Rigobel Quesada Garcia, 27, had benefited from amnesty for political crimes committed by FARC members, outlined in last year's peace deal, and had been released from prison a month and a half ago. He was shot while walking down the street in a deserted area of San Vicente del Caguan, a town in southern Colombia that became a demilitarized zone during a failed peace process between 1998 and 2002. Quesada was transferred to San Rafael Hospital, where he died. Telesur
Participants in the press conference stressed that the Civic Strike will continue until the President appears and faces the community, and accepts, with his decision-making capacity, that the participation of more than 150,000 people of Buenaventura and 177 social organizations calls for a political solution -- not a military one -- a solution that meets the pressing needs of the ethnic communities that live around the port of Buenaventura. Kaosenlared.com
Indigenous groups in Colombia this week suspended the process of prior consultation related to the implementation of the peace deal with the FARC, saying that the government has not shown a genuine desire to include them in matters related to ethnic development. “Following the systematic weakening of the fundamental right to previous consultation, as well as our full commitment to contribute to peace in Colombia, we decided to suspend the process of previous consultation about the laws currently negotiated (with the government) until we are guaranteed a space for direct dialogue,” a national indigenous organization (Spanish abbreviation MPC) said in a statement.
The group specifically accused the government of avoiding presenting certain laws at the negotiating table, and of not including proposals meant to preserve and develop the rights of the country’s Indigenous community. Humanosphere
The truth as a right of the victims and as a decisive element for the reconciliation of society has been one of the most important factors in peace processes around the world, which have left great lessons for overcoming the violence.Tatiana Dangod, El Heraldo
The Colombian government should redouble its efforts to protect rights defenders and community activists and to investigate killings of activists in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. “The peace process poses an invaluable opportunity to reinstate the rule of law in areas long battered by violence and abuses,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “But peace and rights are unlikely to flourish if abuses dissuade rights defenders from playing their indispensable role.” Human Rights Watch
Throughout Colombia, paramilitaries are threatening and assaulting the population in an attempt to derail the peace process. Barring that, they hope to render null and void all agreements for social investment and land rights that would hamper the free reign of big landowners, narco-traffickers, and transnational corporations. Make no mistake, paramilitaries are closely tied to these interests. U.S.-based corporations like Coca-Cola, Drummond Coal, and Chiquita all have paid and granted access to death squads targeting unionists. People's World
"Chocó is in a condition of subhumanity," said Efe Dilon Martínez, executive secretary of the Departmental Civic Committee for the Salvation and Dignity of Chocó, an organization leading since last Wednesday an indefinite strike to demand that the government complies with the commitments it made in August last year. After eight months, the government "has only met 5%" of the agreement, and this has again brought out to the streets the people of Chocó, a department which by the end of 2015 registered an extreme poverty index of 37.1%, and poverty of 62.8% compared to 7.9 and 27.8% for the country as a whole, according to official figures. Martinez also lamented that the department faces "more conflict" than it had before the beginnings of the peace process. El Pilón
In its most recent report, the Center for Research and Popular Education (CINCEP) and the Program for Peace was titled: "Paramilitarism DOES exist (El paramilitarismo SI existe)." It's a clear response to denials by the Government and the Public Force [Army], which, in the face of allegations of murders, threats and attacks on political leaders and human rights defenders, have maintained that they are not systematic cases but isolated events, repeating that paramilitarism is extinct. According to the data gathered by investigators, during 2016 paramilitary groups threatened 395 people, carried out 83 extrajudical executions, wounded 44, disappeared 9 and tortured 12. El Espectador
US photographer Robert Pennington is showing some of his images of Colombia's nearly 7 million internally displaced people at the Universidad Externado de Colombia through April 28. (Colombia, according to United Nations Agency for Refugees, has the largest population of internally displaced persons -- nearly 7 million. It is followed by Syria, with 6.6 million and Irak, 4.4.)Pennington has lived with displaced Colombian families in Cundinamarca, Chocó and Valle del Cauca. Pacifista!