The Complexities of Conflict and Natural Disasters: A Tale of Two Troubles

Pablo Bogoya

Hatched by Pablo Bogoya

Oct 12, 2023

3 min read


The Complexities of Conflict and Natural Disasters: A Tale of Two Troubles

In the midst of global chaos, two distinct troubles have surfaced - the ongoing war of ex-FARC mafia in Colombia and the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in Turkey. While these events may seem unrelated at first glance, they both shed light on the fractures in politics and the challenges faced by governments in times of crisis.

In Colombia, departments like Cauca have become hotbeds of violence due to the control exerted by ex-FARC mafia over criminal economies, particularly the drug trade. This control has exposed the deep-rooted divisions within the political landscape. The Frente Jaime Martínez, a faction of the EMC, has played a significant role in perpetuating this violence in Santander de Quilichao. Despite the talks of peace, the ex-FARC mafia continues to wage war, leaving communities in a constant state of fear and instability.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, a devastating earthquake has claimed the lives of over 22,000 people. President Erdogan's visit to the affected province of Adiyaman highlighted the government's shortcomings in its response to the disaster. Erdogan acknowledged that the government's efforts were not as swift as they could have been, attributing it to the challenges faced by search and rescue teams. Reports of looting in some areas added to the mounting anger and frustration among the affected population.

This disaster comes at a crucial time for Erdogan, who is seeking re-election on May 14th. The opposition has seized upon the government's response, using it as an opportunity to attack Erdogan's leadership. The elections themselves may even be postponed due to the ongoing crisis. The anger and resentment towards the delays in aid delivery and rescue efforts are likely to have a significant impact on the election outcome, should they proceed as planned.

Both Colombia and Turkey have experienced tragedies that have exposed the weaknesses within their respective governments. In Colombia, the ex-FARC mafia's control over criminal economies has not only perpetuated violence but has also highlighted the deep-rooted political divisions within the country. Similarly, in Turkey, the government's slow response to the earthquake has revealed a lack of coordination and planning, leading to public outcry and political backlash.

It is essential for governments to learn from these instances and take actionable steps to address the underlying issues. Here are three pieces of advice that can be applied in both contexts:

  • 1. Prioritize coordination and planning: Governments must ensure that they have effective systems in place to respond swiftly and efficiently to crises. This includes coordinating efforts between different agencies and stakeholders and having robust disaster management plans in place.
  • 2. Address the root causes of violence: In Colombia, the ex-FARC mafia's control over criminal economies stems from deep-rooted socio-political issues. Governments should work towards addressing these root causes, such as socioeconomic inequalities and lack of opportunities, to create a more stable and peaceful environment.
  • 3. Foster transparency and accountability: Both governments need to prioritize transparency and accountability in their actions. This includes providing regular updates to the public, addressing concerns promptly, and holding those responsible for any shortcomings accountable.

In conclusion, the ex-FARC mafia's continued war in Colombia and the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Turkey highlight the challenges faced by governments during times of conflict and natural disasters. These events serve as a reminder of the importance of coordination, addressing root causes, and fostering transparency and accountability. By taking these actionable steps, governments can work towards building a more resilient and secure future for their nations.

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