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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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December 23, 2017
death threats by Gaitanista paramilitaries against Gildardo Tuberquia, a member of the Internal Council of the Peace Community of San José, Antioquia Dept.
December 21, 2017
assassinations of two land rights defenders in Afro-descendant territories in Chocó Department: Mario Castaño Bravo (November 26) and Hernán Bedoya (December 9).
November 23, 2017
assassination of social movement leader Ramón Alcides García Zapata, member of ASOCBARE (North Antioquia Committee of Boat Operators) and Patriotic March, who was coordinating crop substitution programs in northern Antioquia Department
November 21, 2017
assassinations of two Embera indigenous elected leaders in Chocó Department: Aulio Isarama Forastero, governor of the Embera indigenous reservation Katru Dubaza Ancoso in Alto Baudó, killed by ELN rebels, and Ezquivel Manyoma, leader of Medio Baudó municipality, killed by Gaitanista paramilitaries; disappearance of Jhon Eriberto Isarama Forastero, a teacher also from the Katru Dubaza Ancoso reservation and brother of Aulio Isarama Forastero
October 26, 2017
assassinations of five political activists in one week throughout the country: José Jair Cortes (Nariño Dept), Liliana Astrid Ramírez Martínez (Tolima Dept), Miguel Pérez and Liliana Patricia Cataño Montoya (Antioquia Dept), Eliecer Carvajal (Putumayo Dept)
October 25, 2017
killing of Efgenia Vásquez Astudilo, reporter for an indigenous community radio station, while covering a Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) operation to evict members of an indigenous Kokonuko community occupying disputed land in Puracé, Cauca Department
October 24, 2017
massacre of seven farmers and injuries to at least 20 others when security forces shot indiscriminately into a crowd protesting eradication of their coca crops in Tumaco, Nariño Department
September 25, 2017
killing of Ana María Mepaquito, a 22-year-old indigenous woman and mother of three young children, caught in crossfire during clashes between paramilitary groups, the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group, and state security forces that are threatening Wounaan and Embera indigenous communities in Riosucio, Chocó Department
September 14, 2017
As threats to the environment increase across Latin America, new laws and police practices take aim against the front line activists defending their land and resources
September 11, 2017
death threat to Anny Lisseth Vera Ravelo, daughter of Maria Leonilda Ravelo Grimaldo, President of the National Association for Solidarity Aid (ANDAS) in Barrancabermeja, Santander Department, and a member of the Peace Commission in Colombia.