Black Community Attacked in Cali

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Council for the Integrated Development of Black Communities in Narino and South Cauca (COPDICONC) has reported that on 13th July 2011 three armed men attacked its temporary offices in the city of Cali. The Council works with black communities that have suffered human rights abuses and forced displacement from read more



Miners' Leader Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 28 July 2011

SINTRAMIENERGETICA the mining and energy sector union has reported the assassination on July 26th of Rafael Tobon Zea, a union leader from the region of Segovia in Antioquia department. Rafael Tobon was shot three times and killed. He had been a miner for many years, working for the Colombian mining read more



Oil Workers Demonstrate Oil Workers’ Protest Camp Attacked and Set Ablaze

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 26 July 2011

USO, the Colombian Oil Workers’ Union has reported that oil workers assembled in a peaceful protest in Puerto Gaitan, Meta department were attacked by Colombian riot police firing tear gas, baton rounds and throwing stun grenades and pipe bombs, resulting in several workers being injured, one of whom lost an read more



Update: Indigenous Man Killed by Army Named

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 26 July 2011

On 10th June Colombian human rights organisations reported the killing of an indigenous peasant by army troops in Arauca department. At the time the identity of the victim was unknown. ASCATIDAR the Association of Indigenous Councils of Arauca has reported that the man was called Humberto Peroza Wampiare, a read more



CUT Official Shot in Cali

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The CUT has reported that on 19th July the vice-president of the CUT in Valle department, Wilson Saenz Manchola, was shot in the foot. The CUT argues that this shows the ineffectiveness of the protection measures provided by the government to selected trade unionists. The CUT office in Valle gets read more



Union President Survives Assassination Attempt

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 26 July 2011

SINTRAPETROPUTUMAYO the Putumayo oil workers’ union has reported that on July 22nd Yesid Calvache, the union’s President, was the target of an assassination attempt. At 5.00am, unknown assailants tried to hurl a firebomb into his house in Villagarzon, Putumayo department. Fortunately the device did not manage to set fire to read more



Indigenous Man Feared Murdered after Disappearance

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Indigenous people from Pradera in Valle department have reported the July 15th disappearance of 71 year-old Gilberto Campo, a member of the Kwet Wala Indigenous Council. The community has been fruitlessly searching for him since then. The community reports that paramilitary groups are present in the area and that read more



Another Displaced Leader Killed

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 25 July 2011

Colombian human rights organisations have reported the assassination of yet another human rights activist representing displaced people. 31 yr old mother of three Keila Esther Berrio Almanza was a member of the League of Displaced Women in Turbaco, Bolivar department. The League was founded by her mother in read more



Report Shows Increase in FARC Activity This Year

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 25 July 2011

The ‘Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris’, a widely respected Colombian NGO, has released a report on the state of the Colombian conflict during the first 6 months of 2011. The report notes an increase in FARC activity and says that there is a high intensity conflict going on in 8 departments read more



Colombian Government Refuses to Ratify Torture Convention

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Colombian Coalition Against Torture has expressed concern at the Colombian government’s refusal to ratify the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention Against Torture. This protocol establishes a system of visits by independent national and international organisations to prisons in order to prevent torture and cruel and inhuman treatment. The read more



Human Rights Defender Arrested

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 18 July 2011

The President of the Suyana lawyer’s collective, Yira Bolanos Arturo was arrested by Colombian police on 1st June 2011. Representatives of the collective report that the arrest is part of a long-running campaign of stigmatisation, threats and persecution against her and her family. Yira was arrested and falsely accused of read more



Colombia: The Truth behind the Poll Figures

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 15 July 2011

Colombian media have greeted the latest polls showing President Santos’ approval rating and the country’s economic growth with great fanfare. According to a recent poll, Santos’ approval ratings stand at 75%. Other figures show economic growth in the last trimester hit 5.3%. However, the economic growth figures say nothing about read more



USO President Rodolfo Vecino Oil Worker Arrested During Dispute

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 15 July 2011

The Colombian oil workers’ union, USO, has reported that in the wake of a demonstration in the town of Puerto Gaitan in Meta department, the leader of the union, Rodolfo Vecino Acevedo has been threatened, and USO activist Alexander de la Ossa who was involved in the dispute was read more



URGENT ACTION: FENSUAGRO Activists Arrested!

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 15 July 2011

FENSUAGRO, the Colombian Agricultural Workers’ Union has reported that Colombian authorities arrested 4 of its members in Putumayo, accusing them of rebellion, narcotrafficking and terrorism on June 22nd 2011. The four men, Alexis Antonio Arroyo, Eulogio Tapiero Galindo, Manuel Antonio Angure and Telmo Cuevo Tegue, were detained at 6.30pm in read more



Embattled Colombian Unionists Rally Against ‘Free Trade’

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 15 July 2011

By Michelle Chen (Photo via L.A. Progressive ) Gathering with fellow unionists in Washington, D.C., Jose Hugo Yanini speaks firmly about labor rights in Colombia. But a few weeks ago, the industrial janitor and shop steward feared that he soon might never read more



JFC Visit to Valledupar Prison

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 14 July 2011

On 13th June, Justice for Colombia participated in a humanitarian visit led by the Human Rights Commission of the Colombian Congress to the Valledupar Maximum Security Prison. The visit was scheduled in response to complaints of severe human rights abuses of prisoners; inmates had been staging a protest for more read more



Members of Congress Urge President Obama to Protect Afro-Colombians

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 14 July 2011

Members of Congress Urge President Obama to Protect Afro-Colombians before Moving Ahead with Colombia Free Trade Agreement Rep. Hank Johnson’s (D-GA) initiative to strengthen Afro-Colombians’ territorial rights and prevent further displacement of Afro-Colombians before moving forward with the pending Colombia FTA 7 Jul 2011 Washington, D.C.–President Obama should support Representative read more



People of Faith Rally Against Colombian Free Trade Agreement

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 14 July 2011

People of Faith Rally Against Colombian Free Trade Agreement Carol Howard Merritt. Author, Pastor, Co-Host of God Complex Radio Jose's phone rang. When he picked up the receiver, no one was on the other line. He hung up. The next time he heard the ring, his read more



Prisoners Sow Mouths Shut in Hunger Strike

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The 54 hunger strikers in Valledupar high security prison have now been joined by others, bringing the total to 70 hunger strikers. The inmates have sewn their mouths together in a shocking protest at abuses and poor treatment. The prisoners have been carrying out a campaign of peaceful read more



Army and Paramilitaries Work Together to Attack Peace Community Again

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The residents of the San Jose de Apartado Peace Community have reported an upsurge of aggressions against their community in recent weeks. They claim that the Army’s 17th Brigade is behind the attacks and that the government is distorting reality in order to hide the continued existence of paramilitary structures read more



FENSUAGRO and Human Rights Defenders Reject Santos’ Order to Attack Civilian Buildings

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 13 July 2011

In a statement released yesterday, human rights organisations and the Colombian agricultural workers union, FENSUAGRO, severely criticise the government’s decision to order the military to attack civilian buildings from which attacks are deemed to occur. According to these organisations the order is “legal and political nonsense” that violates the rights read more



Santos Orders Army to Destroy Houses

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Following heavy attacks by the FARC on police installations in several towns in the west of Colombia, President Santos has ordered the armed forces to destroy houses from which guerrilla attacks are detected. The order has caused a storm of protest from Colombian indigenous and peasant organisations. ACIN, the Association read more



Death Threats Received by Human Rights Activists

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 11 July 2011

CPDH, the Permanent Committee for Human Rights, has reported death threats received on July 7th by members of CPDH Arauca, including its former president and ex-political prisoner, Martin Sandoval. Martin Sandoval was freed after a JFC campaign in May 2009. The threats which were signed by the Black eagles read more



Irish Unions Pass Colombia Motion

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 11 July 2011

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) passed a motion at its Bi-Annual Delegate Conference in Killarney last week reaffirming its support for JFC and the JFC Ireland branch. The motion, below, reiterates ICTU’s commitment to supporting the campaign to block the proposed EU-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and the campaign read more



Five Indigenous Killed: Community Accuses Army of Allowing Paramilitaries Free Reign

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 11 July 2011

The Indigenous Organisation of Antioquia (OIA) has reported that between the 24th and 26th of June five Embera Zenu indigenous people were killed. On the 21st Lexter Enrique Graciano Perez, 26, disappeared. His body was found on June 26th in the river Nechi. On the 24th June nineteen year-old Luis read more



Colombian University Union Thanks Solidarity and Highlights Ongoing Persecution

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 11 July 2011

The Colombian University Professors' Trade Union, ASPU, has written to JFC, the UCU, the Parliamentary Friends of Colombia group as well as others to thank the support for the campaign to free former political prisoner Professor Miguel Angel Beltran.The letter also highlights the ongoing persecution by the Colombian State of read more



Letter from Political Prisoner Liliany Obando

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 11 July 2011

"All your expressions of support which have deeply moved me." Political prisoner Liliany Obando, who has been imprisoned since August 2008, wrote a letter to Justice for Colombia recently thanking everyone who supports our work for the solidarity shown with her and the Colombian trade union movement. Below is a read more



Testimonies Demonstrate Extent of Paramilitary Links to Army

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 11 July 2011

Recent testimony given by paramilitaries to the Attorney General’s Office have helped to show the deep collusion between the armed forces and paramilitaries that led Human Rights Watch to call the paramilitaries the army’s “Sixth Division.” According to the testimonies the military helped set up paramilitary forces in Uraba, northern read more



Father of Assassinated Student Arrested

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 10 July 2011

Yuri Neira, the father of a 15 year-old student killed by the Colombian riot police, ESMAD, in 2005, has been arrested in Bogota for allegedly assaulting a policeman. The Attorney General has opened up a criminal investigation against Mr Neira. The latest arrest and investigation form part of a long read more



Riot Police Break up Oil Workers Demonstration

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 10 July 2011

Oil workers labouring on infrastructure projects for the local oil industry in Puerto Gaitan, Meta department orgainsed a mass demonstration on July 6th in protest against the serious violation of their rights by their employers. The employer, a company called Montajes JM, is subcontracted to the CEPCOLSA-CEPSA multinational which is read more



Awa indigenous people Army Threatens Indigenous People in Narino

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 9 July 2011

The senior council of the Awa people, which represents the interests of over 11,000 Awa indigenous people living in 11 reserves in the department of Narino, on the border with Ecuador, has reported that the Colombian army has created significant environmental damage in areas of virgin rainforest, as well as read more



“It’s not enough to identify bodies, you have to say how they died.” Miguel Botella Lopez

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 8 July 2011

Translated excerpts from an interview with a renowned forensic anthropologist. Interview by Juan Diego Restrepo E. Originally appeared in Spanish here. “It’s not enough to identify bodies, you have to say how they died.” Miguel Botella Lopez “Bones speak, they speak a lot, and we have to know what read more



Putumayo Trade Unions Threatened by Army and Paramilitaries

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 7 July 2011

Colombian human rights organisations report that the leadership of the SINTRAPETROPUTUMAYO oil workers union and community leaders from around Miraflores have been on the receiving end of threats as a result of their protests to defend labour rights and community rights in Putumayo, one of Colombia’s most conflicted regions. read more



The U.S. Must Work for Peaceful Resolution to Colombian Armed Conflict

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 7 July 2011

The U.S. Must Work for Peaceful Resolution to Colombian Armed Conflict Dan Kovalik Human and Labor Rights Lawyer While the mainstream press has been silent on the issue, there is a growing movement in Colombia for a peaceful settlement of the decades-long civil war in Colombia between the FARC read more



Antonio Mendoza Morales Democratic Pole Councillor and Victims Leader Assassinated in Sucre

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 July 2011

On the 30th of June Antonio Mendoza Morales, a leader of the San Onofre Displaced Persons Association and Democratic Pole councillor was shot and killed by unidentified men. Mr Mendoza led displaced people seeking to return to lands taken from them by armed groups in the San Onofre municipality. Reports read more



Colombia’s propaganda war intensifies in face of declining security

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Garry Leech It appears that the Colombian government is intensifying its propaganda campaign in order to offset declining military successes against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). As Colombians increasingly question the effectiveness of President Juan Manuel Santos’ security strategies, the Colombian leader read more



Video on the impact of the FTA on Peasant Farmers and Workers

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 July 2011

From the US Office on Colombia: This is an excellent video on the impact that the FTA with Colombia would have on peasant farmers and workers. The EU-Colombia FTA would have a similar impact on their lives. read more


Video on the impact of the FTA on Indigenous and Afro-Colombians


Video on the impact of the FTA on Indigenous and Afro-Colombians

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 July 2011

From the US Office on Colombia: A great video on the impact the US-Colombia FTA would have on Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in Colombia. The EU-Colombia FTA would have a similar impact. read more


Video on the impact of the FTA on Indigenous and Afro-Colombians


More Threats Against Human Rights Activists in Bogota, Sucre and Narino

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 4 July 2011

Leaders of Movice, the Colombian national victims’ movement, have again been receiving paramilitary death threats in several regions of the country. In the capital, a June 19th threat from the ‘Black Eagles’ paramilitaries gave human rights defenders Alfonso Castillo and Ruby Castano, and Congressman Ivan Cepeda 20 read more



Lord Monks,Tony Lloyd MP, Mariela Kohon, Jeremy Dear, Billy Hayes and Richard Howitt MPs and Union Leaders Show Support for JFC at Parliamentary Reception

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 1 July 2011

On the evening of June 29th, JFC held a successful parliamentary reception in the House of Lords, in conjunction with the Parliamentary Friends of Colombia (PFC) group and the TUC. Many MPs and Lords attended as well as representatives from the major UK trade unions. The reception was held to read more