Events


The Victory of the Nobodies: The Electoral Victory of the Left in Colombia in Historical Perspective

Thursday, August 18th, 2022

8:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM CDT / 6:00 PM MDT / 5:00 PM PDT

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Thursday, August 18th at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT/6:00pm MT/5:00pm PT

The Victory of the Nobodies: The Electoral Victory of the Left in Colombia in Historical Perspective is hosted by the International Committee, Americas Working Group

For over 70 years, Colombia has been mired in violence that has taken the lives of more than 700,000 people. This violence can be understood as having two phases: the first phase is a consequence of the assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán in 1948, which unleashed a wave of violence between liberals and conservatives called the Bogotazo.

The second phase is ushered in by a conflict between revolutionary forces and a state captured by a powerful oligarchy, in which those in power have resorted to using every means at their disposal to maintain their control, including the use of political assassinations, paramilitaries and even narcotraffickers to shut out the left from any viable legal or civil path to power. This entrenched oligarchy has been extremely successful in not yielding an inch of power to any elements of the left or popular forces, thus an armed conflict arises between the peasants in the countryside and their urban allies forming a militant and armed left in the FARC, ELN and EPL.

In the context of this violent class conflict, the electoral victory of Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez is a testament to the power of decades of organizing and resistance to an oligarchic-controlled state.