Huge Increase in Forced Displacement during 2007

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 29 February 2008

Over 300,000 people were forcibly displaced from their homes in Colombia during 2007 according to a new report from human rights group CODHES. This represents a 38% increase in displacement over 2006. According to the report the total number of Colombians who have now been forced to flee read more



Women and Teachers Targeted in Cauca department

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 29 February 2008

Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of activists in two organizations in the Colombian department of Cauca after a series of threats and other harassment aimed at them. The regional teachers union, ASOINCA, and the Women's Committee of the Regional Peasant Farmers Association have both been specifically read more



Civilian Population Under Attack in Valle

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 28 February 2008

Military operations and paramilitary threats in the Colombian department of Valle are creating terror in rural communities and forcing people to flee their homes and land in fear for their lives. In at least one case, in the village of Brisas, British-trained troops have been involved in the abuses.Reports read more



Human Rights Defender Murdered

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 27 February 2008

An activist who testified to a high profile human rights mission last September that the Colombian Army were abusing the human rights of people living in his region has been shot and killed by an army-backed paramilitary unit.At around 7pm on February 26th two masked men forced their way into read more



Company Attempts to Kill Activists to Prevent Formation of New Union

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 26 February 2008

A Colombian transport firm has allegedly taken out a contract on the lives of two senior trade unionists who were helping workers at the company to form a trade union. According to the CUT trade union federation, 'Colvanes Ltda', a firm based in the city of Medellin, paid an read more



Colombian Army Extra-judicially Executes Community Leader

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 25 February 2008

Colombian soldiers have murdered a community leader in the department of Huila. Officials subsequently presented his body as a guerrilla fighter killed in combat despite his high known role as the President of the local community action council in the Pinares region.Edgar Jose Molina Ovalle, who was also involved read more



March 6th: International Day of Protest

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 24 February 2008

March 6th will see events held in Colombia and all over the world to remember the victims of state-sponsored violence in Colombia and to call for an end to the ongoing abuses. The worldwide protest has been called by the 'National Movement of Victims' and is backed by human read more



US Unions Unimpressed by President Uribe

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 24 February 2008

In mid-February a delegation arranged by the AFL-CIO, the US trade union federation, visited Colombia. Two British colleagues from Britain's largest union, Unite, also joined the group. As well as meeting with trade unions and human rights organisations, the delegation met with several senior figures including Colombian President read more



Death Threats against Santander Trade Unionists

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 23 February 2008

Recent days have seen a huge upsurge in threats made against trade union leaders and activists in the Colombian region of Santander. The threats have come from a paramilitary group known as the 'Black Eagles', which human rights defenders report have links to the Colombian security forces. Among read more



Paramilitaries on Rampage in Meta Department

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 22 February 2008

A woman has been killed and numerous other people threatened by a paramilitary death squad that has started operating in the eastern Colombian department of Meta. Eleven individuals, including leading regional human rights defenders, have been forced to flee the region due to the threats.On February 19th the paramilitary read more



The Swindle of Carimagua

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 21 February 2008

Tens of thousands of acres of farming land that the Colombian Government had publicly promised to distribute to peasant farming families who had been forced off their land by violence, have in fact ended up being sold off to large agribusiness companies for use as commercial plantations.On August 8th 2004, read more



Paramilitaries Assassinate Two

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Two civilians, including a member of the Colombian human rights organisation ANDAS, have been tortured and assassinated by a group of 20 paramilitaries at a roadblock in the department of Bolivar. Miguel Daza, a human rights activist, was also the director of Aprocasur, the Association of Cocoa Producers. read more



Interview with Colombian trade unionist Jose Giraldo Toro

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 19 February 2008

On February 9th trade union activist Jose Giraldo Toro was forced to flee his home after having been detained and tortured by a paramilitary death squad for five days. In subsequent days 22 members of his extended family were also forced to flee. This is his story."Some time read more



Message from a Trade Unionist Political Prisoner

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 18 February 2008

Carmen Mayusa, a leading activist in the Colombia health workers trade union ANTHOC, has sent a message of support and thanks to trade unionists who are working to support her struggle for freedom and justice. Ms Mayusa is one of the key targets in a Justice for Colombia campaign read more



‘Demobilised’ Paramilitaries Still Killing

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 17 February 2008

Paramilitary death squads in the city of Barrancabermeja are continuing to kill civilians despite claims by the Colombian Government that they have 'demobilised'. Already this year 22 selective assassinations have been carried out by the paramilitaries in this city alone.The latest killing, on February 13th, was of local fish read more



Paramilitaries Order Assassination of Human Rights Defender

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 16 February 2008

There are serious concerns for the safety of David Ravelo Crespo, the leader of CREDHOS, a human rights NGO based in the Colombian city of Barrancabermeja. Mr Crespo has been a long standing victim of paramilitary intimidation and threats. In 2006, threatening phone calls were made to the read more



Teacher Trade Unionist Shot Dead

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 15 February 2008

A leading regional member of the Colombian teachers' trade union FECODE has been assassinated. Maria del Carmen Meza Pasochoa was shot by unidentified assassins at approximately 1pm on February 8th near the village of Santa Ines in Arauca department. Ms Meza was traveling from work to her home read more



Fear for Civilian Population in Cauca Department

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 14 February 2008

Military operations allegedly being carried out in collaboration with a paramilitary death squad in the Colombian department of Cauca are putting the lives of residents at risk according to local human rights organizations. Reports from the area state that members of the 8th 'Batalla de Pichincha' Infantry Battalion of read more



Health Workers Union Leader Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Arley Benavides, a leader of the health workers trade union ANTHOC, has been assassinated in the town of Balboa in Cauca region. Justice for Colombia will be posting further information shortly. read more



British Minister Poses for Photo with Trade Union Assassins

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 11 February 2008

The British Foreign Office Minister responsible for relations with Latin America has been condemned in the British press for posing for photographs with soldiers of the notorious High Mountain Battalion of the Colombian Army. The Battalion, which Colombian human rights defenders say is responsible for systematic violations of human read more



Barack Obama Criticizes Colombian Government

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 11 February 2008

"I'm concerned frankly about the reports there of the involvement of the Colombian administration with human rights violations and the suppression of workers." This was how US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama described the situation in Colombia when explaining why he would oppose any free-trade agreement with the Latin read more



An Overview of Human Rights in Colombia in 2007

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 9 February 2008

Human Rights Watch last week issued their report on Colombia's human rights performance during 2007. In it they describe "an alarming increase in reports of extrajudicial executions of civilians by the military", confirming what both the United Nations and Colombian human rights NGOs have documented.The new report covers numerous read more



Journalist Receives Death Threats after Government Corruption Reporting

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 8 February 2008

Simon Rogelio Prado, a journalist based in the central Colombian town of Melgar has received further death threats after refusing to stop his investigation into corruption among regional politicians in the department of Tolima. The threats began last year according to a statement from the journalists union ASOPRENSA.Mr Prado read more



Colombian Trade Unionist Calls on Government to Change Policy

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 7 February 2008

At a public meeting attending by over 75 people in London on Tuesday, Colombian bank workers trade union leader, Emigdio Triana, called on the British Government to change their policy on Colombia. Mr Triana specifically urged the Government to divert resources away from the Colombian military and towards helping read more



Politician under Investigation for Paramilitary Ties Appointed as Ambassador to Holland

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 7 February 2008

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has named a politician accused of links to a paramilitary death squad as the new Colombian Ambassador in Holland. The appointment of Juan Jose Chaux, a former regional Governor, came just two weeks after the Colombian Attorney General announced that he was opening an investigation read more



Victims Call National Protest in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The National Movement of Victims, a Colombian coalition grouping human rights organisations, trade unions and family members of victims of human rights violations together, has called for a national demonstration on March 6th to protest against ongoing abuses by the Colombian Government and rightwing paramilitary death squads that are linked read more



Latin American Meeting in the North East

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Justice for Colombia supporters in and around the Gateshead/Newcastle area are invited to attend a February 20th Latin American-themed event in Gateshead Civic Centre. The evening will include an eyewitness account from Colombia as well as films about Colombia and Cuba, a book stall, music and a bar.A flyer read more



Systematic Attacks on Students Involved in Anti-Privatisation Protests

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Students at the University of Tolima in central Colombia have released a statement documenting human rights abuses, including murder, that they have been subjected to in recent years as a result of their campaign against the privatisation of the state education system.The press release by the students also mentions attacks read more



167 Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 February 2008

160 Colombian political prisoners today announced that they will today join seven fellow inmates on hunger strike in protest against unreasonable treatement by Colombian prison authorities. The case of the seven original hunger strikers, who have now not taken food for 29 days, was reported on by Justice for read more



Progress Magazine Article on Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Progress, an organisation linked to the British Labour Party, has just published an excellent piece on Colombia in their monthly magazine. The article, entitled 'Why it's time for a change of policy towards Colombia', calls for the UK to stop providing military assistance to the Colombian armed forces and read more



British-Trained Soldiers Assassinate 3 Indigenous People

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 4 February 2008

Indigenous leaders have condemned the Colombian Army for assassinating three indigenous people on January 30th. The troops responsible for the murders came from the British-trained 4th High Mountain Battalion of the Colombian Army; a unit notorious for violating human rights.The killings, which occurred at around 11pm, took place on read more



Civil Society Calls for Respect for Human Rights

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 4 February 2008

A vast coalition of human rights organisations, indigenous groups, opposition politicians, rural communities and NGOs in Colombia, has issued a statement "For Life, Peace & Democracy" in which they condemn continuing violence against the civilian population.Here Justice for Colombia provides an English translation:For Life, Peace & DemocracyA Message from the read more



FARC Guerrillas Announce Further Hostage Releases

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 3 February 2008

The High Command of the FARC rebel group in Colombia have announced that they will shortly be freeing three Colombian politicians who they have been holding prisoner due to health concerns. The revelation comes less than a month after two other political figures being held by the guerrillas were read more



‘Dear Colleague’ letter by US Congressman cites JFC website

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 3 February 2008

US Congressman Raul Grijalva (Democrat, Arizona), has written to his colleagues in the US Congress drawing attention to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's "silence and denial" about paramilitary crimes. In his letter, the Congressman includes a link to a translated piece that appears on the Justice for Colombia website.To follow read more



January – A Deadly Month

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 2 February 2008

The National Movement of Victims, a Colombian coalition grouping human rights organisations, trade unions and family members of victims of human rights violations together, has issued a statement detailing human rights abuses during the month of January.According to the Movement the following abuses took place during the month:Two massacres by read more



Leader of the Opposition Receives Death Threat

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 2 February 2008

Dr Carlos Gaviria, the president of the Democratic Pole, Colombia's main opposition party, has been threatened by an unknown individual or organisation via a document sent to the party's head office in Bogota. The threat says that the authors are waiting to "mince you alive with a machete and read more



Peace Campaigner Assassinated by Colombian Soldiers

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 1 February 2008

Colombian peace campaigner Miguel Angel Gonzalez Gutierrez has been murdered by troops of the 'Calibio' Battalion of the Colombian Army. The son of a trade union leader, 23-year-old Mr Gonzelaz, was the father of two young boys.The killing, on Janaury 27th, occurred after troops from the Battalion, which is read more



One Region, Two Weeks, Eleven Assassinations

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 1 February 2008

Violence in the Colombian region of Arauca rocketed during the second half of January according to a local human rights NGO. The 'Joel Sierra' Human Rights Foundation lists eleven killings and also reports that the secret police detained and took away at least ten others at 9.30am on read more