Comtesting Impunity in Colombia

This article was written by Laura Betancur-Restrepo and Maj Grasten and originally appeared on E-International Relations on January 1, 2019. It is reproduced here under CC BY-NC 4.0.

“Impunity” has become a significant obstacle to the progress of Colombia’s peace process. A concern with impunity follows a global “trend toward an anti-impunity norm” in human rights and transitional justice.[1] Impunity – generally understood as pardons, amnesties, and the absence of criminal prosecution and accountability – has become grounds for conflicting perceptions of the legitimate treatment of crimes in Colombia’s transition towards peace. These conflicting perceptions may define the pace and path of the peace process. This article traces how impunity has catalyzed a contested politics among a range of actors in Colombia. Following the politics of impunity in the context of negotiated peace sheds light on the inner workings of power in transitional justice and peace processes.

In the case of Colombia, the peace process is viewed by some actors as an opportunity to punish crimes committed over an extended period; crimes which the Colombian justice system has hitherto failed to fully investigate. In this view, peace cannot justify a justice so soft that in practice the most heinous crimes go unpunished. In these terms, the laxity of transitional justice perpetuates impunity. In the words of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, “these aspirations [for justice] must be fully addressed, including by ensuring that the perpetrators of serious crimes are genuinely brought to justice. […] The promise of such accountability must become a reality, if the people of Colombia are to reap the full dividends of peace”[2]. From another perspective, peace resulting from negotiation justifies a flexible approach centered on a restorative and non-retributive vision of justice. From this perspective such an approach does not imply impunity. Despite a final agreement on how to end the protracted conflict in Colombia, impunity remains heavily contested. Contestation can be traced at the level of domestic and international law and legal argumentation.

In November 2016, Colombia’s Congress adopted a ratified version of the peace agreement (the Final Agreement) after the initial version failed to pass a referendum. The Final Agreement was negotiated between FARC and the now former President Juan Manuel Santos and his government. With the aim of avoiding political contestation that could jeopardize the fragile peace agreement, in 2017 Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that the agreement could not be revised for the next three presidential terms.[3] The decision was considered important in “protecting” the agreement from governmental politics until 2030.[4] The Constitutional Court even considered making the agreement part of Colombia’s constitution in the “bloque de constitucionalidad”. As such, the peace agreement would have the same status as the constitution in the domestic legal hierarchy and be isolated from political challenge. This possibility was dismissed by the Constitutional Court. That the possibility was considered points to the key role and significant power of the Court in a judicialized peace process.

When Colombia’s current President, Iván Duque, was elected during the summer of 2018, Santos, confident that the new government could not destroy the agreement, asserted that “the accord is bulletproofed”[5]. Despite this claim, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (Justicia Especial para la Paz – JEP) has been in the firing line. The JEP formally assumed jurisdiction on March 15, 2018. It has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate in cases of serious violations of human rights and crimes against humanity committed before December 1, 2016 and in the context of Colombia’s armed conflict. The JEP was established as a transitional justice system for all parties to the conflict. Accordingly, it is not only former FARC members that are subject to the JEP’s jurisdictional powers. State agents and private individuals who supported the armed conflict may also be subject to the JEP, but only if they “voluntarily submit” to its special jurisdiction. The sanction system of the JEP is unique and drives much of the contestation over impunity. A list of so-called alternative sentences and penalties was included in the Final Agreement. Whereas war crimes and crimes against humanity cannot be fully amnestied, alternative sentences were introduced as part of the agreement. Sentences can range between five and eight years and prison time can be excluded if the accused person fully cooperates with the JEP. Moreover, the agreement allows for political participation by former FARC members. The 2018 elections were the first time that former FARC members were allowed to compete at the polls.

The politics of impunity can be traced through the shifting positions of Colombia’s current President Duque on the Justicia Especial para la Paz, and in the discussions the JEP has spurred within his own party, Centro Democrático. In pre-election speeches, Duque and other members of his party referred to JEP as an impunity mechanism that allowed for the political eligibility of individuals responsible for crimes against humanity.[6] Critics of the Final Agreement’s provisions on criminal punishment, including the Centro Democrático, found it problematic to equate state agents involved in the armed conflict with “criminals” or “terrorists” (such as the FARC) and to compel the private sector (many of them businessmen who paid armed groups) to submit to the JEP. Shortly after the elections, Duque became more conciliatory and supportive of the implementation of the agreement. This is most likely due to strong international support for the peace process and the JEP in particular.

The politics of impunity can also be traced through the discussions the JEP has spurred within Duque’s own party, Centro Democrático. During the election campaign, former presidential candidate and party member, Fernando Londoño, declared that after the elections in 2018, “the first challenge of the Centro Democrático will be to tear apart that damn paper that they call Final Agreement with FARC”[7]. For some of Duque’s party members JEP is a red flag. Following the 2018 presidential elections, some members of Centro Democrático launched a campaign to collect signatures to remove the JEP by referendum. Paloma Valencia, a Centro Democrático senator stated, “We are going to end the JEP, because we are not going to allow that the judges of Santos’ corrupt government and of the FARC narcoterrorists, judge the citizens, and much less Colombia’s armed forces”[8]. On the day of Duque’s inauguration, Chairman of the Congress and Centro Democrático senator, Ernesto Macías, criticized the Peace Agreement for a lack of democratic legitimacy, arguing that there had not been an armed conflict in Colombia, but only terrorist activity. His speech was later endorsed and celebrated by fellow party members. Former President Álvaro Uribe was recorded by a hidden camera supporting this opinion in a private meeting. Commentators have noted that these radical announcements within the Centro Democrático at the time when President Duque adopted a more moderate and conciliatory stance point to a split within the governing party. The suspicion is supported by an announcement from the Vice-President of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, shortly after the inauguration: “The Government is not the same as the Centro Democrático. We are not going to support any referendum to eliminate the Special Peace Jurisdiction”[9].

Impunity has also been a contested issue from the perspective of international actors. When the then International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, assumed office in 2003, he identified Colombia together with the DRC and Uganda “as containing the gravest occurrence of crimes within its treaty jurisdiction”[10]. Since 2004, the armed conflict in Colombia has been subject to “preliminary examination” (not investigation as such) by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the ICC. According to article 53 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor does not have a duty to prosecute when there are “substantial reasons to believe that an investigation could not serve the interests of justice”. The OTP has implicitly approached the issue of impunity in the context of negotiated peace by distinguishing “between the concepts of the interests of justice and the interests in peace” arguing that “the latter falls within the mandate of institutions other than the Office of the Prosecutor”[11], such as the UN Security Council. Accordingly, the current ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, asserted in letters to Colombia’s Constitutional Court that the suspension of normal prison sentences for war crimes and crimes against humanity would be a “manifestly inadequate decision”[12] and that such suspension suggested the aim was to “shield the accused from responsibility”[13]. At the same time, the Deputy Prosecutor at the ICC, James Stewart, emphasized in a speech in Bogotá in 2015 that “[w]hile the Rome Statute does provide for sentences in ICC proceedings, it does not prescribe the specific type or length of sentences that States should impose for ICC crimes. In sentencing, States have wide discretion”[14].

Another concern in the view of the ICC is how command or superior responsibility is defined. Command responsibility means that a commander can be held accountable for crimes that have not been committed directly by him or her but by a subordinate. Military commanders, for instance, can be held accountable for crimes committed by forces under their control. Whilst Colombia’s government had incorporated “command responsibility” in its domestic legislation, it had failed to refer to the Rome Statute’s provisions. Colombia’s Constitutional Court had considered command responsibility constitutional despite objections by organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the ICC Prosecutor on the basis that it limits the scope of those that can be held accountable. In a statement published in the Colombian weekly magazine, Semana, Fatou Bensouda expressed concerns over the absence of definition of this concept in the Final Agreement.[15] According to the Rome Statute, command responsibility can be established when superiors knew or should have known that their forces were “committing or about to commit” crimes. In the Final Agreement, it is stipulated that command responsibility of FARC superiors will only be established if they had actual knowledge based in available information about crimes committed. On the basis of this definition guilt is harder to prove. Impunity might result. Human Rights Watch called on Colombia’s Constitutional Court to clarify this matter when the court recently reviewed the Statutory Law that defines the JEP’s jurisdiction. “[The peace agreement] is a piñata of impunity […] It is an agreement between the Government and FARC that ends sacrificing the right to justice of the thousands of victims of the Colombian armed conflict”.[16]

A recent development in the Duque government’s stance on impunity and negotiated peace is a proposed law currently being discussed in Congress. According to the proposal the composition of the JEP will be modified so that a total of 14 judges will be added to the rooms and sections that comprise it. The proposed law states that the additionally elected judges must be experts in the “operational manuals of the public force”. This suggests that they could be military judges working on the basis of military law. This is a response to the criticism that the JEP is not competent to hear cases related to the armed forces and that its judges are illegitimate and biased. The criticism has led to alarm among several actors, especially from the newly established FARC party, who feel that the agreement is being unilaterally modified. The alarm has led to the ICC and other international actors being asked to consider the risks to the agreement that these modifications raise.[17] Other commentators feel that the modifications could strengthen the legitimacy of the Peace Agreement and guarantees against impunity as, for the first time, the Centro Democrático party recognizes the JEP and accepts that the military can be submitted its jurisdiction[18]. The politics of impunity ensues. Impunity has been key to determining the path of the Columbian peace process. The question remains whose perception of impunity in the context of negotiated peace will gain the upper hand?

Notes

NB: The authors would like to thank Mariana Hernández, Daniela Cabrera and Diego Duarte for research assistance.

[1] Engle, Karen, Zinaida Miller & D.M. Davis (2016). Introduction. In Engle, Miller & Davis (Eds.), Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (pp. 1-12). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1.

[2] International Criminal Court, “Statement of ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the conclusion of the peace negotiations between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army”, September 1, 2016: https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=160901-otp-stat-colombia

[3] Colombian Constitutional Court, judgment C-630/2017

[4] Nonetheless, some congressmen who have opposed the agreement rejected this interpretation and consider that the agreement cannot be untouchable. See: El País, “¿Está Completamente Blindado el Acuerdo de Paz con las Farc?”, October 12, 2017: https://www.elpais.com.co/proceso-de-paz/esta-completamente-blindado-el-acuerdo-de-paz-con-las-farc.html

[5] Apnews, “Santos Sees Colombia Peace Deal Safe under Hawkish Successor,” June 26, 2018: https://apnews.com/7b987df914a1486691dde4d988191a1a

[6] El País, Iván Duque: “No hay que hacer trizas los acuerdos con las FARC, pero sí modificaciones importantes”. January 17, 2018: https://elpais.com/internacional/2018/01/17/colombia/1516162343_892303.html; El Tiempo. “A las Farc no deberían permitirles hacer política”, January 18, 2018:

[7] El Tiempo, “Las intervenciones más polémicas en convención del Centro Democrático”, May 9, 2017: https://www.eltiempo.com/politica/partidos-politicos/declaraciones-polemicas-en-la-convencion-del-centro-democratico-85708

[8] Las Dos Orillas, “Registraduría dice SÍ al CD en su intento de tumbar el Proceso de Paz”, July 11, 2018: https://www.las2orillas.co/registraduria-dice-si-al-cd-en-su-intento-de-tumbar-el-proceso-de-paz/

[9] El Espectador, ““Una cosa es el Centro Democrático y otra, el gobierno”; Marta Lucía Ramírez”, August 4, 2018, available: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/una-cosa-es-el-centro-democratico-y-otra-el-gobierno-marta-lucia-ramirez-articulo-804270

[10] International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, “Policy Paper of Preliminary Examinations (Draft)”, October 4, 2010: https://www.icc-cpi.int/nr/rdonlyres/e278f5a2-a4f9-43d7-83d2-6a2c9cf5d7d7/282515/otp_draftpolicypaperonpreliminaryexaminations04101.pdf (para. 57)

[11] International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, “Policy Paper on the Interests of Justice”, September 2007: https://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/772C95C9-F54D-4321-BF09-73422BB23528/143640/ICCOTPInterestsOfJustice.pdf (p. 1)

[12] Quoted in European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, “Special Newsletter: When Women Become Targets: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Colombia’s Conflict – A Matter for the International Criminal Court”, April 27, 2015: https://www.ecchr.eu/fileadmin/Sondernewsletter_Dossiers/SpecialNewsletter_Colombia_ICC_20150427.pdf(p. 13)

[13] Quoted in Washington Post, “In Colombia, a struggle between securing peace and delivering justice”, August 27, 2013: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-colombia-a-struggle-between-securing-peace-and-delivering-justice/2013/08/27/68ae7dcc-0eab-11e3-a2b3-5e107edf9897_story.html?noredirect=on&_=ddid-8-1545316140&utm_term=.af83856d2a26

[14] International Criminal Court, “Transitional Justice in Colombia and the Role of the International Criminal Court”, May 13, 2015: https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/otp-stat-13-05-2015-ENG.pdf

[15] Semana, “El acuerdo de paz de Colombia demanda respeto, pero tambbién responsabilidad”, January 21, 2017: https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/deseo-corte-penal-internacional-justicia-transicional-en-colombia/512820

[16] El Espectador, “Pacto de justicia en Colombia es una “piñata de impunidad”, denuncia HRW”, December 15, 2015: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/paz/pacto-de-justicia-colombia-una-pinata-de-impunidad-denu-articulo-607243

[17] El Espectador, “FARC pedirá intervención de la CPI por reforma a la JEP aprobada en el Congreso”, November 1, 2018: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/farc-pedira-intervencion-de-la-cpi-por-reforma-la-jep-aprobada-en-el-congreso-articulo-821412

[18] El Espectador, “Reformar la JEP para fortalecerla”, November 9, 2018: https://www.elespectador.com/opinion/editorial/reformar-la-jep-para-fortalecerla-articulo-822612

This article was written by Laura Betancur-Restrepo and Maj Grasten and originally appeared on E-International Relations on January 1, 2019. It is reproduced here under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Brazil and the United States: Will President Bolsonaro Bandwagon?

This article was written by Matias Spektor and Guilherme Fasolin and originally appeared on E-International Relations on November 15, 2018. It is reproduced here under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Jair Bolsonaro, the retired army captain who wiped the floor with this opponents and won the presidency of Brazil, the world’s fifth largest democracy, says he will honor his main foreign-policy campaign pledge: to bandwagon with the United States. There are no doubts that the ideological context of Bolsonaro’s rise facilitates his policy of diplomatic alignment with the United States. From the very outset, Bolsonaro has made a big deal of his admiration for the United States. During a campaign rally for the Brazilian diaspora in Miami, he saluted the American flag while his supporters chanted “USA! USA!”. Furthermore, he has on many occasions professed his fascination with Donald Trump. “I look to Trump as a role model”. The US president has responded in kind. Upon learning of Bolsonaro’s win, Trump called to congratulate his new colleague effusively, while John Bolton, the National Security Advisor, hailed Bolsonaro as good news, going on to praise him as a “like-minded” leader. Steve Bannon endorsed the new president of Brazil as a leading figure in the current right-wing, transnational populist wave.

To be sure, Bolsonaro is far more radical and outlandish than Trump – consider for instance his celebration of Brazil’s old-time military dictatorship, murdering militias, and the use of torture as a legitimate tool to combat crime. But the way he crafted his campaign message and went about implementing his strategy to reach Brazil’s highest office would not have happened in its current form without the power of Trump’s example. An outsider to the mainstream of Brazilian politics, Bolsonaro, too, rose to power by denouncing the rot at the heart of the country’s political system, screaming against political correctness, shouting abuse at minorities, and attacking newspapers and TV channels who dare to question him. His use of social media has been effective at navigating a political environment marked by polarization and the widespread dissemination of fake news. And Bolsonaro has stated that minorities ought to bow before the majority, offending blacks, women, gays, and indigenous populations in the process. He is an example of how Trumpism has gone global.

Now Bolsonaro says he wants to jump on America’s bandwagon. If this were to happen, it would be a radical departure for a country that has for decades had a fairly stable relationship with the United States, but has crafted its diplomacy to keep Washington at arm’s length. Can admiration for and emulation of Donald Trump actually sustain a policy of alignment?

Perils of Cheap Talk

Bolsonaro has made a number of policy pledges that, if and when implemented, would denote alignment with the United States. First of all, he is promising to push back against Chinese encroachment in Latin America. This comes at a time when officials in Washington begin to come to terms with the growing competition in their own backyard. Second, the next ruler of Brazil says he will follow Trump’s lead in moving the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Whilst on the campaign trail, Bolsonaro also toyed with the idea of withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council and from the Paris accords on climate change. Upon being elected, he has hinted at the possibility of severing diplomatic ties with Cuba. The president elect has also promised a tougher stance on migration, organized crime, and drug trafficking – all of which would in practice entail greater coordination with the United States. Bolsonaro wants to strengthen cooperation in military-to-military relations with the US, and his allies in Congress are already planning to introduce a tougher antiterror law that would be welcomed in Washington. Taken as a whole, Bolsonaro’s foreign-policy promises signal that he will be a proud member of the informal grouping of right-wing presidents in Latin America who are cozying up to Trump, including Mauricio Macri in Argentina, Iván Duque in Colombia and Sebstián Piñera in Chile.

And yet, so many of these promises could well turn out to be little more than hot air. Leaders make promises during the campaign season as a way of creating an image of themselves for their own electorate and third parties abroad, but they can easily reverse those pledges once they take office.[1] Leaders of all stripes also face powerful incentives to lie. In the context of the Bolsonaro case, there is a risk that the verbal commitment to bandwagoning on display on the campaign trail will be abruptly abandoned or quietly put aside for a less militant stance. The odds of bandwagoning will be inversely proportional to the material and political costs that the new president of Brazil would have to incur in order to make alignment happen. In order to understand under what conditions Bolsonaro stands a chance of actually delivering on the alignment with the US he promises, we need to have a sense of the costs and benefits of such policy choice, and a sense of whether and how the Trump administration would respond to an opening coming from Brazil.

Bandwagoning for Survival

In a new paper we offer a theory of bandwagoning that is anchored both in domestic politics and in international strategic interaction. Whereas past theories of bandwagoning focus either on external threats [2] or state capacity [3] to explain alignment in world politics, we connect the quest for domestic political survival with world politics. We treat bandwagoning as an equilibrium situation in which the leader in a dominant state provides side payments to help the incumbent in a secondary state retain office in return for compliance. This happens when the leader in the dominant state has a geopolitical stake in keeping her fellow incumbent in power and when the ruler in the secondary state feels the need to use material and political assistance from abroad to fight – and hopefully win – her battles at home.

What are the implications for Trump and Bolsonaro? If bandwagoning is to become a viable proposition, first, Trump would have to see Bolsonaro as instrumental to defend and advance US geostrategic interests in Latin America. Second, Bolsonaro would have to face a domestic situation in which the loyalty of his winning coalition is questionable to the point of making it worthwhile to comply with US demands in exchange for side payments.

Such scenario is not implausible. From the standpoint of the Trump White House, Bolsonaro can be a valuable asset if (a) the situation in Venezuela further deteriorates and calls in the US Congress for a tougher stance against chavismo become more pressing and/or if (b) officials in Washington feel Chinese expansion in Latin America cannot be reversed without the help of Brazil, the largest regional power. In such a scenario, Trump may come to the conclusion that assisting Bolsonaro in his domestic struggles would be profitable from the perspective of US concerns vis-à-vis Venezuela and China. In return for foreign-policy alignment and compliance, Trump would give Bolsonaro a package of goods to strengthen his hand at home.

According to our theory, the situation in which Bolsonaro would be most inclined to agree to a trade of goods for compliance is straightforward: if and when Bolsonaro feels he is losing the minimum number of supporters he needs to keep office. The more intense the threat of abandonment by his winning coalition, the more he will be prompted to jump on Trump’s bandwagon. The type of side payments coming from the United States that could be translated into winning-coalition loyalty might include military equipment transfers, facilitated sales to assist in the modernization of Brazil’s armed forces, and well-funded training programs in the fields of antinarcotics and antiterrorism – the military and the “law and order” institutions are a key pillar undergirding Bolsonaro’s authority and power. Side payments might also include US unilateral decisions to lower import taxes on Brazilian commodity exports, agrobusiness elites being core to Bolsonaro’s base in Congress.

And yet, our theory predicts that even when powerful incentives are in place, hammering out the terms of bandwagoning is far from easy. This is because our theory also shows that leaders who try have to confront three types of strategic-interaction problems: signaling, commitment, and bargaining.[4] Signaling is the mechanism through which one actor communicates her motivations to another who is unaware of them (with the effectiveness of signals dependent on how credible they are).[5] In turn, commitment problems occur when actors fail to make credible promises or credible threats.[6] Actors can overcome this problem by offering commitment devices, like formal diplomatic agreements or changing domestic law to make foreign alignment easier.[7] Such devices allow leaders to show one another that expressed commitments to alignment are not merely cheap talk. Finally, bargaining is the process through which two leaders distribute the costs and benefits that their alignment can generate. Rulers in international relations may agree on the general utility of alignment but be unable to reach a final agreement on the specific terms of their cooperation. The outcome of bargaining depends on whether one or the two sides have any outside options, such as a viable alternative to a negotiated agreement. Those who have outside options are in a better position to bargain than those operating under less favorable conditions.[8]

In order to get a policy of bandwagoning off the ground, then, Trump and Bolsonaro would have to overcome the problems of signaling, commitment, and bargaining that are so recurrent in strategic interactions. “Political will” alone would not suffice to shape a positive outcome. Also – and crucially -, because neither resolve nor capabilities alone settle the problems of strategic interaction, Trump would not necessarily prevail in defining the precise contours of the negotiation with Bolsonaro. Bandwagoning is not a policy that can be imposed, nor is it one that any given state can achieve on its own. As with tango, it takes two to bandwagon.

Odds of alignment

What is the likelihood of alignment between Trump and Bolsonaro?

Let us start with the United States. US officials have for a while cast China in Latin America as a menace to American interests. Last February, Rex Tillerson said that Latin America “does not need new imperial powers” and that China was “using economic statecraft to pull the region into its orbit.” In October, Mike Pompeo told reporters in the region that “when China comes calling it’s not always to the good of your citizens”. Although China has conducted its Latin American affairs with a great deal of self-restraint, it has been far from impotent. An editorial of the China Daily, the government’s English-language newspaper, warns Bolsonaro – whom it calls the “Tropical Trump” – not to disrupt relations with China. The language could not be clearer: “The economic cost [of disruption] can be backbreaking for the Brazilian economy, which has just emerged from its worst recession in history”. Bolsonaro is unlikely to breach relations with China, but he has sent a clear signal to Beijing that he is committed to renegotiating the terms of the China-Brazil relationship. For anyone wondering how much Bolsonaro is willing to risk, it suffices to point out that during the presidential race he paid a visit to Taiwan alongside three of his sons (who are elected politicians themselves).

As far as Venezuela goes, reports suggest that President Trump has in the past pressed advisors for options for military intervention in Venezuela. He even went public about it. The president is not alone. Florida senator Marco Rubio tweeted last August that the Venezuela crisis should be seen as “a national security threat to the U.S. that must be addressed. The Maduro regime is an organized crime syndicate that traffics drugs onto our streets, is driving a dangerous migratory crisis, and has invited Putin to open military bases”. Since Bolsonaro’s election, the Trump administration has said the new Brazilian president represents a “positive sign” in the fight against what National Security Advisor John Bolton called the “troika of tyranny” (Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua). What US-Brazil cooperation on the Venezuela file would entail in practice remains unclear. Yet there is no doubt that Bolsonaro is someone White House officials see as like-minded today, and a potential ally for tomorrow. Brazil does not have the inclination or capabilities to hurt chavismo through military intervention. But there are a range of measures that Brasília can take to apply pressure short of coercive diplomacy. The most obvious would be to condition Brazil’s own relations with China to Beijing suspending the lifeline they currently grant the Venezuelan regime.

From the standpoint of Brazil, too, bandwagoning might be an attractive proposition in the near future. Whereas Bolsonaro is now basking in his electoral victory, as time goes on and he introduces unpopular reform policies, the comfort he now feels will begin to fade. Indeed, many predict that early in 2019 he will feel the ground shaking below his feet as his winning coalition begins to pay the cost of the president’s declining popularity. It is worth noticing that Brazil’s brand of multiparty presidentialism is particularly prone to political backstabbing.[9] Although winning coalitions are an unfaithful bunch across the board, in Brazil they have powerful incentives to abandon an incumbent who does not deliver the goods. Consider the fact that half of all elected presidents since the country established universal suffrage three decades ago were impeached after congressmen abandoned them for a more appealing challenger. Given Brazil’s current struggles with economic decay, unemployment, citizen insecurity, and endemic corruption, it is not inconceivable that Bolsonaro will soon find himself in a position of needing all the help he can get – including that which may come from the United States.

In sum, if it ever happens, bandwagoning will not be the result of mutual sympathy or identification between Bolsonaro and Trump. Rather, if it occurs at all, alignment will result from the successful trading of compliance for side payments to help Bolsonaro face his domestic battles. With growing US concerns over Venezuela in turmoil and China expanding its reach in Latin America, the conditions might soon become ripe for it to happen.

References

[1] Michael C. Horowitz and Matthew Fuhrmann, “Studying Leaders and Military Conflict: Conceptual Framework and Research Agenda,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol.63, No.10 (2018), pp.2072-2086.

[2] Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979), p.126; Stephen M. Walt, The Origins of Alliances (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987), p.17

[3] Randall Schweller, “Bandwagoning for Profit: Bringing the Revisionist State Back In,” International Security, Vol 19, No.1 (Summer, 1994), pp.72-107.

[4] James D. Morrow, “The Strategic Setting of Choices: Signaling, Commitment, and Negotiation in international politics”, in David Lake and Robert Powell, eds., Strategic Choice and International Relations (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), pp. 77-114.

[5]Erik A. Gartzke, Shannon Carcelli, J Andres Gannon and Jiakun Jack Zhang, “Signaling in Foreign Policy,” in Cameron G. Thies, eds., Oxford Encyclopedia of Foreign Policy Analysis(Oxford University Press, 2017), pp.1-30.

[6] Robert Trager, Diplomacy: Communication and the Origins of International Order (Cambridge University Press, 2017); Bretty Ashley Leeds, “Domestic Political Institutions, Credible Commitments, and International Cooperation,” American Journal of Political Science, Vol.43, No.4 (1999) pp.979-1002.

[7] David Lake, Hierarchy in International Relations (Cornell University Press, 2009), cap.4.

[8] Ariel Rubinstein, “Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model,” Econometrica, Vol. 50, No. 1 (January 1982), pp. 97-109.

[9] Matias Spektor and Eduardo Mello, “Brazil: The Costs of Multiparty Presidentialism,” Journal of Democracy, Vol.29, No.2 (2018), p.113-127.

Peace under Siege? Ivan Duque’s Election and the FARC

This article was written by Diogo Monteiro Dario and originally appeared on E-International Relations on July 19, 2018. It is reproduced here under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Ivan Duque, from the Democratic Center Party, won the Presidential election in Colombia with 54% of the votes and will be taking the office this August. He and his party worked unrelentingly against the peace process since its foundation in 2013, which raised a lot of concern from those involved on the implementation of the agreement. In an attempt to moderate his narrative, Duque stated, in June, that a complete dismantle of the deal is ‘off the table’, but that he would try to modify it [1]. In order to understand what are the stakes for him and his allies regarding the war, the peace and the terms of the deal, in the first part of this piece we discuss the context of polarization that intensified divisions within Colombian society, and then we will focus on his positions regarding transitional justice, the political participation of the FARC, and the reforms in the rural areas.

The Origins of Polarization

Ivan Duque’s election consolidates a return of polarization in Colombian society that began in mid-2013 when the support for President Santos’ peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC in Spanish) started to lose momentum. The capacity of his party to mobilize society around their opposition against the agreement was demonstrated when they defeated the government in the referendum of October 2016, convincing a significant part of the country’s population to reject an agreement that promised to end 50 years of war.

Duque’s presidential victory also indicates the return of the political agenda of former President Alvaro Uribe, founder of the Center Democratic Party. Uribe rose to power in Colombia in 2002. His bet in the total mobilization of society towards a confrontation against the guerrilla sounded so unlikely one year before his election that he lost the nomination from the Liberal Party and decided to run as an independent candidate (under the flag of the movement ‘Colombia First’, created by himself).  But the deterioration of a long and complicated peace process conducted by Andres Pastrana between 1998 and 2002 and the momentum created by the discourse of the ‘War on Terror’ by George W. Bush after September 11 created the perfect environment for him to completely reverse the expectations of Colombian society. He skyrocketed for an overwhelming first round victory and a clear mandate to wage war against the group.

His support in the beginning was so significant that he could take very arbitrary measures with little consequence. Among the scandals that began to see the light of the day during his second mandate, the most significant were the wiretapping of the political opposition using the National Intelligence Service (the DAS in Spanish, which had to be closed down) – the scandal of the ‘chuzadas ilegales’ and the artificial boosting of the kills of FARC members by police officers through disguising ordinary killing victims with guerrilla uniforms – the so-called ‘falsos positivos’. But such a strong position took its toll on society and wore off part of the President’s popularity. As in 2009 he couldn’t change the constitution to run for a third four-year mandate, he decided to support his Minster of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, who won in 2010 backed almost exclusively by his mentor’s political capital.

However, the context in which Santos took office was very different. Civil society was putting a lot of pressure on the government and, besides, the configuration of violence in Colombia was changing. If in 2002 the FARC was at the top of its military and mobilization capacity, after 8 years of war, the group was in its weaker position since the early 1980s.

Furthermore, this process was powering up the so-called ‘bandas criminales’, the result of the fragmentation of the paramilitary units that over the 1980s and 1990s worked intensely to destroy the guerrilla but started to be demobilized after an agreement with Uribe in 2003. Their central structure – The United Self-Defenses of Colombia (AUC in Spanish) – was indeed dismantled, but with a failed reintegration strategy most former AUC members reorganized as local level militias in the cities where the organization previously did business. The intense confrontation fomented by the government during the two Uribe mandates created the perfect window of opportunity: instability was on the rise in some cities, and their services as ‘protection’ militias therefore in demand. As they expanded there was a need for fighters – and many of those were abandoning the FARC at the same time. The older generation of the guerrilla would never join what remained of their enemies, but for the medium and lower rank members, whom were less ideological oriented and knew no reality outside a very long war, it was much less of a problem [2].

This completely changed Santos’ calculations, since those groups were now the most serious long-term security threat for Colombia, and maintaining the war against a guerrilla on the ropes was feeding them. This was when Santos, elected with Uribe’s support to continue Uribe’s war, made a risky political gamble: he intensified secret contacts to begin a peace process with the FARC. The political cost was considerable. Uribe and he had built a coalition to support his mandate, under the leadership of their ‘de la U’ Party, that dwarfed the opposition.  That support base was now broken in half because he was offering something that many could not accept: peace with the FARC – it was against that prospect that they had rallied alongside Uribe in the first place.

From August 2012 (when he announced the talks) to July 2013, it looked like the move was paying off: within and outside Colombia, the possibility of an historic deal created a lot of mobilization and support. The momentum toward the peace agenda forced the political center to gravitate towards Santos; and only the hardliners led the coalition to join the ‘Frente de Unidad en contra de los Terroristas’ (United Front against the Terrorists), Uribe’s new movement. However, Santos popularity deteriorated faster than expected. In August 2013, a series of protests began with the mobilization of farmers and cattle ranchers against new trade regulations negotiated at Mercosur. The government downplayed them at first and then seriously mishandled the situation. After the first episodes of violence several sectors were supporting the protesters nationwide, roadblocks left supermarkets without food and hospitals without medicine, and Santos approval rates plummeted as he organized himself for what should have been a safe run for re-election in 2014.

Santos had never been a popular politician, especially in the countryside, and now facing Uribe’s’ opposition his political survival depended on making the negotiations with the FARC work.  The result was Santos winning by a very small margin in the 2nd round (after losing in the 1st) and an accelerated polarization around the peace deal that virtually divided Colombian society. The Senate elections that year put Uribe back at the center of the political arena, and what he did was to take the agreement with the FARC, which had been Santos’ lifeline, and push for further polarization.

At the moment Duque begun his run for the office, the Democratic Center Party had already capitalized in that polarization to have a strong position in the senate in 2014 and a seminal victory in defeating the referendum in 2016. Therefore, Duque went into the public scene in 2018 with all the incentives to be severely critical of the peace deal. The three areas where he focused his critics during the campaign were the transitional justice, the political participation of the FARC leaders, and the rural development and crop substitution policies.

The Transitional Justice and the Political Participation of the FARC

Transitional Justice became central to regulating the transition from war to peace in Colombia.  It was implemented for the first time in 2005 as a way for the Constitutional Court of the country to impose limits on the Uribe government in his attempt to quickly demobilize the AUC. The court decided then to internalize international instruments that defined the rights of victims to truth, justice, and reparation in a post-conflict scenario. In a country with a strong tradition of autonomous political parties making mutual concessions, including amnesties and indults, to provide stability to the agreement; transitional Justice was a game changer. It not only imposed limits on what the executive could do but regulated the rights of the victims – not the armed actors – that had to be met. It became a key asset for non-governmental organizations to introduce their agenda in the negotiations and ended up an indispensable condition for legitimating any peace agreement in the eyes of civil society from that moment on.

The agreement with the FARC foresaw the creation of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP in Spanish), a special court that would judge all crimes related to the war until December 2016. It provided an alternative jurisdiction that former guerrilla members willing to demobilize can have access to, if they confess their participation in the conflict, pay reparations to the victims, and commit themselves not to return to criminal activities.

The terms negotiated between the government and the guerrilla created the conditions so that if the senior leaders of the FARC confessed all their participation and paid reparations to the victims, they were likely to face no jail time. The Democratic Center Party hit particularly hard at this point during the campaign because the research showed that this was the single most unpopular topic of the agreement [3].

Duque, as well as Uribe, argued that the Peace agreement underwrites impunity for the FARC and that members of the Armed Forces should not be placed on an equal footing with the guerrillas in the Special Jurisdiction, but instead be tried by a special tribunal connected to the Supreme Court and by military judges. 1,800 military officers accused of extrajudicial execution are expected to be judged by the JEP [4].

Despite the fact that these issues are sensitive to his support base, it is unlikely that he can change the prerogatives the constitutional court granted the FARC with the JEP. What he can do is to push for severe penalties for crimes committed after the peace deal was signed, in December 2016 (crimes committed after the agreement was signed are outside the jurisdiction of the JEP).

Another problem related to the JEP is the political participation of the FARC. According to the Communication n.55 of the Constitutional Court from November 2017, in order to participate in politics before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) is completely functional, all the guerrilla members have to do is to commit to immediately present themselves before the body once it is operating. Since those provisions are clearly integrated into the Colombian law at this point, there is not much the government could do to stop them from participating in the country’s politics. Even if you could exclude particular individuals from the benefits of transitional justice, those individuals would lose their right to take the seat, but the group would still have the right to indicate someone else.

However, the situation will not be the same with the National Liberation Army (ELN in Spanish). Santos had also started conversations with that group, but Duque left very clear that he would not engage in any kind of political negotiations with that guerrilla. The only thing that would be on the table for them was the possibility of military demobilization.

Rural Reform and Crop Substitution

One of the things the new government could do is try to repeal the rural reforms outlined in the peace deal, which does not appeal to Duque’s support base. The agreement creates agencies to foment small local farmers and provide infrastructure to make them viable economically as a way to stimulate the substitution of coca crops for alternative forms of cultivation.

Duque was a candidate strongly associated with the agribusiness, and thinks that the big businesses should be the main force for creating jobs in the rural areas.  He already suggested that the agencies created by the accord are a waste of money and resources, and that this should all be coordinated from above by the Ministry of Agriculture. This is a change that is completely within his capacity to implement, since it could be done by decree without consulting the legislative.

The terms that regulate illicit crop substitution could also be altered. Instead of stimulating voluntary substitution, Duque intends to reinforce forcible manual eradication and even the return of aerial fumigation, which had been banned in Colombia since 2015. He wants to take measures to enforce crop substitution, rather than simply providing incentives to the farmers [5].

Conclusion

The victory of Ivan Duque for the presidency in Colombia marks the definitive return of an agenda of social polarization that made its way into contemporary Colombia through the set of events regarding the election of Alvaro Uribe. It receded given the difficulties of the war and withdrawn after Santos rallied support for opening talks with the FARC. But it was quickly brought back as the President lost support and betting against the peace started to pay-off.  The result of the 2016 referendum could not be more symptomatic of how divided this society became. In his attempt to weaken the provisions of the agreement, it will be difficult for Duque to attack the transitional justice mechanisms and the political participation of the FARC, as those issues are more solidly consolidated into domestic law. However, there are clear suggestions that he will move toward changing the model of rural development supported by the agreement and shift from a voluntary approach to coca crop substitution to forcible eradication and aerial fumigation.

Notes

[1] Estas serían las modificaciones que le haría el uribismo al acuerdo de paz. El Espectador, 27 jun 2018.

[2] Crimen organizado y sabotadores armados en tiempos de transicion: radiografia necesaria, Fundación Ideas para la Paz 2017, p.27.

[3] Termometros a la paz: participación politica de las FARC. Fundación Ideas para la paz, 2016.

[4] Uribismo propone que militares no sean juzgados por la JEP. El espectador, 19 octubre 2017.

[5] Risky Business: The Duque Government’s Approach to Peace in Colombia Crisis Group Latin America Report, n.67, p.8, 2018.

[6] Idem.

This article was written by Diogo Monteiro Dario and originally appeared on E-International Relations on July 19, 2018. It is reproduced here under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Venezuelans in Brazil: Challenges of Protection

This article was written by João Carlos Jarochinski Silva and Liliana Lyra Jubilut and originally appeared on E-International Relations on July 12, 2018. It is reproduced here under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Since 2015, with the deepening of the crisis in Venezuela, and the consequent increase in displacement, with 5000 Venezuelans leaving their homes every day; Brazil has been receiving an unknown number of Venezuelans, with projected numbers reaching between 40,000 and 50000 of an estimated total of 1.6 million Venezuelans who have fled their country in 2017. Brazil, however, is not the sole destination of Venezuelans fleeing the profound crisis (which includes shortage of basic supplies, sky high inflation, insecurity, anti-democratic actions by the government, and, in some cases, specific political persecution to those opposed to Maduro’s regime) in their country. Data places Brazil as the 4th or 5th destination country for displaced Venezuelans in the South American region in terms of numbers, behind Colombia (the largest recipient), Peru and Chile; and, depending on the source, with fewer Venezuelans than Argentina. If one considers Latin America, Brazil falls to 7th, behind Mexico and Panama. Nonetheless, Brazil presents an interesting “case study” of the challenges of protection faced by forced displaced Venezuelans. On the one hand, it is possible to see in Brazil’s response to their arrival challenges in terms of legal protection, regarding their legal status, and even relating to the recognition of the Venezuelans as forced migrants in general, and, more specifically, as refugees. On the other hand, there are challenges in assuring their necessary protection, i.e. guaranteeing all their rights including human rights and access to them (Jubilut, Apolinário, 2008).

Legal Status and Consequent Challenges of Protection 

Brazil’s response to the migratory influx, in terms of legal status, has been confusing. On the one hand, there have been few recognitions of refugee status, even though there are over 32000 pending asylum requests and there is clear ground for recognition. This is so due to the fact that, as mentioned above, there are persons fleeing Venezuela due to an individual well-founded fear of persecution, either based on political opinion or belonging to a social group, and, therefore, they should be protected by the refugee regime as they meet the 1951 Convention on Refugee Status criteria. Moreover, Brazil also adopts the criterion of the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees for the recognition of refugee status, accepting the fleeing from a gross and generalized violation of human rights scenario as a separate ground for recognition in its Refugee Act (Law 9.474/97). Refugee status, thus, should be applied to the Venezuelans seeking protection in Brazil. This seems also to be the recommended view of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as it has called States to treat Venezuelans as refugees, given that, even if not expressly calling for the recognition of their refugee status, the recommendation is to guarantee to them, for instance, access to safe territories, the protection of non-refoulement (i.e. not deport, expel or forcibly remove), residency, and the right to work. However, this has not been the position adopted by the Brazilian government, despite the fact that it has highlighted the Venezuelan crisis in international fora and championed its suspension of organizations, which shows that there are still degrees of discretion in the application of internationally recognized criteria for refugee status.

Notwithstanding the fact that there might be forced displaced Venezuelans that might not qualify for refugee status or that do not want to count with this form of international protection. Thus migration from Venezuela into Brazil should be regarded as, at least, a situation of a mixed migration flow, a complex migration situation in which, refugees and other migrants use the same channels and routes to access safe territories (IOM 2014, p. 63). The lack of recognition of this aspect of the Venezuelan migration highlights the difficulties of the Brazilian government to deal with mixed migration flows, and to guarantee the specific protection in migration provided for in international norms to which it has agreed to, thus not implementing adequate protection in face of particular needs and vulnerabilities (Jarochinski Silva, 2011; and Jarochinski Silva, Bógus, Silva, 2017, p. 15 – 30).

Brazil has preferred to recognize Venezuelans more broadly as (forced) migrants, and thus subject to the country’s internal rules on migration and without the guarantees of protection provided by the refugee regime, such as the above-mentioned protection of non-refoulement. The national regime on migration in Brazil has recently gone through a transformation, which meant that the more intense influx of Venezuelans into Brazil has been dealt with by two migration laws. Until November 2017, the regulating law was Law 6.815/80, known as the Aliens Statute, a legal norm adopted during the decades-long dictatorship in Brazil that focused mainly on national security. From November 2017 onwards, the applicable law has become Law 13.445/17, the Migration Law. The new law adopted a new paradigm in the governance of migration in Brazil, having human rights as one of its guidelines and principles (article 3, I).

Nonetheless, in terms of the legal status of Venezuelans little has changed in practice. This is so due to the fact that under Law 6.815/80, the National Council on Immigration (CNIg in Portuguese) has adopted Resolution 126 which allows the regularization of the legal status of Venezuelans in Brazil. This resolution was not specific to Venezuelans, but rather to all nationals of Brazil’s bordering countries. However, even though the resolution had a broader scope, Venezuelans made up almost the totality of requests for regularization under it, applying for regular status in massive numbers.

The new human rights logic proclaimed by Law 13.445/17 doesn’t seem to have impacted the way Brazil deals with the protection of Venezuelans. The sole modification after the new immigration regime was in place was the dropping of the demand that the immigrant had to have entered Brazil by its land borders (Ibid), brought along by a regulation of the Resolution, namely InterMinisterial Rule 9, which was still written from a perspective that sees immigrants in general as a threat (Jarochinski Silva, 2018). To those that meet the requirements of the specific regulation of this type of stay (i.e. the conditions laid down on InterMinisterial Rule 9) a 2-year authorization of legal stay is granted. Two months before the completion of the 2 years, it is possible to request permanent residency. This guarantees the same rights to the persons that choose this avenue of protection as all other immigrants living regularly in Brazil have. The regulation also allows for working in the country (article 5).

Law 13.445/17 brings the concept of “humanitarian hosting” both as one of its principles (article 3, VI) and as a basis for visas to Brazil (article 14, I, c). This type of visa can be granted to “stateless persons or nationals of any country facing grave situation or imminent institutional stability, armed conflict, calamity of great proportions, environmental disaster or grave violation of human rights or international humanitarian law, or in other hypotheses, as described in its regulation” (article 14, III, para. 3, free translation). However, this form of legal status has not had its practical requirements and processes defined yet, despite the fact that the regulation of the Law already exists (Decree 9.199/17). The practice of “humanitarian hosting” should allow for, besides regular legal stays in the country, a different status (as is the case of refugee status), given that the migrants vulnerability is implicitly recognized in this form of protection. It should also allow for the possibility of non-definitive returns to their country of origin, given that the Venezuelan flow, especially in the border between Brazil and Venezuela, has as one of its characteristics a strong context of remittances, not only of money but also of products, which, many times, are taken by the Venezuelans themselves to their country of origin. 

In light of this, and in terms of legal protection, one can say that, even though lacking in regards to the application of the refugee regime, Brazil has found pathways for a broad regularization of Venezuelans, with over 25000 persons counting with forms of legal stay apart from refugee status. This can be seen as positive as it does not increase the vulnerability of the migrants by way of not allowing them regular legal status in the country but it also has negative aspects as little attention is paid to specific needs. This scenario of protection gaps is also seen in terms of the Venezuelans’ integration in Brazil.

Integration and Challenges in Integral Protection 

A holistic approach to integration demands economic, social, and cultural rights guarantees and of access to said rights. Brazil, however, has not applied this approach to Venezuelan migrants. On the one hand, there has been a strong focus on the regularization of labour relations, i.e. a focus on getting them into the labour market. And on the other, there have been difficulties in their access to basic rights.

Venezuelans has been through the northern border of Brazil, located in the Legal Amazon, a region with low demographic density, poor quality in public services, and difficulties in connections with the rest of Brazil’s territory, given that, besides the long distances to the more populated areas of the country, there are few and expensive transport options (Jarochinski Silva, 2017). With the majority Venezuelans staying in the Legal Amazon, and concentrated in the state of Roraima (with the latest data pointing to 25000), their case has become one of “scape goats” in the regional level. State and municipal authorities have blamed the Venezuelans for the “collapse” of public services in their areas, in clear attempts to avoid any responsibilities. Besides, they have argued, tough not explicitly, that Venezuelans are not entitled to access the services that guarantee basic rights, in spite of the Brazilian Constitution guarantying universal access to health and to basic education, and the Brazilian legislation determines States and Cities competencies in the area of economic, social, and cultural rights.

These types of discourses have led to, on the one hand, the appearance of xenophobic actions(such as attacks to the shelters and houses where Venezuelans were living) as well as the idea of the arrival of immigrants in general as a threat (with news of “invasions” and the inflating of numbers, for instance), and, on the other hand, to requests of actions that fall away from International Law obligations, such as the closing of the borders.

Regional authorities also state that the responsibility for all matters related to refugees and other migrants falls with the federal government, which has limited capacity for direct action and sends funds to States and Cities to take care of these basic rights. The federal government option to assume a more direct action in dealing with the Venezuelans has been through the militarization of the protection and integration actions in its first stages. Notwithstanding the fact that this has led to the removal of some Venezuelans from extreme vulnerability, as for instance, leaving in the streets; it is not an approach founded on human rights and based on a social assistance grounded on the guarantee of rights and of dignity.

The federal government has also adopted a policy of “interiorization” of Venezuelans, which means their government-assisted relocation throughout the Brazilian territory. In this policy, the involved Ministries determine the new destinations by way of negotiations with other governmental authorities (from States and Cities), the destinies are presented to the refugees who chose to be transferred or not. And, even though the UN has supported the initiative, it is relevant to note that there is a gap in the participation of the civil society and of the business sector, which are fundamental and instrumental for the integration in the new destination and for the formal insertion in the labour market. So far, the interiorization process has led Venezuelans from Boa Vista (Roraima) to São Paulo (São Paulo), Cuiabá (MT), Manaus (Amazonas)Igarassu (Pernambuco), Conde (Paraíba) e Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro). It remains to be seen whether the interiorization will allow for better access to services and rights for the Venezuelans.

Conclusion 

Brazil has undertaken several actions in relation to the Venezuelan displacement into its territory, however it should be pointed out that there is still the need for more to be done as well as for the improvement of actions and policies. Better legal protection and access to rights (i.e. integral protection) are needed. Most of the actions and policies seem to be reactive, i.e. to happen after the influx of the Venezuelans, as it has been in the past with both refugees and other migrants, which leads to hasty undertakings or the need for emergency actions. Brazil should keep in mind that the increase of forced displacement is a world phenomenon, that has been happening at least for the last 10 years and even more acutely in the last 5 years (UNHCR 2018, p. 4) and that tends to continue to augment in the future, as a way to increase its preparedness to deal with possible (and probable) influxes of refugees and other migrants. In the meantime, Brazil should look into its main international commitments and national values and constitutional pillars to find ways to better protect the Venezuelans that have come to its territory in seek of international protection.

References

Betts, Alexander. Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement. Ithaca, 2013.

Carneiro, Cyntia Soares. Venezuelanos recebem ajuda humanitária no BrasilJornal da USP(audio interview). 5 Jul. 2018.

Feline Freier, Luisa.  Understanding the Venezuelan Displacement CrisisE-International Relations. 28 Jun. 2018.

International Organization for Migration (IOM). Glossary of Migration. 2. ed. Geneva, 2014.

Jarochinski Silva, João Carlos. Uma análise sobre os fluxos migratórios mistos. In: RAMOS, André de Carvalho; Rodrigues, Gilberto; Almeida, Guilherme Assis de (Orgs.) 60 anos de ACNUR: perspectivas de futuro. São Paulo: Editora CL-A Cultural, p. 201- 220, 2011.

Jarochinski Silva, João Carlos; Bogus, Lucia Maria Machado; Silva, Stéfanie Angélica Gimenez Jarochinski. Os fluxos migratórios mistos e os entraves à proteção aos refugiados. 34 (1) Rev. bras. estud. popul., p. 15-30, 2017.

Jarochinski Silva, João Carlos. Migração forçada de venezuelanos pela fronteira norte do BrasilAnais do 41º Encontro Anual da Anpocs. Caxambu – MG, 2017.

Jarochinski Silva, João Carlos. Uma Política Migratória Reativa e Inadequada – A Migração Venezuelana Para o Brasil e a Resolução Nº. 126 do Conselho Nacional de Imigração (CNIg). In: Baeninger, Rosana et al (Org.) Migrações Sul-Sul. 2. ed. Campinas: Núcleo de Estudos de População “Elza Berquó” – Nepo/Unicamp, v. 1, p. 637-650, 2018.

Jubilut, Liliana Lyra. Refugee Protection in Brazil and Latin America – Selected Essays. London, 2018.

Jubilut, Liliana Lyra. Latin-America and Refugees: a panoramic viewVoelkerrechtsblog, 2016.

Jubilut, Liliana L.; Apolinário, Silvia M. O. S.  A população refugiada no Brasil: em busca da proteção integral. 6 (2) Universitas- Relações Internacionais, 2008.

Jubilut, Liliana L International Refugee Law and Protection in Brazil: a model in South America?, 19 Journal of Refugee Studies, p. 22-44, 2006.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Global Trends. Forced Displacement in 2017. Geneva, 2018.

Páez Bravo, Tomás. La voz de la diáspora venezolana. Madrid: La Catarata, 2015.

Vedovato, Luiz Renato; Baeninger, Rosana. A distante regulamentação da acolhida humanitáriaJota, 1 Apr.  2018.

About the authors

João Carlos Jarochinski Silva has a PhD in Social Sciences (International Relations) from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo and a Masters in International Law from Universidade Católica de Santos. He is a Professor at Universidade Federal de Roraima where he is the Coordinator of the International Relations course, the Vice-Coordinator of the Masters in Sociedade e Fronteiras, and a Member of the UNHCR Sergio Vieira de Mello Chair. He has been working with migration issues since his Master’s degree and actively involved in the assistance and research of the Venezuelans in Boa Vista.

Liliana Lyra Jubilut has a PhD and Master in International Law from Universidade de São Paulo and an LLM in International Legal Studies from NYU School of Law. She is a Professor at Universidade Católica de Santos, where she coordinates the research group “Direitos Humanos e Vulnerabilidades” and the UNHCR Sergio Vieira de Mello Chair. She has been part of national and international research projects and is a Member of IOM Migration Research Leaders’ Syndicate. She has been working with refugees’ topics since 1999, having consulted for UNHCR and been a Lawyer/RSD and Protection Officer and an Outreach Protection Consultant at the Refugee Centre of Caritas Arquidiocesana de São Paulo.

This article was written by João Carlos Jarochinski Silva and Liliana Lyra Jubilut and originally appeared on E-International Relations on July 12, 2018. It is reproduced here under CC BY-NC 4.0.