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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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November 24, 2019 to December 4, 2019
Please support IRTF's full-time volunteer Paul Schmitt, who will be taking part in this important labor rights delegation. The Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ) and United States Labor Against the War (USLAW) are leading a joint delegation to Colombia from November 24 – December 4, 2019, timed to coincide with the third anniversary of Colombia’s peace accord that ended more than five decades of war between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). To contribute toward Paul Schmitt's delegation costs, please click on the DONATE button at the top of the IRTF website. Thank you.
November 27, 2019
President Duque, a right-wing leader known for his strong ties to scandal-hit former President Alvaro Uribe who has been in power for 15 months, has promised national dialogue with "all social sectors" until March 15 to address economic inequality, corruption, education, the environment, and many other issues. He met strike organisers on Tuesday (Nov 26), but there was no breakthrough and they called on people to take part in Wednesday's (Nov 27) continued strike.
November 26, 2019
November 26, 2019
We are deeply disturbed by the killing of 18-year-old Dilan Cruz, who joined a demonstration in Bogotá on November 23, which was part of the nationwide strike that began on November 21. After suffering injuries from being struck on the head by a police tear gas canister, he died on November 25, on the day of his anticipated high school graduation.
November 20, 2019
Border closures, curfews and bans on sale of alcohol announced as tens of thousands are expected to march amid wave of turmoil Tens of thousands are expected to join protests on Thursday against the rightwing government of Iván Duque, whose popularity has dwindled steadily since he took office in August last year. “The government is worried because the people and organizations who have come out in support of the protest are more heterogeneous than they are used to,” said Sergio Guzmán, the director of Colombia Risk Analysis. “It’s not only the labour unions, or the students, or indigenous people; it’s all of them.”
November 15, 2019
Please find attached our letter (November 15, 2019) that we sent to officials in Colombia about the burning of the boat and outboard motor belonging to journalist David Torres in Simití in Bolivar Department on November 6.
November 13, 2019
Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez
President of the Republic of Colombia
Sr. Fiscal General Fabio Espitia Garzón
Attorney General of Colombia
November 13, 2019
We are shocked at the violent attacks on several indigenous people in less than a week in the Nasa Tacueyo reservation in Corinto, Cauca Department. Twelve were murdered, an assassination attempt on another, and others injured.
November 13, 2019
Building a more just society takes more than political and social activism; it also involves encouraging businesses to see the economic potential of the LGBT community. That was one of the key takeaways from the fifth annual WeTrade Fair hosted by the Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce (CCLGBTCO). CCLGBTCO,a private non-profit organization, aims to support businesses in strengthening their internal and external LGBT diversity and inclusion programs. The WeTrade Fair, which billed itself as “the LGBT+ Fair in Latin America,” hosted over 20 large businesses that either specifically cater to an LGBT+ population or that are looking to expand their customer base to a more diverse audience.
November 3, 2019
On December 2, 1980, four US church women working with the poor and displaced in El Salvador were kidnapped, raped and murdered by the US-backed military of El Salvador. Two of those women—Jean Donovan and Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel—were from Cleveland. In the end, they, along with Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, met the same fate as thousands of unnamed poor of El Salvador who were killed or disappeared. Join us on Sunday, November 3 as we commemorate their sacrifice, honor their legacy, and recommit ourselves to act in solidarity with poor and marginalized communities in Central America and Colombia. Guest speaker from Colombia: Natalia García Cortés, War Resisters International – Bogotá, Colombia
October 29, 2019
Live webinar Peacebuilding in Colombia Join the CPT Colombia team as they talk about the realities of peacebuilding after decades of conflict.
October 28, 2019
The Left's largest victory in Colombia's October local elections came in the former paramilitary stronghold of Magdalena Department, where a growing progressive movement has taken control of both the capital city and governorship for the first time. The triumph of Magdalena’s governor-elect and leader of Fuerza Ciudadana, Carlos Caicedo, marks a radical break with the past in Colombia’s Caribbean coast: a region where a small handful of traditional politicians ruled hand in hand with paramilitaries through the mid-2000s, all but eliminating the organized left. Fuerza Ciudadana’s victories come as the culmination of nearly two decades of grassroots movement-building.