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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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News Article
Rev. Milton Mejia, a longtime partner of the Presbyterian Church (USA), told the delegates about the community of FARC ex-combantants in Tierra Grata and their work to get water to their land. Delegates also met with neighborhood leaders in Barranquilla who are working to build up their communities and seek alternatives to violence. In addition, they met with the FARC leaders and representatives to CSIVI, the body that oversees the carrying out of the Peace Accords, as well as the UN Verification Commission in Bogotá.
News Article
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.