Colombia: 52 Years of Civil War

Colombia: 52 Years of Civil War

What Started Out as Containment Changed into War.
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On October 2nd, 2016 the Colombian government received the results to a special election concerning the conclusion of a 52 year old civil war. This election held only two options; Yes to peace between the Colombian Government or no peace whatsoever.

The vote results stated that 50.2 percent of the Colombian people stated that there should be no peace. The other 49.8 percent stated that there should be peace. The peace talks for the Colombian Civil War have been in the works since June 23rd, 2016 when both sides signed an official ceasefire.

Though the vote for a formal peace failed, the ceasefire is still in effect. The Colombian Civil War began as any traditional civil war would, between the people and the government. In 1948, the populist political leader, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated. This and the aftermath of U.S. backed anti-communist repression in rural Colombia in the 60’s led to liberal and communist militants to re-organize into the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC).

What began as a containment method for Communism during the Cold War era would evolve into something else. Whenever President Kennedy sent the Peace Corps to Colombia for education in healthcare, agriculture or construction. It transitioned from a really good idea into something dreadful.

Overtime the volunteers turned into narcotics instructors for the American Mafia and the Colombian drug traffickers. The most prominent drug produced was cocaine, and the buyers varied from the U.S. and the E.U. So what began as a means of containing communism in America’s Backyard, evolved into the War on Drugs.

Officially, the end of Communist Containment ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the Soviets out of the picture, Cuba, Colombia and other smaller communist nations. Without the financial backing of the Soviets, both they and the Cubans withdrew support for the FARC and other Guerrillas cause.

It should be noted that the paramilitary groups and guerrillas involved in the conflict have been reported to be involved with sex and drug trafficking. However, both sides have been criticized for several violations of human rights laws. This includes the usage of child soldiers in the ranks of the armed rebels and government. The total casualty rate is 220,000 dead. The comparison for civilian/fighter is 177,306 to 40,787.

That’s not including the five million people who have had to vacate their homes between the years 1985-2012. About 16.9% of the population has been a direct victim of the Colombian Civil War. As it stands, both sides are attempting to obtain peace through diplomacy. This is likely due to the fact that this war has been around for over five decades.

Everyone talks about the Middle East and the horrors there, but no one really looks towards Latin America. Granted, many hold a vendetta against the horrors the members of various extremist groups are doing in not just our nation, but others. Still, how can we obtain peace in a land that we have no business in, when we can’t even aid in obtaining peace in our own backyard?

Cover Image Credit: https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2011/11/09/23/pg-40-colombia-1-rex.jpg

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To Donald Trump: Thank U, Next

Look what you taught us.

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What Donald Trump taught me is that it is not essential for the president to care about his country. Con-artistry goes a long way when communicating with people who are tired of the same political jargon.

His simple-minded but outlandish promises convinced people significant change was coming. Donald Trump taught me that never again do I want a president to be thought of as "one of us."

Instead, I want someone smart, ethical and who has taken a basic civics course — someone who will take care of minorities and make those in dire situations a priority instead of stock market prices.

I want a president that doesn't brag about sexually assaulting women. I want a president that doesn't go on social media and blame homicide victims for not being armed. I want a president that doesn't complain about money when people are dying and losing their homes in a massive fire.

However, with that being said, I also want to give thanks to Trump. Because of him, the next generation sees how crucial it is to get out and vote. Most of your elders probably never spoke to an LGBTQ person, but you and your siblings grew up with LGBTQ friends, and you would never want them to be treated any lesser than you. You grew up with women dominating television. You grew up under the leadership of an African American president. You grew up in a world that was changing.

Some people don't like change, but you are the future, and it is your decision what you want that future to be. So thank you Donald Trump, for being the last big push Americans needed to completely change a world that was once dominated by violence and hate crimes. However, I think most of us can agree we are ready for what's coming next.

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