Colombians take to the streets in the third general strike in two weeks

The far-right Duque administration in Colombia is only fifteen months old, but its polarizing policies have brought the country to its knees, with a third general strike in just two weeks shutting down the country yesterday. Read the rest

Rich-world agricultural subsidies ensure coca leaves are Colombia's only viable cash crop

With the shambolic FARC peace deal finally in place, the Colombian government is hoping to shift the country's farmers from Colombia's major cash crop: the coca leaves that are refined into the world's cocaine supply. Perhaps with the guerrillas no longer defending the crops they relied on for operating capital, Colombia can put coca behind it. Read the rest

Did transphobia help kill Colombia's peace referendum?

As the "cool Pope" and other conservative religious leaders wage a war on "gender ideology," one of the biggest casualties may have been the peace vote to end Colombia's decades-long civil war.

Trans rights are increasingly used as a wedge issue by conservatives, and it often involves moral panics around "protecting children" from LGBT people in general and transgender people in particular.

The controversy began earlier this year when an unfinished draft of a teaching handbook, produced by the education ministry in tandem with international agencies including UNICEF, was published online. One sentence sparked particular fury: “One isn’t born a man or a woman, but rather learns to be one, according to the society and age in which they grow up,” it read. That passage, along with false versions of the handbook and other misinformation, circulated widely on social media. Critics accused then-Education Minister Gina Parody, a lesbian, of trying to indoctrinate students with “gender ideology,” a term used by many conservative groups and leaders throughout Latin America. Parody quickly became the center of a smear campaign, while others argued children needed to be protected from same-sex marriage. That was when the lines between the handbook controversy and the peace deal vote started to blur.

Did an Anti-LGBT Panic Help Defeat Colombia’s Peace Deal? (Americas Quarterly)

Image: Iván Erre Jota Read the rest