Deep recession in Venezuela, says IMF

Venezuela is in deep recession and will register an average GDP contraction of 8% year on year in 2015-2016, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), released on 6 October.

Santos fleshes out vision of post-conflict Colombia

A euphoric President Juan Manuel Santos told heads of state gathered at the United Nations General Assembly on 29 September that he would return next year as “president of a Colombia at peace, a reconciled Colombia”. This after last week’s agreement with the maximum leader of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc), ‘Timochenko’ (Rodrigo Londoño), to set a deadline of 23 March 2016 to conclude peace talks. Santos hailed the accord on transitional justice reached with the Farc as a historic achievement that removed the major impediment to peace. He also revealed details of a comprehensive drug plan, presented by his government last week but totally overshadowed by his handshake with Timochenko.

Santos and guerrillas agree on deadlines for peace talks and ‘relinquishing arms’

The government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrillas have finally agreed on a deadline ― 23 March 2016 ― for the signing of a peace agreement. To achieve this they previously reached agreement on a ‘special peace jurisdiction’ which will determine the judicial treatment of those facing criminal charges for their actions during the internal conflict. The features of this ‘special jurisdiction’ have already attracted predictable opposition in both the judicial and political arena. How this is received by the public at large will affect two critical post-signing hurdles: the referendum on approval or rejection of the peace agreement and the passage of the law spelling out the terms by which participants in the conflict could be granted amnesty.

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