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Colombia
Will the negotiations between the government and the FARC bring lasting peace to Colombia? Yes

In the second annual release of its Social Inclusion Index, Americas Quarterly measured 16 Latin American countries based on numerous performance variables, including access to formal employment and adequate housing, enrollment in secondary school and civil society participation.

Likely top stories this week: U.S. legislators make a last push for immigration reform; Correa visits Bolivia; The Colombian defense minister travels to Central America and the Caribbean; Juan Manuel Santos declines help from Jesse Jackson; a Chilean general involved in the “Caravan of Death” commits suicide.

Rural Colombians are winding down the national strike that has engulfed the country since August 19.

An inside look at a road blockade set up by farmers from Boyacá during Colombia's nationwide farming protests.

Likely top stories this week: Colombian government and striking farmers reach a deal; Henrique Capriles takes Venezuela’s election results to the IACHR; Enrique Peña Nieto outlines his plans for reform; Brazilians protest again; and the Colombian government and FARC resume peace talks.

Sixteen members of Colombia’s Cabinet resigned on Monday ahead of a likely Cabinet reshuffle by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the wake of a growing crisis in Colombia’s farming sector.

The Constitutional Court of Colombia, the country’s highest court, ruled yesterday that peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—FARC) are constitutional, rejecting a legal challenge that would have stalled negotiations in ending over 50 years of conflict.

Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army—ELN), released a Canadian engineer on Tuesday after holding him hostage for seven months. Gernot Wober, vice president of exploration for the Toronto-based Braeval Mining Corporation, was turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

On Wednesday, and continuing into Thursday, protestors across Colombia blocked traffic in 16 departments as part of a national protest that began earlier in the week. Tensions were triggered by the new Colombia–EU free-trade agreement (FTA), which went into force on August 1

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