#VelaPorLaVida. A "Candlethon" denouncing the murders of community leaders in Colombia movilized thousands of defenders of life throughout the planet who've shown their solidarity with the growing number of murders that has shaken the nation and the world. From New York to Paris, to Sidney, Barcelona, London, México City thousands answered the call and took to the streets.
In the department of Chocó, according to a scathing report from the human rights organization in Bogotá, "instances of forced collective displacement continue, along with deaths and injuries caused by antipersonnel mines, and selective assassinations which have taken place after FARC left the territory." Following the disarmament of 7,000 former guerrilla fighters, the vacuum created was filled by the strong presence of the rebels of the National Liberation Army (ELN), engaged in peace talks with the government, and also by the return of the paramilitary structures.Instituto Humanista Unisinos
Why do you believe you were finally released by the Colombian government after 40 months in jail?: First, the trade union movement, particularly the British union movement, carried out a big campaign following my arrest, because I was scheduled to participate at the TUC Conference and the Colombian government did not let me go. International solidarity was very important. Second, the political context of the peace process in Colombia and the legal framework adopted for the FARC to lay down its arms. It was untenable for them to continue holding me prisoner, accusing me of being a guerrilla fighter belonging to a group that no longer exists. Green Left Weekly
In the midst of the war, initially they regrouped in the semi-abandoned town of San José de Apartadó and later on a nearby estate which they renamed San Josesito. There, they continued with their project of a community of peace. They built new houses and planted beans, sugar cane, rice, cassava, maize, bananas and coco, and raised fish and pigs. [...] but since it decided to declare itself a civilian population outside of the conflict, the Community has suffered over 300 murders and over 1,000 attacks in the form of threats, as well as destruction of homes, burning of crops, mass displacements, sexual violence, [...] Javier Sulé Ortega, El País.
Jesus Adan Mazo, or “Molina,” has been killed after being attacked and shot by a group of armed men in the town of Ituango, near a FARC concentration zone. Mazo — whose involvement in the peace process between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was pivotal to the signing of the peace agreement — was shot at 1:00 am Monday morning while residing in a house near the Santa Lucia school in Antioquia. The demobilization of the FARC has led to the infiltration of right-wing paramilitaries in the void left in rural Colombia. Due to this, the numbers of displaced people has grown. TeleSur
Indigenous in southwest Colombia are terrified after finding six unidentified bodies in an area where multiple armed groups are vying for control over territory abandoned by FARC guerrillas. The bodies were found on Friday by indigenous guards in Suarez, a former stronghold of the FARC, which demobilized 12,000 people earlier this year. In an unrelated incident, a military unit was attacked with explosives on Saturday in Toribio, a municipality some 30 miles east of the massacre. two soldiers were injured in the incident, regional indigenous organization ACIN said. Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports
Bogotá, 30 October 2017. - The UN Verification Mission in Colombia condemns the murder of the indigenous governor Aulio Isarama Forastero of the indigenous reservation Catru Dubaza Ancoso in the municipality of Alto Baudó, Department of Chocó. The murder, which took place on 24 October, was committed by members of the Omar Gomez Western War Front of the National Liberation Army (ELN) which took responsibility for the action in a communiqué issued on 29 October. The Mission extends its most sincere condolences to his family and his community. UN Verification Mission in Colombia
As he arrived, former FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño, now the head of a new political party, issued an open letter to the Pope asking for forgiveness for the pain and suffering the group inflicted over five decades of war. "Your repeated expressions about God's infinite mercy move me to plead your forgiveness for any tears or pain that we have caused the people of Colombia," Londono, who goes by the alias Timochenko, said in the letter. Courier Mail
It is unacceptable to continue to deny the sistematicity of these terrible and evident facts. They show the persecution of the social movement in general and the lack of guarantees for social leaders throughout the country exercising their right to organize and mobilize. The Colombian government cannot continue to ignore this serious problem, that perpetuates the bloodshed and is a blow to democracy throughout the national territory. Tercera información
In Colombia, the military killed thousands of random people to boost its body count. The crimes are the basis of controversial discussion as the Constitutional Court decides how the transitional justice system will work. Deutsche Welle