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The 'strong hand', filled with war, is a social attraction liked by the Colombian population, something that increased again by ending the negotiations with the ELN

Colombia and war: a never ending relationship

There is no doubt that Colombia cannot live without war. Regardless of the advances and changes achieved with the Peace Agreements between the Colombian Executive and the ex-guerrilla of the FARC, the Colombians are still leaning towards the warlike acts than for the dialogues and humanitarian actions.

Leer en español: Colombia y guerra: una relación que no termina

This thesis can be argued with the approval levels of President Iván Duque in the country.

At the end of 2018, headlines such as "Iván Duque: image in free fall" became more and more viral, due to the high levels of disapproval that the president of Colombia had. Factors such as the attitude towards student mobilizations, increase in the minimum salary, the so-called Financing Law, which is nothing more than a Tax Reform, as well as corruption in the country, are those that affected negatively the image of the ruler.

According to surveys like Datexco, Polimétrico and Invamer, when asked "do you approve or disapprove of the way in which President Iván Duque Márquez is running the country?", The approval level did not exceed 30%, which left on the table an amazing 70% disapproval, in just 100 days since Duque assumed the presidency of Colombia, on August 7.

In addition, on specific issues, the unfavorableness of the president even reached a little more than 75%, for example, in the management that was being made of education, as well as in health.

It may interest you: "Enough, ELN, with deaths, kidnappings and attacks": Iván Duque

"Yes" to the war policies

Now, it seems that the attack occurred on January 17, at the Cadet School of the Santander General Police, which left a record of 21 dead and a little more than 60 injured, represented a restart in Duque's mandate and cleanliness of his image before a large part of the country.

From the moment in which the events occurred to this day, Ivan Duque has shown his rejection for this type of terrorist acts and the groups outside the law that mourn Colombia through these events.

"We reject the use of terrorism as blackmail, and the use of violence as a mechanism of pressure on society. We will never bow down", said the ruler in the middle of the Eucharist that took place in the Primate Cathedral of Bogotá, in honor of the victims of the fateful event.

However, Duque not only showed outrage at this attack, but from the first moment he took action on the matter and, without hesitating twice, he canceled the suspension of arrest warrants for 10 of the members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), guerrilla that was awarded the organization and execution of the car bomb that exploded in General Santander.

This measure did not mean anything more than the end of the peace negotiations between the Colombian Government and the ELN, which had begun during the mandate of former President Juan Manuel Santos and had not paid off with Duque. That is to say, the attack on the police school was the last straw that ended the few possibilities of dialogue between the Duque government and the guerrillas.

"Plumb is what it is, plumb is what's coming"

With all this, the true intentions of a large part of the Colombian population were revealed, which, after the Executive's actions against the ELN, began to see Duque with different eyes. According to the Pulso País survey, whose results were made public on February 11, the president of Colombia improved his image to his compatriots by 41 percent. Also, approval ratings also rose from 22% to 38%.

Of course, these numbers are related to the "enemy" guidelines taken by Iván Duque, because, to the question "do you like or not the style of President Duque's government?", 39% of respondents said 'Yes'; a little more than those who approved his style in December 2018.

With these numbers, it can be concluded that the people of this country still live in an internal conflict, not only in the physical field, but also mentally. The Colombian people are not interested in negotiating, then, as one protester said in the contradictory March for Peace, on January 20: "It is not going to negotiate, plumb is what is, plumb is what is coming".

It seems that Duque's warlike behavior will resume a conflict that was slowly emerging, all this, with the complicity and "enjoyment" war of Colombian citizens.

LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

Translated from "Colombia y guerra: una relación que no termina"

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