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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 12, 2018
A peace accord has ended the fighting [between the Colombian Army and FARC rebels]. But the countryside is littered with landmines, and criminal gangs are growing.
January 11, 2018
violent attack on members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Antioquia Department, injuring legal representative Germán Graciano Posso; threats by neo-paramilitaries to attack again soon.
January 11, 2018
death threat to Germán Graciano Posso, legal representative of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Antioquia Department and subsequent armed attack on him and other community members by neo-paramilitaries
December 26, 2017
attempted assassination of radio journalist Luis Carlos Ortiz by the mayor of Rionegro, Santander Department
December 25, 2017
assassinations of social leaders across the country, Dec 4-18: Alfonso Giraldo Valencia, member of FENSUAGRO (United Agricultural Workers Federation) , Putumayo Dept; Oscar Pai Pascal, indigenous leader, Nariño Dept.; Jhon Jairo Ortiz Betancur, former FARC member, Antioquia Dept.; Alexander José Padilla Cruz, member of National Coordinator of Coca, Poppy and Marijuana Growers (COCCAM), Córdoba Dept.; José Rafael de la Hoz Villa, peasant farmer and rural activist, Magdalena Dept.; Alfonso Pérez Mellizo, community leader, Cauca Dept.
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)