Colombia has approx. 60 political parties, organizations and movements, but the political monopoly belongs to the Liberal and Conservative parties. As a result of close cooperation between liberals and conservatives during the period of the National Front and in subsequent years, the ideological and programmatic differences between the traditional parties began to gradually fade. In the 1990s the heterogeneity of traditional political parties has intensified, often much more in common between certain trends of liberals and conservatives than between factions of the same party. While the liberals as a whole managed to maintain the organizational unity of their party, some factions of the conservatives received the status of a legal entity and actually became independent organizations. Check diseaseslearning for political system of Colombia.
After the overthrow of the dictatorship of G. Rojas Pinilla, the Liberal Party was in power in 1958-62, 1966-70, 1974-82 and 1986-98, the Conservative – in 1962-66, 1970-74 and 1982-86, a coalition of conservative parties and groups in 1998-2002. The organizational difficulties of the conservatives and the inability of the ruling conservative coalition to find a way out of the internal armed conflict led to a new alignment of forces.
According to the results of the parliamentary elections (May 10, 2002), the liberals received 32.5% of the seats in the lower house and 34.4% in the upper house, and the conservatives, respectively, 12.6 and 25.5% of the seats. The absence of a protective barrier led to the fact that the rest of the places were distributed among extremely small groups.
In the presidential elections (May 26, 2002), a dissident from the Liberal Party, who created the supra-party movement “Colombia First” A. Uribe Velez, won in the first round (53.04% of the vote). His closest rival, the official candidate of the Liberal Party, O. Serpu, was supported by 31.72% of voters.
The most important subject of politics continues to be the partisan movement, which has been operating with varying degrees of intensity for half a century. In September 1987, six military-political organizations created the National Coordinating Committee of the Partisan Movement. S. Bolivar, however, he could not play the role of the alleged coordinating center due to disagreements between its participants. Some of them have made peace agreements with the government, others have refused to negotiate for various reasons. The political demands of the partisans increasingly faded into the background, there was a further criminalization of the armed formations, terrorist acts and kidnappings for ransom noticeably intensified. The most influential military-political organization is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) close to the Communist Party (estimated number of 17-20 thousand people, leader – M. Marulanda). The Guevarist Army of National Liberation (ELN) operates (5 thousand people, leader – N. Rodriguez). A part of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (EPL) (500 people, leader – F. Caraballo) continues the armed struggle. To the beginning 2000s The FARC deployed activities on 60 fronts, and the ELN on 30. The activity of the armed formations is noticeable on the territory of 600 of the 1097 municipalities, about 200 of them are actually under the control of the guerrillas. A part of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (EPL) (500 people, leader – F. Caraballo) continues the armed struggle. To the beginning 2000s The FARC deployed activities on 60 fronts, and the ELN on 30. The activity of the armed formations is noticeable on the territory of 600 of the 1097 municipalities, about 200 of them are actually under the control of the guerrillas.
Right-wing radical armed formations (up to 14 thousand people), many of which are associated with the drug mafia, were also found guilty of numerous human rights violations and massacres. The ideology of the United Self-Defense of Colombia (AUC) is based on the right of the population to self-defense against left-wing guerrillas. The organization seeks official recognition from the government and participation in the peace settlement.
Entrepreneurial organizations act as important pressure groups – the National Association of Industrialists (ANDI), the Banking Association of Colombia (ASOBANCARIA), the National Association of Financial Institutions (ANIF), the National Federation of Coffee Producers (FEDECAFE), the Colombian Federation of Metallurgical Industries (FEDEMETAL) and a number of others. branch federations, trade union centers, peasant organizations (primarily the National Organization of Peasant Land Users, ANUC), new social movements, human rights organizations.
The main priorities of Colombia’s domestic and foreign policy are related to the solution of the problem of internal armed conflict and the fight against the drug mafia.
In resolving the internal armed conflict, the Colombian governments used both forceful and political methods. President A. Pastrana (1998-2002) showed maximum readiness for dialogue, who personally met with FARC leader M. Marulanda and decided to demilitarize 5 municipalities. As a result, the so-called. Farkland is a vast territory with an area of 42 thousand km2. To overcome the acute socio-political crisis, the Pastrana government developed the Colombia Plan – a comprehensive strategy that includes strengthening the state, creating conditions for establishing a lasting peace, controlling the cultivation of drug crops, combating drug trafficking and solving social problems. The financial support of the plan amounted to 7.5 billion US dollars. The government of Colombia allocated 4 billion, the USA provided 1,
In practice, the initiatives taken by the Colombian government and the international community have so far produced minimal results. Progress was also not made in the peaceful settlement of the conflict: the demilitarized zone was used by partisans for training militants, holding hostages, preparing armed attacks, drug and arms trafficking, and terrorist acts did not stop. After receiving political status, the National Liberation Army also began to seek the allocation of a demilitarized zone to it and at the same time continued terrorist actions. Far-right militias also became active and began to seek participation in the negotiations. In February 2002, negotiations were terminated, and the government began to send troops into the demilitarized zone.
President A. Uribe (since 2002) believes that the resumption of negotiations with the rebels is possible only if they stop terrorist attacks and take hostages. In his opinion, it is possible to achieve success in negotiations only from a position of strength. A key place in Uribe’s policy is the strengthening of power structures, in particular, an increase in military spending and a doubling of the size of a professional army and police. (The number of each of the power structures is planned to be increased to 100 thousand people). At the same time it is planned to attract approx. 1 million Colombians to local policing, military support organizations and security firms.
Immediately after being elected president, Uribe turned to the United States with a request for military assistance. An unexpected move was the proposal to include far-right paramilitaries in future peace talks.
Uribe favors the continuation of Plan Colombia, with some redistribution of funds and an increase in military spending.
Uribe’s tough stance found support from the US administration, which even earlier qualified FARC, ELN and AUC as terrorist organizations and assumed obligations to provide assistance in the fight against terrorism and the drug mafia. (In terms of US aid, Colombia ranks second after Israel). In June 2002, the position of the EU also changed, which, along with ultra-right armed groups, included the FARC in the list of terrorist organizations. In May 2003, Uribe took the initiative to grant amnesty to all guerrillas who are ready to join the peace process, regardless of the crimes committed.
The armed forces of Colombia include the national army, navy, air force and the national police. Defense spending in 2001 amounted to 3.3 billion US dollars (3.45% of GDP).
Colombia has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1935, the exchange of embassies took place in 1943).