Spanish Peace Activist Accused of FARC Links

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 31 July 2008

In an attempt to extend their campaign to silence critics to outside of Colombia, the Colombian regime has asked several European Governments to act against peace and human rights activists in their countries who, according to the Colombians, have links to the leftwing FARC guerrilla group. Acting upon supposed read more

The Extermination of Civil Society in Narino

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The "systematic violence" against trade unions, community groups and human rights organisations in the Colombian department of Narino is little more than 'state sponsored terrorism against civil society' according to one human rights defender in the area. The security forces are openly collaborating with paramilitary death squads throughout the read more

Young Communist Tortured

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 29 July 2008

In the latest of a series of attacks against members of the Colombian Young Communist Party, known as JUCO, an activist has been tortured by armed men who broke into the apartment where he was staying in the Colombian capital Bogota. The JUCO has accused the Colombian intelligence service read more

Upsurge in Paramilitary Killings and Threats in Barrancabermeja

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Rightwing paramilitaries operating in the Colombian city of Barrancabermeja have threatened to kill members of human rights groups, trade unions and other social organisations in the city saying that they are all now "military objectives". The threats follow a spate of recent assassinations carried out by the paramilitaries around read more

Indigenous Governor Assassinated in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 28 July 2008

The Governor of an indigenous reserve in the central Colombia department of Risaralda has been murdered by a paramilitary death squad. Hugo Gonzalez Bernaza had received several death threats in the past although no measures had been taken by the Colombian authorities to defend his life.The Governor of the read more

British Trained Colombian Soldiers Implicated in Murder, Kidnapping and Torture

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 28 July 2008

Human rights groups say that three Colombian Army units operating in two municipalities of the southern region of Valle del Cauca have been terrorising the civilian population through a campaign of threats, torture and murder. One of the units involved is a British-trained High Mountain Battalion. The most serious read more

Youth Leader Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 27 July 2008

Suspected paramilitaries have killed 18-year-old youth leader Alexander Gomez in the village of Santa Barbara in the San Luis region of Antioquia department. Mr Gomez, who despite his young age, had been recently elected as President of the local community council was also active in efforts to highlight the read more

Army Abusing Indigenous Groups in Choco

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 26 July 2008

A communiqué released by five of Colombia's principle indigenous groups has documented how soldiers of the 'Manosalva Flores' Battalion of the Colombian Army are terrorising an indigenous community in the department of Choco. The community, based in hills next to the highway linking Choco's capital Quibdo to the city read more

UN: Colombia Only Latin American Nation Where Forced Disappearances Continue

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 25 July 2008

The UN Working Group on Forced Disappearances has declared that Colombia is the only country in Latin America where there continue to be forced disappearances. The UN also criticised Colombian legislation on disappearances saying that it intentionally "dilutes the responsibility of the State".The comments were made by Santiago Corcuera, read more

JFC Advert Calls on UK Govt to End Colombia Military Aid

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 25 July 2008

A Justice for Colombia advertisement in The Guardian and Tribune Magazine has called on the UK Government to stop providing military aid to the Colombian Army. Supported by the ten largest Labour Party-affiliated trade unions, the advert outlines some of the abuses perpetrated by the High Mountain Battalions of the read more

FARC Hand Hostages to Red Cross

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 July 2008

Colombian guerrilla group FARC yesterday handed over eight people that they had detained last week to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The eight civilians, who were seized on July 17th, were liberated in the Vigia del Puerte area on the border between the departments of Antioquia and read more

Paramilitaries Massacre Seven Peasant Farmers in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 23 July 2008

A rightwing paramilitary death squad has massacred seven people in the northern Colombian department of Cordoba. The victims, all peasant farmers, were residents of the village of San Daniel in the municipality of Puerto Libertador.The attack, on July 20th, was perpetrated by a death squad led by Agustin Segundo read more

An Independent Press?

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Colombia has one national daily newspaper, El Tiempo. It is owned by the Santos family. Francisco Santos is the current Vice President of Colombia. Juan Manuel Santos, his cousin, is the current Minister of Defence. As a result, El Tiempo's coverage of issues that the regime read more

Colombia-Nicaragua Relations at All Time Low

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 21 July 2008

Relations between the Governments of Colombia and Nicaragua have hit a new low after Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega called the Colombian regime "oligarchical" and a client of the US and described Colombia's leftwing FARC guerrilla group as his 'brothers'. Ortega's comments came after Bogota refused his offer to help read more

Colombian State Accused of Torture and Murder of Trade Union Leader

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 17 July 2008

The brutally murdered body of disappeared trade unionist, Guillermo Rivera, President of SINSERPUB, the Bogotá public sector workers' union, and also an activist in the 'Polo Democratico' opposition political party, was found on July 15th after months of campaigning and protests by the Colombian trade unions and opposition. Trade read more

Colombia Committed War Crime

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 17 July 2008

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe yesterday admitted that his army had illegally used the logo of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during their high-profile operation to release 15 hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt. In a speech in Bogota Uribe apologized for misusing the logo, but international experts say read more

Colombian Journalist on UK Tour

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Colombian journalist Juan Carlos Hurtado, the labour correspondent for the opposition newspaper VOZ, has ended a successful visit to Britain co-sponsored by Justice for Colombia and local branches of UNISON, the public sector workers trade union. During his visit Mr Hurtado met with British journalists, spoke at a transport read more

Swiss Government Call on Colombian Regime to End Attacks

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The government of Switzerland has called on the Colombian authorities to "end their repeated attacks" against Swiss peace mediator Jean-Pierre Gontard. Mr Gontard has been involved with efforts to bring about a prisoner exchange between the FARC guerrilla group and the Colombian regime as a first step towards a read more

90% of Torture in Colombia Blamed on State

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 15 July 2008

A new report produced by a coalition of international and Colombian human rights groups has placed the blame for over 90% of the cases of torture in Colombia since 2002 at the door of the Colombian state. The report says that in 70.4% of cases the torture was perpetrated read more

Catholic Priest Accused of FARC Collaboration

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 13 July 2008

An Italian Catholic priest who has lived and worked in Colombia since 1978, has been accused by the Colombian Attorney General's office of collaborating with the leftwing FARC guerrilla group. During his time in Colombia Father Giacinto Franzoi has been based in the southern region of Caqueta, a traditional read more

Over 2,000 Sign Downing Street Petition to End UK Military Aid

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 11 July 2008

A petition on the 10 Downing Street website asking for the Prime Minister to suspend UK military assistance to Colombia until the Colombian Army stops abusing human rights has been signed by over 2,000 people. The petition also raises concerns over collusion between the Colombian government and illegal read more

Canadian Politician Slams ‘kill-a-unionist-pay-a-fine’ Deal with Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 11 July 2008

The leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, has attacked a clause in a new Canada-Colombia trade deal which says that the South American nation needs to pay a fine to a special fund whenever a union activist is murdered. Mr Layton has described the clause as "simply read more

Human Rights Defender Murdered

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 11 July 2008

Jhon Fredy Correa, a member of Colombia's oldest and largest human rights organization, the Permanent Committee for Human Rights (CPDH), has been shot dead by paramilitaries with links to the Colombian Army in the city of Manizales in the central Colombian coffee-growing region of Caldas.The killing, which occurred at 7am read more

MEPs Protest Political Persecution in Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 10 July 2008

15 Members of the European Parliament, including JFC Vice-President Richard Howitt, have issued a declaration condemning the Colombian regime for the persecution of journalists and opposition parliamentarians. The declaration, which was issued in response to legal proceedings being opening against several high profile opposition members in Colombia, says that read more

Soldiers Assassinate Peasant Farmer

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Another unarmed civilian has been murdered by a Colombian military unit notorious for carrying out extrajudicial executions. Troops of the 'Calibio' Battalion perpetrated the killing on the morning of July 8th in the village of Puerto Matilde in the Yondo area of Antioquia department.The victim, Mr Aicardo Antonio Ortiz, read more

US NGOs on John McCain's Colombia Visit

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Several US organisations have responded to this weeks visit by Republican presidential candidate John McCain to Colombia. Here JFC reproduces some of the statements released including a letter from the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch to Mr McCain asking that he raise various human rights concerns with the read more

Paramilitaries Kill Communist Party Member with Chainsaw

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 7 July 2008

The body of a Colombian Communist Party member has been found floating in the River Magdalena near the city of Girardot in central Colombia. 64-year-old Antonio Esquivel from the town of Purificacion (Tolima department), was last seen in mid-June as he walked home from a friend's house. Four read more

250 Attend JFC Summer BBQ

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 7 July 2008

In the most successful Justice for Colombia summer BBQ to date, over 250 people turned up to the gardens of the ASLEF trade union on Saturday 5th July to enjoy Colombian food, drink and music. Our fourth annual summer BBQ was the biggest yet and raised over £500 to read more

Fidel Castro Calls on Colombian Guerrillas to Release Hostages, Continue Armed Struggle

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 6 July 2008

Cuba's former President Fidel Castro has called on Colombia's principle rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), to release all of its remaining hostages. However, at the same time Mr Castro added that the guerrillas should not lay down their weapons.In an article by Mr Castro posted read more

Supreme Court Slams Uribe as Bribery Scandal Grows

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 5 July 2008

Colombia's Supreme Court last week slammed Colombian leader Alvaro Uribe and called on him to "respect and obey the decisions" of the courts. The Supreme Court's intervention came in the wake of Uribe's recent call for a referendum to decide if new presidential elections should be held and is read more

Trade Union Bodyguard Tortured and Murdered

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 4 July 2008

A bodyguard assigned to protect regional trade union leaders has been found dead with signs of torture in the southern Colombian town of Palmira in Valle del Cauca department. Rubiel Torres Cardona, whose body was discovered on the evening of June 29th, had worked with the CUT trade union read more

ITUC: Multinationals Trying to Destroy Colombian Trade Unions

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 4 July 2008

A press statement from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has accused a number of multinational enterprises operating in Colombia of "waging a systematic campaign to rid themselves of trade unions." The organisation, which represents 168 million workers in 155 countries, describes one company as employing "a strategy of read more

Ingrid Freed!

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 3 July 2008

Justice for Colombia is extremely pleased to hear of the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt in Colombia. Ms Betancourt was freed yesterday in a non-violent military operation and has now been reunited with her family. In the past year JFC has worked closely with Ingrid's family, especially her mother read more

Community Leader Killed

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 3 July 2008

A paramilitary death squad have abducted and then killed an Afro-Colombia community leader in the village of Candelilla de la Mar in the southern Colombian region of Narino. The June 24th murder of Felipe Landazury has been condemned by Amnesty International and others, who point out that Colombia's paramilitaries read more

Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Environmental organisations, including Friends of the Earth, have protested to the Colombian President Alvaro Uribe over death threats made against leading Colombian environmentalist and human rights activist Guillermo Castano. Two of Mr Castano's colleagues, who work with him in the region of Risaralda, Mauricio Cubides and Diego Macias, have read more

US & Colombian Union Leaders Attack McCain over Colombia Trip

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Senator John McCain has come under fire from a group of Colombian and US union leaders for remaining silent about human rights abuses against trade unionists during his visit to Colombia. "The United States shouldn't be dealing with regimes that torture and kill its citizens - John McCain should read more

Community Leader Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The leader of a poor community on the outskirts of the Colombian city of Buenaventura has been assassinated by suspected paramilitaries after speaking out against violence at an event held to prevent young people from becoming caught up in the Colombian conflict. Martha Cecilia Obando, 45, was killed in read more