Congressman Hernando Hernandez Systematic Effort to Push Opposition Out of Politics

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hernando Hernandez, the Democratic Pole spokesperson in Congress and indigenous representative, has denounced a systematic “wave of assassinations, assassination attempts, persecutions, displacements, illegal wiretapping and accusations in the media” aimed at forcing the Democratic Pole out of national politics. Congressman Hernandez detailed 5 members of the Party killed in 2010 read more



Santander Peasant Leader Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The human rights department of the Santander branch of the CUT has reported an attack on ASOGRAS (the Santander Peasants’ Association) leader Cesar Tamayo. On the night of 24th August two men riding a motorbike fired shots at his home after neighbours refused to give his whereabouts. The attack shows read more



US Unions Call for Investigation of Possible Misuse of U.S. Aid in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Unions Call for House Committee Investigation of Possible Misuse of U.S. Aid in Colombia WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Communications Workers of America (CWA) International President Larry Cohen and United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today regarding their request to a member read more



University Worker Trade Unionist Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 30 August 2011

On 22nd August, trade union activist Alfonso Diaz Villa was assassinated near his home. Diaz, who was a regional leader of the University Workers’ Union SINTRAUNICOL, and a security guard at the Monteria Public University in Cordoba Department, was shot four times. He had been receiving death threats since 2005, read more



Trade Union Leader Accused of Being a FARC Guerrilla

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Jailer Gonzalez, the President of ASTRACATOL, the Tolima Peasant Workers’ Association, has reported a series of threats and a smear campaign aimed at linking him to the FARC guerrillas. ASTRACATOL, since its foundation has repeatedly denounced horrific human rights abuses by the Army’s 6th Brigade as well as the South read more



Trade Unionist Shot and Killed

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 30 August 2011

ASTRACAMCAG the Peasants’ Association of Caguan, has reported the killing of Rafael Andres Gonzalez Garnica, in the town of Cartagena del Chaira in the Southern department of Caqueta. Mr Gonzalez was a member of the union’s human rights secretariat. ASTRACAMCAG, an affiliate of FENSUAGRO - the Colombian agricultural workers’ federation read more



Congressman Cepeda Reports Assassination Attempt

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 28 August 2011

According to a letter handed to Congressman Ivan Cepeda during an inspection visit on 13th June to Valledupar high security prison, prison guards offered a convict ‘benefits’ if he attacked Mr Cepeda with a knife that they provided. The letter, written by inmate Wilmer Vergara Garzon, states that during a read more



Rural Peoples Call for Peace in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 25 August 2011

The National Meeting of Peasant, Afrodescendent and Indigenous Communities for Land and for Peace in Colombia, which was held between 12th and 14th of August in the city of Barrancabermeja has published its conclusions. The meeting was attended by the most important of Colombia’s rural organisations, including the FENSUAGRO agricultural read more



GS and Vice President of Agricultural Union Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 25 August 2011

FENSUAGRO, the Colombian agricultural workers’ union has reported that its Vice-President, Hubert de Jesus Ballesteros, has been persistently targeted by threatening calls since the end of July. The calls have come from the same three numbers and always ring insistently. When Mr de Jesus has answered the calls there has read more



Workers Demonstrate in July Protests. Some have faces covered for fear of reprisals. Oil Workers Persecuted for Strike Action

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 24 August 2011

In the department of Meta, mostly around the town of Puerto Gaitan, there are some 12,500 subcontracted workers labouring in terrible conditions for companies such as Pacific Rubiales, Ecopetrol, Secolsa. The working conditions are so poor that they violate both ILO conventions and Colombian national law. During July workers began read more



MANIFESTO FOR LAND AND PEACE:

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A mass meeting of rural organisations was held in the city of Barrancabermeja between 12th and 14th August in order to analyse the situation of Colombian rural society and set out a programme for achieving solutions to the problems faced by peasant, afrodescendent and indigenous communities in rural Colombia. Among read more



Piedad Cordoba Piedad Cordoba Flees into Temporary Exile

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 21 August 2011

Piedad Cordoba, the former Senator and leader of Colombians for Peace has been forced into exile following an increase in threats made against her, and the detection of suspicious vehicles following her movements. At the same time information was received about specific plans being made to assassinate her. In read more



Unionist Survives Assassination Attempt

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 20 August 2011

Duban A. Velez Mejia, a leader of the SINALTRAINAL food workers’ trade union narrowly survived an assassination attempt on August 18th at 11.30am. Mr Velez is also a Medellin city council candidate for the Democratic Pole opposition party. Shots were fired at Mr Velez by two men riding a read more



Brutal Paramilitary Massacre Occurs – Army Doesn’t Intervene

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 19 August 2011

At 7pm on August 17th, in an area known as ‘Casa Zinc’, Montecristo Municipality, in Southern Bolivar Department, paramilitaries carried out a brutal massacre, torturing and killing three residents. The 20 armed men, who identified themselves as the ‘Black Eagles’, were accompanied by a man who the community recognised as read more



Young Political Activist Shot Dead

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 19 August 2011

At 9pm on August 16th Communist Party youth activist Rafael Andres Gonzalez Garnica was shot dead as he was leaving a restaurant in the town of Cartagena del Chaira en Caqueta department. His colleague Franklin Medina escaped the bullets but his whereabouts are currently unknown. The youngsters worked read more



International Union Leaders Call on Colombian Government to Stop Labour Abuses

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 18 August 2011

A group of international trade union leaders from the metal and mining sectors have written to Colombian President Santos asking his administration to support the mining and energy union SINTRAMINERGETICA in their dispute with the Vale Coal company. The dispute, which began over the company's refusal to recognise the union read more



Freed Political Prisoner Thanks Solidarity

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Let us continue the struggle until there is not one political prisoner left in the dungeons of this treacherous regime. Freed political prisoner, trade union activist Rosalba Gaviria Toro has sent a message to JFC thanking everyone for campaigning for her freedom. Rosalba was freed in June 2011 after more read more



Liliany Obando: The Beginning of a Nightmare Without End

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Political prisoner Liliany Obando has written a document marking 3 years of unjust imprisonment outlining the flaws in the case against her. The piece, which you can read by clicking on the document to the right, outlines the military 'Operation Pheonix' (the 2008 bombing of a FARC camp) which led read more



Peasant Trade Unionist Wounded by Army

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 15 August 2011

During recent fighting between the FARC and the Colombian army in the municipality of Caloto a peasant belonging to the Fensuagro affiliated Association of Peasant Workers of Caloto has been wounded by troops of the Army’s 14th Brigade. According to reports fighting began on 15th July in the settlement of read more



Two Trade Unionists Killed

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 11 August 2011

The CUT and SINTRAINAGRO, a Colombian agricultural workers' union, have reported the killings of two banana plantation workers - Wilmar Serna and Eduar Fabian Zuniga Vasquez. The two worked on the Las Ninas farm, employed by the Sarapalma company. Wilmar Serna was a member of the union's worker's committee on read more



Sixth FENSUAGRO Activist Arrested in Putumayo!

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 9 August 2011

JFC has received reports from Colombia of the arrest of another FENSUAGRO agricultural workers' union member in Putumayo. Faustino Carabali Rodriguez is the former treasurer of the El Progreso Foundation and a member of FENSUAGRO. He was arrested on Sunday August 7th at 4pm. His arrest follows those of four read more



Human Rights Defenders: 29 killed in First Six Months of 2011

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 9 August 2011

THREATS CARRIED OUT In 2010, statistics showed that the threat level against human rights defenders’ lives in Colombia was growing at an exponential rate, thus making a catastrophic situation for human rights defenders quite possible. In the first half of 2011, that situation has become a reality: 29 defenders assassinated, read more



International Figures Write to Santos: Release Liliany

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A number of international figures who have met political prisoner and trade unionist Liliany Obando have written to President Juan Manuel Santos on the 3rd anniversary of her unjust imprisonment to demand her release. Ms Obando continues to be imprisoned despite the fact that the main evidence being used read more



The mass grave by the military base at La Macarena La Macarena: Locals Occupy Airfield in Peaceful Protest

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 4 August 2011

Inhabitants of the small town of La Macarena in Meta department have organised a peaceful occupation of the town’s airfield, currently the only way in and out of the town, in protest at the government’s failure to resolve the basic needs of the population. The protest has been sparked by read more



Peace Community Reports Killing

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The San Jose Peace Community has reported the killing of a 38 year-old man by two armed paramilitaries in civilian clothes on the 25th July 2011. The report states that Edison Valdez Higuita was working with a saw on his farm when two armed men approached and shot him in read more



Joe Arroyo Juan Cendales - Reflecting on the death of Joe Arroyo

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 2 August 2011

(Joe Arroyo was a famous Colombian salsa singer, one of his most famous songs was ‘Rebellion’) Juan Cendales: Joe Arroyo and Andres Felipe Arias - Two Different Deaths. (Translated from Prensa Rural). On March 26th July two deaths occurred among the thousands that occur continuously in Colombia. One read more



Urgent action: A Fifth FENSUAGRO activist arrested!

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Last week many of you signed our urgent action regarding the four FENSUAGRO agricultural trade union activists who have been arrested in Putumayo and accused of ‘rebellion.’ We have now received news that a fifth trade unionist and member of FENSUAGRO has been arrested on the same charges. Climaco de read more



New Intelligence Law Legalises Hacking

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 2 August 2011

On 7th June 2011, the Colombian Congress passed the Law on Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence. According to its proponents, the law “has the objective of strengthening the legal framework around intelligence” and provides measures to protect citizens from the illegal wiretapping and other illegal intelligence activities, many of which had become read more



Indigenous, Peasants and Afro-descendents of North-Eastern Antioquia Propose Peace Talks

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 1 August 2011

Translation. See original article on: http://prensarural.org/spip/spip.php?article6206 The North-East of Antioquia extends along the eastern branch of the Central Cordillera, and is made up of the municipalities of Amalfi, Anori, Cisneros, Remedios, San Roque, Santo Domingo, Segovia, Vegachí, Yalí, Yolombó and Santiago. It is also part of the region of read more