Liliany Obando is granted conditional bail!

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 27 February 2015

After a seven month wait, human rights defender Liliany Patricia Obando Villota was finally granted conditional bail on the 24 February 2015. She has been under house arrest for the last six months in spite of having fulfilled all the requirements to be granted bail. The judge decreed however that read more



Journalist shot dead

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 19 February 2015

A 63-year-old journalist was killed in the Southern province of Caqueta on Saturday 14th February. Luis Peralta Cuéllar who ran a radio program was known for his journalism denouncing irregularities and had received threats in the past. Last year, another journalist Luis Carlos Cervantes, well known for investigating political read more



Human rights defenders more threatened than ever before

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 19 February 2015

In its yearly report, the Colombian human rights organisation Somos Defensores (We are Defenders), has recorded 55 human rights defenders being killed in 2014. In addition to the number of killings, the report highlighted the enormous increase in death threats issued to defenders – there were 626 death threats issued read more



Threats and attacks against national grass roots movement

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 19 February 2015

Colombia’s largest social movement, the Patriotic March, which is formed of over 2,000 organsiations, has released details of a wave of threats and attacks against its members. Since its founding in 2012, at least 65 members of the Patriotic March have been killed, most recently the peasant leader and community read more



Journalists in the firing line

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Colombian Federation of Journalists (Fecolper) recently highlighted the risks associated with this profession in Colombia. Journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous job, as can be seen in the assassinations, death threats, illegal detentions, forced displacements, damage to premises and equipment, and other forms of harassment that journalists are read more



Remains of almost 3,000 conflict victims returned to families

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Following a complex process of investigation and identification carried out between 2007 and 2014, the remains of 2,789 victims who were disappeared have been returned to their families by local human rights authorities. “Our 17 year old son was killed and disappeared by a paramilitary group on 26 November 1989 read more



Alarming series of death threats against regional victims’ leader

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 13 February 2015

The Movement for Victim’s of State Crimes (MOVICE), a close partner of Justice for Colombia, has denounced the recent death threats made against one of its regional leaders, Martha Diaz*. On 8 February 2015 Martha received a funeral wreath sent to her home with the words “Rest in peace” written read more



Jesus Miguel Velandia Leon, prisoner who was denied treatment for his cancer Political prisoner dies after being refused cancer treatment for two years

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 13 February 2015

On 11th February 2015, in Palo Gordo Prison in the Department of Santander, the political Jesus Miguel Velandia Leon died after having being refused treatment for a cancer from which he was suffering for two years. Jesus Miguel had been through all possible processes to request treatment for his cancer, read more



Trade union leader arrested illegally

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 13 February 2015

The trade union leader and human rights defender Maria Doris Rivera Rios was arrested on 10 February 2015 in the city of Villavicencio, in Central Colombia. She was accused of rebellion, a charge well known to be used as a means of persecuting trade unionists and human rights activists, and read more



Mr Jerez addresses the 2013 Workers' Uniting Delegation to Colombia in Catatumbo Renowned Peasant Leader Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 12 February 2015

Cesar Jerez, a peasant leader from Catatumbo is one of several to have recently received a death threat. Jerez, who has been a leader for 17 years, and is currently involved in a variety of peasant associations struggling for the recognition of a Peasant Reserve Zone in Catatumbo, received the read more



62 human rights defenders killed in 2014

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 12 February 2015

In a recent report from the United Nations the Colombian government’s ability to stop the killings of human rights activists was put into question. In 2014, 62 human rights defenders, social activists, and land reclaimants were killed. In January this year the figure reached 10. “The threats, killings, and forced read more



62 bodies found in mass grave

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Last week a mass grave was discovered in the Southwestern Department of Nariño. Experts believe the 62 bodies found are likely to be victims of paramilitary killings carried out between 2000 and 2005. Local residents in the village of Bocas de Satinga reported finding the grave and so far 13 read more



Historic Commission releases report on causes of Colombia conflict

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 11 February 2015

From Colombia Reports A commission of 12 Colombian historians presented their account on the origins, causes, aggravators and consequences of Colombia’s 50-year long armed conflict on Tuesday. The document lies the foundation for determining responsibility for the nearly 7 million victims. The historians that took part in the study had read more



Court makes key decisions on military service

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Following on from an initial court ruling in 2011, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has reiterated that the army cannot force individuals without the right paperwork into completing their military service. It was announced this week that in sentence T-455 of 2014, the Constitutional Court highlighted that the Colombian read more



Soldiers lose appeal in ‘false positive’ case

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Three soldiers found guilty of assassinating a farmer and then presenting him as a member of the ELN guerrilla group who had been killed in combat, have lost their appeal. After a Supreme Court hearing, the sentence given to the Army lieutenant and two professional soldiers for the death read more



Analysis: Women in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 9 February 2015

This article is based on a speech given to the North West and Irish GMB Regional Women’s Conference in October 2014 by Bryan Nott of Simpson Millar. In Colombia trade unionists and human rights workers have faced a challenging situation for many years. Many will be aware that Colombia is read more



Human Rights Watch criticises Minister of Defence and the military

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 9 February 2015

The US based organisation Human Rights Watch has criticised new legislation being promoted by the government and accused Minister of Defence and the Colombian military of attempting to discredit investigations into cases of so-called ‘false positives’ (extrajudicial execution of civilians committed by members of the armed forces who then read more



Growing humanitarian crisis in Buenaventura

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 9 February 2015

The social and humanitarian crisis in the city of Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast, has been intensifying since mid-2014. Many of the inhabitants have been the victims of extortion and intimidation by criminal groups and the crisis appears to be escalating. The paramilitary group ‘Los Urabeños’ who operate in the read more



Eleven Marines Dismissed for Killing Civilian

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Colombian Prosecutor General has dismissed 11 Marines from the Cobra Reconnaissance Group of the First Counter-Guerrilla Battalion for the extrajudicial execution of a civilian who was then presented as a guerrilla killed in combat. The eleven have been banned from public employment for ten years. No details of the read more



UN expresses optimism and caution towards peace process

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 5 February 2015

The general secretary of the United Nations has reiterated its support of the peace process in Havana. According to a UN statement, Ban Ki-moon is satisfied that both sides are committed to reducing the intensity of military confrontation across the country and is pleased that the unilateral ceasefire, initiated by read more



Community leader killed inside school

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The community leader Jaminton Andres Avila was killed last Friday 30th January. Jaminton, who was treasurer of the community committee and was well known as an active figure in all social activities of the community, was killed in a school in a village in the municipality of Yondo. The village read more



Peace talks update 3 February 2014

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 3 February 2015

This Monday peace talks between government and FARC resumed in Havana, Cuba, after breaking for Christmas and New Year on 17 December 2014. The main points due to be discussed are victims and in parallel, the end of the conflict. In recent weeks the government has been increasing expectations that read more



British Embassy visit to Huber Ballesteros mentioned in government report

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 3 February 2015

In November 2014, after considerable pressure from Westminster MPs, the British Embassy visited Huber Ballesteros in his prison in Bogota. Due to its ongoing appalling human rights record, Colombia is currently on the list of Foreign and Commonwealth countries of concern and in its December report the visit to Huber read more



Prisoners in “civil disobedience” protests across Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 3 February 2015

In two separate prisons, prisoners have declared that they have no option but to declare a protest of disobedience in search of an end to the horrific treatment they are being subjected to. The Colombian Constitutional Court has itself declared the current state of Colombian prisons as “unconstitutional” and prisoners read more



Infectious diseases spreading in prison in northern Colombia as authorities stay silent

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 2 February 2015

Prisoners from the Metropolitan Prison in Cucuta, northern Colombia, have released a damning insight into the prison conditions. Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis are said to be widespread. Recently one prisoner, Henry Gregorio Ferrer Carrillo, died and two more are currently in intensive care suffering from meningitis. The prisoners denounced read more



Close partner of Justice for Colombia given UN consultative status

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 2 February 2015

In the most recent session of the UN Economic and Social Council, the Permanent Committee for Human Rights, a Colombian human rights NGO with which Justice for Colombia has had close relations for many years, was awarded consultative status. Consultative Status to the read more