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Six Facts About Colombia and the Results of U.S. Engagement

The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) brings to your attention the crimes of aggression, the crimes against peace, the war crimes, and the crimes against humanity that have been waged for six centuries and continue to be waged against 48 million people who live, suffer, and struggle in Colombia. They need our principled, uncompromising, and unyielding support. They deserve militant, positive action.

Let us remind you that:

1. With 48 million people in 2019, Colombia is the third-most populous country in Central America. More than 52.4% of its population are Indigenous, 37% are European, and 10.6% - 4,944,400 - are African.

2. War has been waged against the Colombian People for more than 600 years, especially since April 9, 1948, when presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated, launching a period in the 1940s and 1950s known as La Violencia (“The Violence”). At least 180,000 Colombians were murdered during this period. United States complicity in this and other crimes is documented.

3. For more than 55 years, from May 27, 1964 to the present, armed repression has been waged against the people of Colombia (and their movements and organizations) by the military and police, right-wing paramilitaries, and death squads. These Colombian state institutions are armed and financed by the United States government and multinational corporations, including Chiquita Banana International.

4. According to studies by Colombia’s National Centre for Historical Memory, the United Nations Human Rights and Refugee Agencies, and UNICEF:

  • 16.9% of the population in Colombia, especially Indigenous and African People, have been direct victims of the war;
  • 5 million civilians, including 2 million Africans, were forced from their homes between 1985 – 2012, generating the world’s second largest population of internally displaced persons, 7.3 million;
  • 2.3 million children were displaced from their homes, 45,000 children were killed, and 8,000 children are missing;
  • 340,000 Colombian refugees live in Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Costa Rica;
  • 220,000 people (177,307 civilians and 40,787 fighters) died in the Colombian conflict between 1958 and 2013;
  • 27,023 people were abducted, 25,007 victims have been disappeared, and 10,189 have been injured by anti-personnel landmines.

5. On November 24, 2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, (FARC), the country’s largest rebel group, signed a revised peace agreement . One week later, on November 29 & 30, 2016, the Colombian Senate and House, respectively, approved it. On June 27, 2017, FARC disarmed itself handing over its weapons to the United Nations. The National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC dissidents refused to disarm, and the war for social justice continues.

6. Since 2016 Peace Accord, over 700 social movement leaders and more than 150 former guerrillas have been assassinated In 2018, 34 union organizers were executed, more than twice the number killed in 2017. In the first six months of 2019, 10 members of the Federación Nacional Sindical Unitaria Agropecuaria (FENSUAGRO) were murdered.