Native Colombians have denounced violations of their rights, including land theft by armed groups and multinational corporations, despite the peace agreement that ended the conflict with the guerrillas of FARC. "Indigenous territories today continue to be disputed by paramilitary groups, the ELN, military forces, FARC dissident groups, drug traffickers, multinational corporations," said Luis Fernando Arias, senior advisor to the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) ). At a ceremony in Bogotá, Arias stressed that "the horrible night for indigenous peoples has not stopped," despite the signing in November of the peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which was the continent's largest guerrilla organization. El Comercio
Despite the 2016 peace agreement, Colombia is witnessing increased numbers of displacement due to ongoing intense clashes. “Colombia sailed on the hope of the peace negotiations for four years, but that boat has for many people living in conflict zones docked. We can’t ignore the problem any longer,” said Christian Visnes, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Colombia. Norwegian Refugee Council.
We do not mean to imply that the death of a social leader is more important than that of a common citizen. Nor that this crime is worse than many other atrocities that are committed in our territory. But we hope that residents of urban centers, who usually join public debates through social media and other opinion spaces focus on the countryside, where residents suffer mostly from the tragedy of losing to violence those who defend their interests. We are aware that in a country like Colombia indifference and silence kill, so we invite you to join our indignation against any manifestation of violence. Once again we say: # NiUnMuertoMás. Paficista!
Despite efforts by the National Government, the Office of the Prosecutor and the competent authorities, the assassination of social leaders remains a constant of life in several of the country's regions said on Thursday ombudsman, Carlos Alfonso Negret, from Barrancabermeja, a city he was visiting to gather first hand information about the situation in that area. "We have statistics of 186 homicides of social leaders and human rights defenders since January 1, 2016. [...] The great majority of homicides and threats have been registered in areas where FARC used to operate: Society and the State will have to work to prevent this from happening again because if we have achieved peace with a group like the FARC we must find the space for reconciliation after achieving truth and reparation," he said. El Espectador
"There have always been discussions about whether peace can prevail or whether justice should do it," said the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Argentine judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi. "The Colombian process, carried out within a country that has ratified the Rome Statute and is Part of the ICC, has shown that peace and justice can be compatible." Caracol Radio
In the category “Defender of the Year”, Enrique Chimonja from the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission, Adriana Arboleda from the Corporation for Judicial Freedom (CJL), Caroline Rubio from the Foundation Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners(FCSPP) and Jorge Molano from the association DH Colombia have been nominated. Also, in the category “Collective Experience” the Campesino Association form the Cimitarra River Valley (ACVC), the Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights (CREDHOS), the Corporation for Judicial Freedom (CJL) and the Self-determination, Life and Dignity Community (CAVIDA), have been nominated. PBIColombia
New York, August 1, 2016--Colombian authorities should swiftly and credibly investigate threats against documentary filmmaker and activist Bladimir Sánchez Espitia and should ensure his safety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Sánchez told CPJ a man with a gun came looking for him in the early hours of July 30. The man came to a building that Sánchez often visits in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Bogotá at 2:30 a.m., Sánchez told CPJ. The journalist, who was not there at the time, told CPJ that multiple witnesses, including the building's security guard, told him the man had a gun and asked for him by name. The visit was the latest in a series of threats dating back to at least 2012, according to CPJ research.
For the first time in its 13-year history, the US State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorismomits a statement saying that Colombia is home to the Western Hemisphere’s primary terrorist threats. The revised description of Western Hemisphere terrorist activities comes in the wake of a sharp decline in terrorist incidents in Colombia, the result of a peace agreement with the country’s oldest and largest rebel group FARC and talks with the smaller Marxist group ELN. Jack Norman, Colombia Reports
What's at stake, however, is the commitment to live as civilized people who do not resort to violence to settle their differences. Also, the legitimacy of the State and the implementation of the agreement with the guerrilla groups. In the words of the High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo, reconciliation also involves the "recovery of general trust, of confidence in the institutions which is the final goal that must be reached in order to achieve a stable and lasting peace." El Espectador
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