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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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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.”
December 25, 2018
Assassinations of Awa indigenous leaders Hector Ramiro García and his son, Arturo García, on December 2 in Ricaurte, Cundinamarca Department.
December 22, 2018
Escalating armed assaults and murders of social leaders and human rights defenders that have occurred in Colombia in 2018. We are calling for justice in the assassinations of Edwin Dagua Ipia and Gilberto Antonio Zuluago Ramirez, and the armed attack on German Valencia, all which occurred in Cauca Department this month.
December 21, 2018
Recent threats to Enrique Cabezas, a leader of the collective of Afro-descendent territories in Curvaradó (Chocó Department, western Colombia), because of his work defending their ancestral territory and the right of the communities to not be involved in the armed conflict.
November 25, 2018
Murder, on November 4, of Edilberto Niño Cristancho, a senior leader of the National Union of Workers in the Cooking Fats and Food Industry (SINTRAIMAGRA), in Villavicencio in Meta Department.
November 12, 2018
Threatening message directed to Genaro de Jesus Graciano and Isabel Cristina Zuleta, co-founders and active members of the Ríos Vivos Movement Antioquia (MRVA) in Ituango, northern Antioquia Department.