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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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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.
August 31, 2017
excessive force by police and ESMAD (anti-riot squad) against small-scale artisanal miners in Antioquia Department organizing in resistance to Canada-based Gran Colombia Gold Corporation; two killed by police gunfire: Brando Stid Ochoa, Alexis Gregorio Acevedo
August 25, 2017
threats and intimidation against several human rights defenders and organizations in Barrancabermeja, Santander Department, by the paramilitary organization Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces (AGC): Iván Madero Vergel, President of the Regional Corporation for the Protection of Human Rights (CREDHOS); David Ravelo Crespo, Secretary of CREDHOS; Maria Leonilda Ravelo Grimaldo, President of the National Association for Solidarity Aid (ANDAS); Sonia María Nevado Morales, member of Broad Front for Peace; Melkin Hernán Castrillón Peñau, Treasurer of the Peasant Farmer Association of the Cimitarra River Valley (ACVC)
August 23, 2017
death threats and cyber attacks directed at the staff of news agency Análisis Urbano (Urban Analysis) and Corpades (Corporation for Peace and Social Development) after reporting on alliances between paramilitary groups and politicians in Medellín and corruption involving the former mayor of Zaragoza, Antioquia Department.
August 22, 2017
death threats in Bogotá against documentary filmmaker Bladimir Sánchez Espitia, who investigates mining companies, local police, or political figures that may have interests in those companies or their development projects.
August 21, 2017
Wounaan indigenous communities in Chocó Department impacted by violent clashes between paramilitary groups, the rebel group National Liberation Army (ELN), and state security forces; Sebastían Carpio Necheche was seriously wounded when an anti-personnel mine exploded.