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The Trump Administration and the Implementation of Colombia's Peace Accord

Wed, May 23, 10:45am to 12:15pm, TBA


With the 2017 political transition in Washington came a cooling in U.S.-Colombian relations. There has also been a decline in U.S. support for the Colombian government's accords with guerrilla groups. A sharp rise in coca cultivation has taken precedence over other bilateral priorities. This paper will examine some of the effects of this U.S. pullback. It will look at changes in peace prospects, the implementation budget, the Colombian government's political will to fulfill commitments, and the situation of human rights defenders and social leaders. It offers a power analysis of U.S. policymaking toward Colombia during the early years of the Trump administration and latter years of the Juan Manuel Santos government. It highlights the segments of the executive branch and Congress that are exerting the most influence and which have fallen off. It finds that the strong pro-accord consensus of the Obama years still holds, but it has been eroded by a severe dismantling of the State Department's Western Hemisphere apparatus and by the ascendance of a few key skeptics in Congress. Of these, some prioritize a hardline drug policy and some maintain a direct line of communication with accord opponents in Colombia. The paper will also explore the roles of the U.S. and Colombian militaries, which have been less prominent during this period.