en presencia de un Estado federal.

Frente a tal modelo, propio del Derecho Constitucional, opera otro que encuentra anclaje en el Derecho internacional público, que es la confederación de Estados.

No obstante, es necesario plantearse la siguiente pregunta: ¿a qué podemos llamar identidad?

Pagés (2014) señala que la identidad nacional se ha introducido abiertamente el concepto de soberanía en el debate sobre la integración europea, implicando con ello a los constitucionalistas de manera inexcusable en las vicisitudes de aquella empresa. Partiendo de esta premisa, nace un nuevo debate; la identidad nacional vs la identidad constitucional.

Precisamente esta posibilidad de que exista una pérdida de la identidad nacional o de los elementos que permiten a una persona tener un sentimiento de pertenencia fue el que orilló a tales resultados y rechazo a la Constitución Europea.

Este fracaso de la Constitución Europea permite identificar una de las problemáticas más fuertes para la Unión Europea: la imposibilidad de generar una identidad europea.

Frente a esta situación se realizó la firma del Tratado de Lisboa.

Este fracaso de la Constitución Europea permite identificar una de las problemáticas más fuertes para la Unión Europea: la imposibilidad de generar una identidad europea.

Aunado a esto, una de las cuestiones a resolver en el rechazo a una Europa federal, presentada por Pagés (2014) era la identificación de qué identidad iba a traer la nueva Constitución Europea “pues no está perfectamente claro si es la que puede predicarse de la “Constitución” que organiza al pueblo en una comunidad política o la del “pueblo” sometido a la Constitución del Estado.”

Análisis de caso: Turquía

El proceso de “federalización” de la Unión Europea y de la lucha por la protección de su “identidad nacional” puede ser entendido con mejor facilidad al abordar el fallido proceso de integración de Turquía a la integración.

La realidad es que el hecho de que un país tenga una gran población musulmana, una religión “opuesta”, al cristianismo característico de la Unión fue uno de los grandes obstáculos para su incorporación.

El proceso de “federalización” de la Unión Europea y de la lucha por la protección de su “identidad nacional” puede ser entendido con mejor facilidad al abordar el fallido proceso de integración de Turquía a la integración.

Rosenberger (2004) explica en su ensayo “The Other Side of the Coin: Populism, Nationalism, and the European Union”, cómo la identidad nacional europea cristiana se enfrentó con la identidad nacional musulmana de Turquía para evitar dicha incorporación desde los dos bandos:

Dado que los partidos populistas de derecha aún no forman un bloque en el Parlamento Europeo, aún tienen que movilizar la oposición a la membresía de Turquía. Sin embargo, el cristianismo, vinculado a los valores y la cultura occidentales, podría dar lugar a una movilización transnacional en nombre de la identidad europea occidental.

Es la llegada de estos nuevos miembros que no siguen los “valores cristianos” europeos y el miedo a la pérdida de su identidad nacional, lo que han complicado la integración europea y evidencian que para gran parte de la población de la Unión, para ser Europeo hay que tener los valores cristianos (lo que no significa que deban ser cristianos).

Es la llegada de estos nuevos miembros que no siguen los “valores cristianos” europeos y el miedo a la pérdida de su identidad nacional, lo que han complicado la integración europea y evidencian que para gran parte de la población de la Unión, para ser Europeo hay que tener los valores cristianos (lo que no significa que deban ser cristianos).

Esta visión también explica la fuente del crecimiento del populismo nacional; sin embargo, Rosenberger (2004) resalta que:

Por supuesto, un fenómeno como el populismo de derecha no tiene una sola explicación, ya que ocurre dentro de un sistema político diferente; los estados fuera de la UE como Suiza y Noruega también poseen partidos populistas relativamente fuertes. Sin embargo, hay evidencia de que tales desarrollos domésticos van de la mano con la percepción de europeización.

El vínculo entre el proceso de integración europeo y el ascenso de los partidos de derecha puede ser mucho más fuerte de lo que se admite en los estudios académicos o en las declaraciones de ambos.

Consideraciones finales

El gran reto de Europa para los siguientes años es convencer a los ciudadanos de la Unión de la posibilidad de que coexistan 2 identidades: la identidad nacional y la identidad europea.

Es un hecho que la identidad nacional, la falta de información y difusión sobre las consideraciones reales de la Constitución Europea han interferido en el los objetivos de integración de la Unión Europea. Sin embargo, esta identidad y miedo a perderla es el resultado de la institución del Estado-nación y de más de 4 siglos de adoctrinamiento y educación enfocada a generar un sentido de pertenencia y amor hacia las naciones de los países Europeos.

El gran reto de Europa para los siguientes años es convencer a los ciudadanos de la Unión de la posibilidad de que coexistan 2 identidades: la identidad nacional y la identidad europea.

Referencias

Rosenberger, S. (2004). The Other Side of the Coin: Populism, Nationalism, and the European Union. Harvard International Review, 26(1), 22–25. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43649052

Pagés, J. L. R. (2014). Identidad nacional e integración europea. Revista Española de Derecho Constitucional, 100, 425–434. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24886795

Gomis, L., Rey, F., Solozábal, J. J., Matia F. J., Casanova, J. A. G., & De Carreras, F. (2003). ¿Una España federal en una Europa federal? El Ciervo, 52(625), 17–23. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40830912

Luis C. Tzec-Sandoval es un internacionalista y periodista mexicano

Ha colaborado con medios especializados en política internacional como el Observatorio de Relaciones Internacionales de la Universidad Europea en Madrid, España y la revista Atalayar especializada en política de la región del Mediterraneo.

Ha colaborado con medios nacionales e internacionales como el periódico de circulación nacional, El Financiero y la principal revista de negocios en Latinoamérica, Bloomberg Businessweek México. 

Tiene experiencia profesional en el sector público como colaborador en la Unidad de Comunicación Social y Protocolo del Poder Judicial de Yucatán, así como en la Comisión Nacional de Tribunales Superiores de Justicia (durante la presidencia del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Yucatán). 


Los puntos de vista y opiniones expresados ​​aquí son los del autor y no reflejan necesariamente la política o la posición de CEIM. Cualquier contenido proporcionado por nuestros bloggers o autores es de su opinión. El contenido de este sitio no constituye el respaldo de ninguna afiliación política y no refleja las opiniones de los miembros del personal y la dirección.

RUSIA – UCRANIA COMO GUERRA NO CONVENCIONAL

RUSIA – UCRANIA COMO GUERRA NO CONVENCIONAL

Si bien el caso de Rusia-Ucrania comenzó como una guerra convencional donde se distinguen ejércitos regulares enfrentados, conforme pasa el tiempo el evento ha superado las características de un simple conflicto: sanciones económicas, restricciones de tránsito, prohibición de participación en eventos culturales o deportivos, desinformación y propaganda…son eventos que hacen pensar en que las categorías tradicionales para comprender y analizar la guerra se han quedado cortas o son insuficientes para comprender a cabalidad lo que está sucediendo.

En esta entrada de blog se revisarán los conceptos de “guerra de cuarta generación”, “guerra asimétrica” y “guerra híbrida” como categorías analíticas que nos permitirán dar luz sobre lo sucedido entre Rusia y Ucrania.

En esta entrada de blog se revisarán los conceptos de “guerra de cuarta generación”, “guerra asimétrica” y “guerra híbrida” como categorías analíticas que nos permitirán dar luz sobre lo sucedido entre Rusia y Ucrania.

Guerra de Cuarta Generación

Al terminar la Guerra Fría, después de la caída del Muro de Berlín, comienzan nuevas teorizaciones sobre los conflictos.

Ya en 1989, William Lind entendió que las ideas y la tecnología son las características que han determinado la evolución de las conflagraciones entre países.

Entonces Lind identificó cuatro generaciones de guerras:

  • Primera generación: que inicia con las armas de fuego y la profesionalización de los ejércitos;
  • Segunda generación: donde la guerra se industrializa, la movilización logística y las maquinarias bélicas escalan los conflictos;
  • Tercera generación: basada en la velocidad y sorpresa de los ataques; y
  • Cuarta generación: donde la superioridad de un ejército conduce al uso de “recursos no convencionales”.
Ya en 1989, William Lind entendió que las ideas y la tecnología son las características que han determinado la evolución de las conflagraciones entre países.

En palabras de Lind (1989):

“La cuarta [generación] pretende derrumbar al enemigo internamente en lugar de destruirlo físicamente […] La guerra de la cuarta generación se libra en un espacio aparentemente difuso y en gran parte indefinido. La distinción entre guerra y paz será borrosa.” (Lind, 1989)

En esta trama de guerra de cuarta generación, donde la cobertura de los medios de comunicación y el desarrollo de la estrategia de desinformación en las redes sociales generan opinión, Ucrania ha optado por una comunicación centrada en la imagen de Volodimir Zelenski: un humilde jefe de Estado al lado de su pueblo.

En esta trama de guerra de cuarta generación, donde la cobertura de los medios de comunicación y el desarrollo de la estrategia de desinformación en las redes sociales generan opinión, Ucrania ha optado por una comunicación centrada en la imagen de Volodimir Zelenski: un humilde jefe de Estado al lado de su pueblo.

La contraparte rusa opta por comunicar la idea de la desnazificación de Ucrania, intentando una transposición de la victoria en la Gran Guerra Patria (término empleado en Rusia para referirse a la guerra contra la Alemania nazi durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial).

Pero la construcción del enemigo y la infodemia no es el único elemento relevante en estas nuevas categorías de conflictos; otra característica será la asimetría de fuerzas y las consecuencias que esto conlleva.

Guerra asimétrica

En los noventas se acuña el término “guerra asimétrica” para referirse a un enfrentamiento entre adversarios de desigual potencia que incluye modos de acción no convencionales para explotar vulnerabilidades del rival.

La guerra asimétrica implica:

“actuar, organizar y pensar de manera diferente al adversario para  maximizar los esfuerzos relativos, tomar ventaja de sus debilidades y adquirir mayor libertad de acción.

Puede ser política/estratégica, militar/estratégica, operacional o una combinación que implica distintos  métodos, tecnologías, valores, organizaciones o perspectivas de tiempo.

Puede ser a corto o a largo plazo. Puede también ser discreta o  complementada en conjunto o con aproximaciones simétricas y tener una dimensión tanto psicológica como física” (Metz, 2002).

En los noventas se acuña el término “guerra asimétrica” para referirse a un enfrentamiento entre adversarios de desigual potencia que incluye modos de acción no convencionales para explotar vulnerabilidades del rival.

Desde 2014, el conflicto entre Rusia y Ucrania ha mantenido como característica de guerra asimétrica la presencia de al menos una docena de batallones, milicias nacionales, grupos guerrilleros, paramilitares o “legalizados” (al ser incorporados directamente al ejército ucraniano) ponen en evidencia que la resistencia a Rusia es más de la esperada, aunque la superioridad militar rusa sigue siendo enorme.

En esta guerra asimétrica, la extrema derecha crece, más allá de los reclamos de la ACNUR y Ammistía Internacional al documentar crímenes de guerra, asesinatos y violaciones masivas de grupos como Dnipro-1, Aydar y el Batallón Donbás.

Pero el fanatismo y la participación de actores no estatales en el conflicto también puede explicarse desde el concepto de guerra híbrida.

Guerra híbrida

Hoffmann en 2007 definió una guerra híbrida como “una combinación de la letalidad de la guerra estatal con el fanatismo de la guerra irregular”.

Es decir, una guerra híbrida conjuga modos de combate clásicos con irregulares.

Constituyen conflictos en los que “al menos uno de los contendientes combina operaciones convencionales, guerra irregular, acciones terroristas y conexiones con el crimen organizado” (Schnaufer 2017, 18).

Una característica propia de esta guerra híbrida es la privatización del conflicto a través del uso de legionarios y mercenarios para “subcontratar la guerra” o “trasferir los riesgos” asociados a la misma.

Constituyen conflictos en los que “al menos uno de los contendientes combina operaciones convencionales, guerra irregular, acciones terroristas y conexiones con el crimen organizado” (Schnaufer 2017, 18).

En este sentido, el ejército ucraniano ha creado la “Legión Internacional para la Defensa Territorial de Ucrania”, una unidad militar con voluntarios extranjeros de al menos 50 países.

A través de su sitio web, la Legión Internacional describe los siete pasos para unirse, mismos que inician con el contacto a la embajada ucraniana en el país de origen y concluyen con el arribo a Ucrania: Fight for Ukraine (fightforua.org)

Por el lado de Rusia, se han identificado empresas conocidas como Compañías Militares Privadas (PMC, por sus siglas en inglés), eufemismo cuasi legal para referirse a los mercenarios modernos.

El ejemplo mediático más conocido de PMC es el Wagner Group, fundado en 2014 durante la anexión rusa de Crimea, que se distinguió por la brutalidad de sus operaciones en Siria y que, según fuentes de inteligencia estadounidenses, guarda vínculos directos con Vladimir Putin.

Reflexión final

Los tiempos cambian, las formas de guerra se modifican.

Esta premisa, ayuda a entender la importancia de discutir conceptos novedosos que pueden ampliar nuestra capacidad explicativa frente a eventos coyunturales.

En el caso de Rusia-Ucrania, nos encontramos frente a una guerra donde se conjugan diversos medios, actores y dimensiones que diluyen las distinciones clásicas de lo militar y lo no-militar; donde la propaganda se potencializa a través de las redes sociales, los rivales hacen uso de recursos no convencionales y la guerra se privatiza.

En el caso de Rusia-Ucrania, nos encontramos frente a una guerra donde se conjugan diversos medios, actores y dimensiones que diluyen las distinciones clásicas de lo militar y lo no-militar; donde la propaganda se potencializa a través de las redes sociales, los rivales hacen uso de recursos no convencionales y la guerra se privatiza.

Las categorías de “guerra de cuarta generación”, “guerra asimétrica” y “guerra híbrida” sin duda ayudan a comprender la situación conflictual actual y entender mejor cómo funciona el mundo.

Referencias:

Hoffmann, Frank. 2007. Conflict in the 21st Century: The Rise of Hybrid Wars. Arlington: Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

Lind, William, Keith Nightengale, John Schmitt, Joseph Sutton y Gary Wilson. 1989. “The changing face of war: into the fourth generation”. Marine Corps Gazzete 73: 22-26.

Metz, Steven. 2007. “New challenges and old concepts. Understanding 21st century insurgency”. Parameters 37 (4): 20-32. Mulligan, William. 2008. “Total war”. War in History 15 (2): 211-221.

  • Ronald es Director General de Gestión y Vinculación Académica del Centro de Estudios Internacionales del Mayab (CEIM);
  • Internacionalista por el Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), Maestro en Gobierno y Políticas Públicas por la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY);
  • Docente universitario especialista en geopolítica, seguridad y terrorismo; y
  • Experto en diseño e implementación de políticas públicas.

Los puntos de vista y opiniones expresados ​​aquí son los del autor y no reflejan necesariamente la política o la posición de CEIM. Cualquier contenido proporcionado por nuestros bloggers o autores es de su opinión. El contenido de este sitio no constituye el respaldo de ninguna afiliación política y no refleja las opiniones de los miembros del personal y la dirección.

THE 9TH SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS IN LOS ANGELES

THE 9TH SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS IN LOS ANGELES

In principle, the Summits of the Americas are intended to bring together leaders from across the Western Hemisphere to work on problems that no single country can solve on its own.

The Summit held in Los Angeles, June 6-10, was intended to provide a show of unity, but instead it revealed that the United States is out of touch with much of Latin America and the Caribbean.

US President Joe Biden inaugurated the Summit saying “As we meet again today in a moment

when democracy is under assault around the world, let us unite again and renew our conviction that democracy is not only the defining feature of American histories but the essential ingredient of the Americas’ futures.”

Conspicuously absent from the ceremony was the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

He and several other leaders stayed away from the Summit to protest the decision to exclude three of the region’s non-democracies: Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. For the Mexicans, the issue was not democracy but sovereignty.

Conspicuously absent from the ceremony was the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

The rift poses a problem—but also an opportunity—for Canada, which supports multilateralism but also consistently seeks to be on the good side of the United States.

But for Canada to navigate these turbulent waters it will be necessary to come to terms with changes that have taken place in the region in recent decades.

Latin America emerged as a democratic region only in the last four decades, despite a history of repressive military rule often punctuated by populist reforms and revolutionary insurrections.

Democratic transitions in the 1980s transformed the region, but not always as expected.

To those who viewed it through the lens of the end of the Cold War, the region appeared initially to embrace—at last—both free markets and liberal democracy.

In the hubris of the time, free markets were expected to bring prosperity and democratic stability.

In the hubris of the time, free markets were expected to bring prosperity and democratic stability.

At the first Summit of the Americas, held in Miami in 1994, the US was eager to promote the recently negotiated North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Many Latin American countries were keen to be part of the Summits process in the hope of joining a future Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).

But problems emerged almost immediately.

In 1994 Mexico faced both a financial meltdown and an uprising in Chiapas.

Coup attempts in Venezuela and a presidential self-coup in Peru suggested that the threat of democratic backsliding was real and mechanisms would be needed to prevent this from happening.

At the 2001 Quebec City summit, the assembled leaders proposed to draft the Inter-American Democratic Charter and declared that “any unconstitutional alteration or interruption of the democratic order in a state of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that state’s government in the Summit of the Americas process.”

The assumption, of course, was that the countries of the region would want to be part of the Summits. Inclusion was a carrot.

But the outcome of market reforms was not as positive as anticipated.

Economic and employment growth was slow and the benefits of global competition tended not to trickle down.

A major backlash brought leaders of parties and movements of the left into office throughout the region.

At the Summit of the Americas in 2005, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez declared that the FTAA was “dead.”

There was little interest in pursuing closer economic ties with the US in most of the region.

Since then, the role of the US in summitry has become more complicated. Inclusion in summits was no longer a carrot.

Latin nations were less focused on competing with one another for access to US markets and capital.

Instead, prosperity was generated by a commodity boom, driven by rapid growth in China.

In this context, President Nicolás Maduro was excluded from the 2018 Lima Summit due to the breakdown of the democratic regime in his nation and many countries, including Canada, recognized the opposition head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, instead.

Many countries embraced a model of development based on the extraction of natural resources, with revenue channeled into social spending.

With the left ascendant in the region, Cuba was invited to the 2015 Panama Summit.

Latin American leaders had insisted at the 2012 Cartagena Summit that Cuba be invited to future summits.

Then the tide turned against the left, as conservative leaders took office in Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and the United States.

In this context, President Nicolás Maduro was excluded from the 2018 Lima Summit due to the breakdown of the democratic regime in his nation and many countries, including Canada, recognized the opposition head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, instead.

Indeed, Canada played a leading role in hosting the “Lima Group,” an initiative to restore democracy in Venezuela by denying international legitimacy to Maduro’s regime.

Indeed, Canada played a leading role in hosting the “Lima Group,” an initiative to restore democracy in Venezuela by denying international legitimacy to Maduro’s regime.

In Nicaragua mass protests in 2018 were followed by sham elections, in which numerous opposition leaders were arrested, that the OAS determined fell short of the Democratic Charter.

But the left won subsequent elections in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico (all formerly part of the Lima group), and Chile.

This is the context in which the US, as host, adhering to the language of the Quebec City declaration, decided not to invite Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the Summit in Los Angeles.

To the apparent surprise of the host, many countries expressed unhappiness about these exclusions.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, who represented his country instead of the president, used the occasion to argue that a majority of attendees disagreed with the US policy.

He even called for the replacement of the Organization of America States (OAS), the body that organizes the Summits, which he described as “exhausted” (agotado).

What does this mean for Canada? When Canada joined the OAS in 1990 there was a commonly held belief that the rising spirit of hemispheric cooperation following the transitions to democracy and to a market-oriented model of development would create spaces for it to play a constructive role.

He even called for the replacement of the Organization of America States (OAS), the body that organizes the Summits, which he described as “exhausted” (agotado).

Although most of the region’s democracies have endured, the emergence and establishment of the left, and a strong right-wing backlash, have polarized politics and made hemispheric cooperation more difficult.

Canada has often found itself in the position of appearing much more like an ally of the US than an honest broker.

Could Canada play a more independent role in the hemisphere? To a limited degree, it already does.

Even at the Summit in Los Angeles Canada was clearly charting its own path.

Prime Minister Trudeau steered clear of the controversy over the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Moreover, Canadians always earn kudos in the region for pursuing an independent relationship with Cuba and for not supporting the US blockade.

At the same time, its leadership in the Lima Group has placed Canada firmly on the side of those favouring democratic regime change in Venezuela.

Canada should support efforts to establish an accepted definition of an “unconstitutional alteration or disruption” in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

A guiding document could help policymakers interpret and apply the charter.

In the longer term we need an independent mechanism for monitoring, analyzing, and providing early warning of crises to ensure the charter is used in a more consistent and systematic manner.

Since such solutions did not come out of the Summit, the work could be done by the proposed Canadian Democracy Centre or with a respected organization like the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

Moreover, Canada’s democracy promotion agenda must be anchored in a vision of shared and sustainable prosperity that goes beyond the free-market solutions offered by the Biden administration, while at the same time reflecting sensitivity to concerns about foreign interventionism.

This means working with governments and intergovernmental organizations that are urgently addressing the region’s underinvestment in public goods like healthcare, education, and environmental protection.

Even Chile, until recently lauded as a neoliberal success story, is undergoing an uncertain process of constitutional and political change.

Trudeau met with newly elected President Gabriel Boric prior to the summit and embraced his progressive policy agenda.

This is a start, but if Canada wishes to pursue an active role in the region it must commit to a more sustained presence. So far it has not invested substantial time, energy, or diplomatic resources in the region.

Ottawa values the OAS and Summits of the Americas because they provided a chance to engage with countries of the region in a multilateral forum.

Since it is no longer evident that Washington has the capacity to ensure cooperation in the Western Hemisphere, Canada has the opportunity to step up and build bridges. If it does not, the prospects for multilateralism may be dim. That is one of the key lessons of this summit.


Maxwell A. Cameron is Professor in the Department of Political at the University of British Columbia.

He specializes in comparative politics, democracy and ethics.

His publications include Democracy and Authoritarianism in Peru (St. Martin’s 1994), The Peruvian Labyrinth (Penn State University Press, 1997), Latin America’s Left Turns (Lynne Rienner, 2010), Democracia en la Region Andina (Lima: IEP, 2010), New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America (Palgrave 2012), The Making of NAFTA (Cornell, 2000), Strong Constitutions (Oxford University Press 2013), Political Institutions and Practical Wisdom (Oxford University Press, 2018) and over 50 peer reviewed articles.

Cameron has taught at Carleton University, Yale University and the Colegio de Mexico.

Between 2011-2019 he served as the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions.

In 2013 Cameron won a UBC Killam Teaching Prize and in 2020 he became the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies’ Distinguished Fellow.


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CEIM. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion. The content on this site does not constitute endorsement of any political affiliation and does not reflect opinions from members of the staff and board.

THE SCOURGE OF RACISM

THE SCOURGE OF RACISM

I have spent most of my diplomatic career in different countries with exposure to varied cultures and religions.

The one common denominator I have found is that every society I have encountered has its own form of racism which, I believe is based on two basic elements: power and fear.

Consider the history of Christian European colonists – both Catholic and Protestant – who at some point deviated from the message of Christ to love one another and instead became obsessed with power, expansion, and a cult of superiority that inspired them to use the sword followed by the cross to colonize people in Africa and the Americas.

The one common denominator I have found is that every society I have encountered has its own form of racism which, I believe is based on two basic elements: power and fear.

Rather than interact with the peoples and share in their vision of the world, they simply enforced their own vision upon the natives and subjugated them.

As the centuries passed, the European colonists found themselves at the top of the political, economic, and social scale in the Americas.

The indigenous were at the bottom with their rights to their own cultures and languages debased, and their sense of inferiority heightened by their victimization.

The same thing happened to Africans brought to the Americas as slaves.

Their languages and identities eradicated, their religion replaced by a Christianity that taught them submission to the God of the colonist, and a social structure that relegated them to the bottom of the ladder.

American and Canadian authorities spent years trying to assimilate their indigenous populations thus depriving them of their languages and cultures.

As well, they spent much energy in marginalizing and discriminating against their black populations.

As well, they spent much energy in marginalizing and discriminating against their black populations.

Today, indigenous peoples have found a certain refuge in modern liberalism that has led to their acceptance by the mainstream.

They have also found power in unity and have developed international networks of supporters who share their demands for their rights at the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and in the media.

And in the United States successive federal governments have had to legislate in favor of human rights for African Americans, while many state legislatures continue to legislate against the rights of blacks to vote freely and fairly.

Populist leaders in the US and elsewhereare using this fear of the other to fuel their political careers as they legitimize the hatred of the white underclass and give them a target to blame for their own deficiencies.

One sees this in the rise of Islamophobia in Europe, where populists like Hungary’s Prime Minister Orban and French leader Marine LePen rail against migrants and minorities, fearing that their national cultural values are threatened by the influx of migrants, especially Muslims.

Social media has provided racist leaders everywhere with the tools that they need to reach masses of frustrated voters and feed them the ideas that justify their insecurities and, in turn, get these leaders elected to political office.

The rise of radical nationalism in many countries is leading to policies that diminish the rights of religious or racial minorities.

In India, Prime Minister Modi is leading a Hinduist government that clearly seeks to marginalize India’s large Muslim minority.

In many African countries, radical tribalism has resulted and continues to produce violence and mass killings within national borders created by the former colonial powers that have a cohesive value for the tribes that inhabit these lands.

This rise is radical nationalism can be attributed at least in part to the rise of globalism during the last decade and the perception of loss of control over their national laws and values by many people.

Racism and racist policies give many the feeling of control, and until this feeling is replaced by the acceptance of a shared existence in a common space, racism will continue to run rampant.

Racism is fundamentally a product of human nature.

Racism and racist policies give many the feeling of control, and until this feeling is replaced by the acceptance of a shared existence in a common space, racism will continue to run rampant.

Despite our technological advances, most of us still find comfort in the “tribe” – our nationality, our class, our culture – and continue at some level to see the world in terms of “us and them”. Whether or not this vision can change remains to be seen.

But the rise of nationalism in response to the frustrations brought on by globalization has allowed many to regain a sense of control over their identity.

And this will continue as long as human nature remains unchanged.

¡Contáctate!
¡Hola! ¿en qué podemos ayudarte hoy?
¡Hola! ¿en qué podemos ayudarte hoy?