Miguel Beltran Thanks JFC and UK Trade Union Movement

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Dr Miguel Angel Beltran, the academic who was finally released from prison on June 7th after two years, has sent a letter to JFC, the UCU, the UK trade union movement and Thompsons Solicitors to thank everyone for their solidarity and the campaign to get him released. Below is a read more



Eight Peasant Farmers Murdered in Brutal Massacre

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 27 June 2011

Local human rights organisations have reported that on the evening of Saturday 25th June at 9pm, masked gunmen wearing camouflage gear and carrying assault rifles forced their way into a bar in the village of Villanueva, in the municipality of Colon Genova, Narino Department in south east Colombia. They then read more



US Union Calls for Protection for Colombian Sodexho Worker

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 26 June 2011

US Union Solidarity The US Service Employees International Union, SEIU, has highlighted the case of Jose Hugo Yanini, a Sodexho employee in Colombia, who recently received death threats. SEIU called on its members to write to the Colombian authorities demanding that he be protected. For more information click here. read more



USW Writes to Congress Opposing Free Trade Agreements

Justice For Colombia News | on: Saturday, 25 June 2011

The US steelworkers have written to all members of the House of Representatives to urge them to ‘vigorously oppose’ pending free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia. The letter argues that free trade agreements have been far from beneficial for US workers, and furthermore, the proposed agreement read more



WOLA: The U.S. Should Not Move Forward on Colombia FTA

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 24 June 2011

Washington, D.C.-Today, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), along with more than 400 other organizations, academics, and individuals from both the United States and Colombia, sent a letter to the U.S. Congress asking representatives to vote no on the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA). Human rights violations read more



US Steelworkers Demand Mining Company Ends Persecution of Unionists

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 19 June 2011

The US United Steelworkers Union has written to the President of Vale Coal Colombia Ltd, Zenaldo Olivera, to express the union’s grave concern at the treatment of workers at the company’s El Hatillo mine. Workers at the mine in Cesar Department in northern Colombia organised a union in early June read more



National Peace Meeting is Launched

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 16 June 2011

On June 8th the National Meeting of Peasant, Afro-descendent and Indigenous Peoples for Land and Peace was held in Bogota. The meeting launched the preparations for the National Conference on Peace that will be held in Barrancabermeja later this year, aimed at using the experiences of different communities to begin read more



Dr Beltran: “the big positive of all this was the warm solidarity that I received”

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 16 June 2011

Dr Beltran: “the big positive of all this was the warm solidarity that I received” “if the guerrillas have been a factor in the violence, so has the state, so have the armed forces.” Colombian alternative media have published an interview with the recently released political prisoner, read more



Carmelo Agamez Victims Denounce New Threats in Sucre

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Sucre chapter of the MOVICE National Victims Movement has reported new threats against its members, Candelaria Barrios, Pedro Geney, and Franklin Torres. The threats follow on from others received on the 19th of May and 10th June, which told them and other MOVICE members to leave the area “or read more



Human Rights Organisations Pull Out of Roundtable and Demand Santos Meeting

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The human rights and social organisations that take part in the National Roundtable for Guarantees have withdrawn from the process in the wake of the killing of Ana Fabricia Cordoba, and have called for a meeting with President Santos. The main purpose of the UN-supported Roundtable was read more



Valledupar High Security Prison Inmates Violently Repressed in Prison Described as ‘Depths of Hell’

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 13 June 2011

On the evening of June 11th security guards at the high security prison in Valledupar, known as ‘La Tramacua’, led by the prison director Leopoldo Lopez Pinzon, stormed several towers of the prison. These had been peacefully occupied by prisoners since May 2nd when they began a campaign of ‘peaceful read more



Victims Speak on New Victims Law

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 13 June 2011

The Colombian National Movement of Victims (MOVICE) has indicated that despite widespread optimism in the media, and even among some victims, regarding President Santos’ flagship Land and Victims Law, the law contains a series of serious flaws that make it far from a real solution to the problem of reparation read more



Update: Violence in Arauca

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 13 June 2011

The violence in Arauca continues to claim civilian lives with yet another killing, this time of an indigenous man. Local human rights organisations have reported the killing of an indigenous man on the morning of June 10th by troops of the Colombian army’s 30th Mobile Brigade. The murder happened near read more



Marco Romero, president of the Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES). Credit:Helda Martínez/IPS "Full Reparations Must Be Guaranteed" for Displaced Victims in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 12 June 2011

"Full Reparations Must Be Guaranteed" for Displaced Victims in ColombiaHelda Martínez interviews Colombian human rights activist MARCO ROMERO BOGOTA, Jun 10, 2011 (IPS) - Human rights groups and small farmers' associations will keep close watch in Colombia to make sure the new Victims' and Land Restitution read more



Jorge Eliecer de los Rios Another Teacher Trade Unionist Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 10 June 2011

According to reports from SER, the Risaralda teacher trade union, environmental campaigner and teacher Jorge Eliecer de los Rios was assassinated by gunmen on Wednesday 8th June. He was shot several times from a motorbike as he was going from one building to another of the Santa Sofia School, in read more



Assassinations Continue in Arauca

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 10 June 2011

According to reports from local human rights organisations in the region of Arauca, paramilitaries continue to operate there; assassinating residents and persecuting communities. The organisations complain that the authorities are not doing enough to protect people or to investigate the crimes being committed. At 7.15pm on June 5th, in the read more



Threats Against Victims in Valle

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 9 June 2011

Julio Cesar Rosero, the lawyer for the widow of Edinson Yimel Villanueva, who was killed by Colombian army troops in 2007 has reported threats being made against him. The threats are also directed at Jenny Torres, the widow of the assassinated man, who is a member of the MOVICE national read more



Retired Army Colonel Linked to Narco-Paramilitaries

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 9 June 2011

According to the testimony of John Quirama, a professional soldier who served under Colonel Oscar Orlando Gomez, the now-retired Colonel was linked to notorious paramilitary leader ‘Cuchillo’, who was accused of some 3,000 killings. The Colonel, who is one of those being investigated for the ‘false positives’ scandal, is accused read more



Ana Fabricia Cordoba Another Displaced Leader Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 8 June 2011

According to Colombian news reports, a leader of displaced communities in the city of Medellin was assassinated yesterday, Tuesday 7th June, whilst travelling on a bus. Ana Fabricia Córdoba was a community leader in the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz. According to local human rights organisations, she had repeatedly told authorities read more



Academic Finally Released from Prison after 2 Years

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dr Miguel Angel Beltran, the university professor detained in May 2009, and imprisoned since then unjustly, has finally been released yesterday, Tuesday 7th June after a national and international campaign for his freedom. On Friday 3rd June, a Judge ruled in his favour, declaring him innocent of the charges read more



The Killing Continues as US Doubles Down on Failed Trade Policies

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Killing Continues as US Doubles Down on Failed Trade Policies By DAN KOVALIK A number of notable events took place in the past week which underscore the U.S.'s continued failed policies in Latin America. And of course, these notable events were almost totally ignored by the mainstream of the read more



Former Presidential Adviser: “Army Worked with Paramilitaries to Exterminate Opposition Party”

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 5 June 2011

On June 2nd a former Presidential Adviser from the Virgilio Barco government (1986-1990) provided extraordinary testimony of the fact that the genocide of the left-wing Patriotic Union political party was the result of an alliance between the armed forces, narcotraffickers and paramilitary forces. The testimony comes as part of the read more



Political Prisoner Professor Beltran Finally Absolved of All Charges!!

Justice For Colombia News | on: Saturday, 4 June 2011

JFC is extremely happy to report that Dr. Miguel Angel Beltran was yesterday, Friday 3rd June, absolved of the charges of ‘rebellion’ and ‘criminal conspiracy for terrorist purposes’. Dr Beltran was imprisoned in May 2009 after being arbitrarily detained and deported from Mexico, where he was carrying out post-doctoral research read more



Political Prisoners' Conference Opens Amidst Onslaught of Repression in Prisons

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 4 June 2011

On 4th and 5th of June Colombian human rights NGOs, trade unions and opposition political parties held a national conference in Bogota on the situation of Colombia’s political prisoners. The event, which was co-sponsored by Justice for Colombia, was organised to highlight the existence of thousands political prisoners currently being read more



UPDATE – FENSUAGRO Activist Finally Released from Prison!

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 3 June 2011

JFC received the good news that Rosalba Gaviria Toro, a Fensuagro trade union activist was finally released from prison on 3rd June, afterbeing absolved of all charges on May 30th. In a message of thanks to JFC from her husband, Fensuagro EC member, Alirio Garcia, he told us read more



Two More Teacher Trade Unionists Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 2 June 2011

Another two teacher trade unionists were murdered in recent days, bringing the number of trade unionists killed so far in 2011 to 11, with teachers the majority of those assassinated. In a statement, the CUT trade union confederation condemned the murders and called for justice to be done. On the read more



Hernan Dario Escobar Update: Shot Labour Lawyer Dies, his Family is Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 2 June 2011

Hernan Dario Escobar the 57 year-old Colombian labour lawyer shot on May 13th has died of his wounds in hospital. Mr Dario led the defence of Colombian sugar-cane workers arrested during a strike in 2008, ensuring their release. Some media sources have tried to insinuate that his shooting was read more



Amnesty Colombia Report: Paramilitaries Expanding and Still Colluding With Government Forces

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 2 June 2011

Amnesty International recently released its annual report on Colombia, that looked at the development of the human rights situation there during 2010. The report notes that the “The civilian population, especially rural and poor urban communities, continued to bear the brunt of the long-running armed conflict”, underlines that “most perpetrators read more



David Rabelo Letter from Political Prisoner

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Below is a public letter sent from prison by political prisoner David Rabelo. David, a well known regional human rights leader has been imprisoned for 8 months on the back of flimsy accusations made by paramilitaries. He has been falsely imprisoned in the past, having spent 27 months incarcerated at read more