Archivo de ‘Peace and Human Rights’



Political parties will be heard in regards to peace negotiations

Miércoles, noviembre 5th, 2014

The Colombian Government’s head peace negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, said he will meet with the representatives of political parties to hear them out in regards to the peace process developing with the Farc guerrilla. Talks are approaching the two-year mark.

De la Calle said the meetings are meant to “not just inform us but also to listen to their opinions in open and transparent discussions, with the intention of hearing and welcoming recommendations and criticism.” He vowed that the Government will take criticism seriously and reiterated that there will not be an ‘armed peace’ because the Government will never agree to allow Farc to use weapons in politics.

“When an agreement is signed, weapons will be abandoned,” he said.

Farc murders two indigenous who took down a billboard

Miércoles, noviembre 5th, 2014

Farc’s 6th front murdered two indigenous men in Toribío, Cauca, after they took down a billboard commemorating the 3-year anniversary of the death of alias ‘Alfonso Cano’. Cano, who was once the chief of the guerrilla group, dies on November 4th of 2011 at the hands of the Colombian Military, during a military operation.

According to the People’s Defender’s office, the two indigenous victims had been looking for the perpetrators of an attack against the Nasa community leader, Edgar Tumiñá.

Jorge Armando Otálora, the People’s Defender, asked Farc negotiators engaged in peace talks with the Colombian Government in Havana (Cuba) to “at the very least agree to respect the civilian population.”

Talks with Eln may be announced by December

Lunes, octubre 20th, 2014

Political analyst and director of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, Leon Valencia, said that considering how long exploratory talks between the National Government and the Eln have lasted and the rumors that have been circulating, it’s likely that Colombians will have an announcement in regards to peace negotiations with that group by the end of this year.

In response to questions about pressure from President Juan Manuel Santos, Valencia explained that it’s part of the talks and that what Mr. Santos has asked for is discretion when discussing the topic. Valencia indicated that the process with the Eln, as with Farc, will be part open and part confidential.

Two Farc members arrested in Bogotá

Jueves, octubre 2nd, 2014

A joint effort between the Police, the National Army and the Attorney General’s office led to the arrest of alias ‘Diego’ and alias ‘Juancho’, both members of Farc’s eastern front who were allegedly planning an attack with explosives in Bogotá. The suspects, ages 18 and 19 respectively, took orders directly from Farc financial chiefs to pressure victims with terrorist acts. They also recruited youngsters for the guerrilla group. Both pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and terrorism.

Farc tells Santos he must keep his promises

Martes, junio 24th, 2014

A week after Colombians reelected Juan Manuel Santos to a second presidential term, the Farc guerrilla expressed its optimism in regards to an eventual peace accord and demanded that Santos keep the promises made throughout his campaign.

With a statement posted on the Farc’s negotiating committee webpage, the group expressed joy over how “differences are forgotten among Colombians when they hug as they watch their soccer team play”, referring to the national team’s performance at the World Cup in Brazil.

Meanwhile they reminded the president that he promised to sign peace with Colombia’s guerrilla groups, which could improve social investment in heath and education.

Government begins process with Eln

Martes, junio 10th, 2014

The Colombian National Government announced that it’s been engaged in exploratory talks with the Eln guerrilla since last January and has already reached agreements in terms of two of the issues that will be included in the talks’ agenda.

“The goal of this exploratory phase is to agree on an agenda and design the process that will make the end of the armed conflict possible, as well as the construction of stable long-lasting peace for Colombia,” the Government said. The items agree to are victims and society’s participation in the peace process, but remaining issues have yet to be defined.

The exploratory phase with periodic updates for the public.  According to Piedad Cíordoba, the process will take place in a country that has not yet been disclosed. Guarantors will likely be Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba.

Four policemen dead in attack

Martes, junio 3rd, 2014

Four police officers were killed and one more was injured in a surprise attack perpetrated by the guerrilla on the road that connects the urban area of Saravena to El Pescado, in the Mateplátano region. Officers had been patrolling the area when they were caught off guard by an explosion; the injured man is being treated at a nearby hospital as authorities remove the fatal victims from the site.

The attack took place near a school where dozens of children were in class at the time; a nearby home also suffered material damages. There is heavy police and military presence in the area and the press has not been allowed access.

Farc and Eln begin cease fire

Martes, mayo 20th, 2014

The Farc and Eln guerrillas began a unilateral cease fire that will be in effect until next May 28th and will run parallel to the first round of presidential elections. The truce began at midnight on Tuesday and as of yet there have been no reports of attacks by the guerrillas. The most recent incidents related to guerrilla violence took Monday when authorities confiscated explosives found in Cauca, that allegedly belonged to Farc. There was also an explosion reported in a pipeline located in Orito, in the department of Putumayo, also perpetrated by Farc; it was the third attack targeting this location in three days.

Farc and the Eln announced an “electoral cease fire in a joint statement read by negotiating guerrilla members in Havana by both groups. “We are ordering all our units to cease any kind of offensive military action against the State’s Armed Forces (…)”, the statement read.

Overwhelming percentage of displaced are in Colombia

Miércoles, mayo 14th, 2014

The forced displacement of people in Latin America continues to happen, and the problem seems to be more pressing in Colombia, despite the ongoing peace process, as well as Mexico and Honduras due to organized crime. This according to data revealed today by the United Nations and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

In Latin America the number of displaced citizens reaches six million according to the most recent data, with an overwhelming 5,5 million in Colombia. Research by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center of the NRC found there were 156,918 new cases of forced displacement reported in the country last year.

In Colombia, where the phenomenon dates back to 1960, it’s calculated that 12 percent of the population is displaced, a situation caused mainly by armed conflict between guerrillas and government security forces, and direct threats against individuals and communities. Other influential factors are the forced recruitment of minors, sexual violence, the use of anti-personnel mines, extortion and attacks against human rights activists.

On a global scale, the report revealed that 63 percent of the world’s displaced are from just five countries: Syria, Colombia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. In 2013, the average time a person spent living as a displaced person was 17 years.

Police changes name of ‘los Urabeños’

Viernes, abril 25th, 2014

The director of the National Police, General Rodolfo Palomino, said the criminal gang known until now as ‘los Urabeños’ will from now on be referred to as the “Usuga David Clan”. This came in response to a request made by President Santos, who asked authorities to change the name they used to refer to the gang because it stigmatizes the hardworking, honorable people of the Urabá region.



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