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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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February 25, 2017
Assassination of indigenous and women’s rights defender Yoryanis Isabel Bernal Varela of the Wiwa tribe in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, along the Atlantic Coast in César Department.
February 13, 2017
Escalating incursions by paramilitaries in hamlets in or near the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Antioquia Departmentand death threats to Community residents.
February 1, 2017
Recent incursion of paramilitaries into the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Antioquia Department. They are entering communities, going to specific homes, and threatening to kill residents of the Peace Community if they refuse to collaborate with the paramilitaries.
January 26, 2017
Assassination of Afro-Colombian community leader Emilsen Manyoma Mosquera of CONPAZ (a network of community and victim organizations) and her partner Joe Javier Rodallega, in the port of Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Department, where families are being forcibly displaced by paramilitaries.
January 23, 2017
Assassination of environmental defender Aldemar Parra Garcia in El Hatillo, Bolívar Department, where US companies Drummond and Murray Energy Corporation operate four coal mines.
December 26, 2016
Assassination attempt on land rights activist Argemiro Lara, who is a member of MOVICE-Sucre branch (National Movement of Victims of State Crimes) and CPDH (Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights).
December 12, 2016
Death threats by paramilitaries against human rights defenders from several organizations in Barrancabermeja: CREDHOS (Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights), ASORVIMM-Magdalena Medio (Association of Victims of State Crime), ACVC (Peasant Association of the Cimitarra River Valley), ANZORC (National Association of Rural Reserve Areas), and Marcha Patriótica.
November 24, 2016
Surge in attacks and killings of human rights defenders that have occurred during the renegotiation of Colombia’s peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
October 26, 2016
Assassination of land rights defender Yimer Chávez Rivera, a member of the Organization for Rural and Urban Development (ORDEURCA) in Cauca Department, and gunshot wounds to his wife Noira Castillo.
October 24, 2016
Paramilitaries at the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Antioquia Department are waging violence, destroying crops, intruding into homes, and threatening to kill residents of the Peace Community.