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Colombia: News & Updates
Colombia has the world’s second largest population of internally displaced persons (five million) due to the half-century internal armed conflict—the longest-running war in the Western Hemisphere (since 1964). Control for territory and popular support among the three main groups (left-wing rebel forces FARC & ELN, right-wing paramilitaries, Colombian police/military) has left 220,000 killed, 75% of them non-combatants. Since 2000, the US has exacerbated the violence by sending more than $9 billion in mostly military assistance. Colombia, which has both Pacific and Atlantic coastlines, holds strategic interest for the US for global trade and military posturing.
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February 15, 2019
Companies represented in Duque’s audience included Occidental Petroleum, Twitter, Hilton, Monsanto, Southwest Airlines, Drummond, and Aecom...Duque praised the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement...and delivered the now-traditional Colombian praise and thanks for the nearly 20 years of US participation in Plan Colombia [initiated by President Clinton], which has delivered about nine billion dollars in military aid to his country.
January 26, 2019
the increasing number of assassinations of social leaders that have occurred in the past month. In addition to the six assassinated social leaders about whom we wrote in our letter of January 12, we write you once again—saddened and outraged—about six more who have been killed, two as recently as today.
January 24, 2019
Armed attack on human rights defender Alfamir Castillo Bermúdez near Pradera Municipality in Valle del Cauca Department.
January 15, 2019
According to Front Line Defenders: The world's most dangerous countries for human rights defenders (in order): Colombia, Mexico, Philippines, Guatemala, Brazil, India, Honduras, Venezuela, Iraq, Syria.
January 13, 2019
In a press conference that was given shortly after the release of the report, Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martínez and Interior Minister Nancy Patricia Gutierrez stressed that the state is no longer involved in the killing of social activists, contradicting multiple think tanks and a 2018 Interior Ministry report indicating that state officials continue to be involved in the violent persecution of social leaders...In the first 10 days of 2019, at least eight social leaders were assassinated.
January 12, 2019
Assassinations of six social leaders that have occurred during the first week of 2019.
January 11, 2019
Recent attack on indigenous leader Alejandro Pascal Pai and his wife. Alejandro Pascal Pai was recently elected Awá governor of the Pingullo Sardinero community in Barbacoas municipality, Nariño Department.
January 10, 2019
Long one of the country’s leading coca producers, Putumayo has advanced further with substitution—both in acres eradicated and participating families—than any other department. But while the program was supposed to create new opportunities for sustainable development, it has also destabilized an already precarious “post-conflict” transition, exposing the department’s most vulnerable communities to new risks and perils.
January 9, 2019
The Red de Mujeres del Caribe roots its peacebuilding efforts in what it calls the “built knowledge” of Caribbean communities, not in policies written at a desk in Bogotá or Havana or Oslo. In summits and workshops, the network’s organizers emphasize the authority of local women, acknowledging them as uniquely capable of understanding the current political moment. Their writings theorize the importance of “senti-pensar” (“feeling-thinking,” a decolonial feminist term referring to the validity of lived experience and affect as a source of knowledge production) in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, in contrast to what a 2017 statement by several Caribbean women’s and LGBTI organizations calls the “modern/colonial” model of “knowledge production and social classification that exploits the bodies-lives of women and other subaltern groups.”