Colombian officials have drafted a bill which will begin the process of demobilizing the country’s paramilitary groups, with some of the largest announcing their support for the initiative. The legislation which aims to limit the power of illegal armed groups is being considered by Justice Minister Enrique Gil, Post-Conflict Minister Oscar Naranjo, and Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez. [...] Any assets confiscated during that time would be redistributed to help the victims of violence. In exchange, paramilitaries could plea bargain for shorter sentences, take part in special prison rehabilitation services and start reintegrating into society. Telesur
A criminal gang is offering bounties of $1 million to assassins who kill leaders from Colombia's Marxist FARC rebel group, a lawyer for the guerrillas said on Tuesday, as the group prepares to take seats in Congress as part of a peace deal. "These offers come from people who have the economic means to offer not just $1 million, but $9 million, because there are nine secretariat members," [lawyer Enrique] Santiago said, adding that seven ex-FARC members have been slain since April 1. He did not name the criminal group offering the bounties. Reuters
According to the report issued by the Union for Peace Initiative, there are 74 municipalities where FARC-EP were active have been taken by paramilitary-type organizations. The report also says that 90% of the agreement between the government and that guerrilla group benefits the Colombian population in general and that percentage has not been implemented. In that sense, former President and member of the organizations Ernesto Samper said that it is important to recognize that "FARC have fulfilled their promise in a totally admirable way." Contagio Radio
Violence in the country seems to have no end, however. The paramilitary groups have gained prominence in Colombia, and by assimilating an the ideas of the extreme right have turned to threaten and intimidate social leaders, demilitarized guerrillas and human rights defenders, reaching a figure of 156 social leaders killed between January Of 2016 and March of 2017, according to data from Colombia's Defensoría del Pueblo. This social conflict, which seemed solved in 2006 after the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) - a group that included different paramilitary groups - has continued to grow because the dissidents of this peace process have managed to find an audience among the younger urban population. Notimerica Europa Press
Digital Magazine PACIFISTA! spoke with Mauricio Morales, a photographer who is with over 300 people displaced from their homes in Alto Baudó, a mostly Afrocolombian community in the department of Chocó. The displacement of last week became known because it involved about 500 people. But if it had been only 50 or 10 ... Would I be here? Would we haven known about it? PACIFISTA!
Analysis of the impact of the different armed grupos across the different regions of Colombia, including those that are in the process of formation and which have gained visibility with the gradual dismantling of the FARC. Also, recommendations to address them. Download the full report HERE. Informe de Fundación Ideas para la Paz
Members of FARC Secretariat and former commanders of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia met last July 19 at the Jesuit Provincial Home in Bogota, priest Francisco de Roux was present at the meeting. Las2Orillas
Gigantic strides towards the end of the armed conflict notwithstanding, the presence of war is still felt across Colombia. Paramilitary activities in different locations across the country during 2017 draw attention to the transformation of this phenomenon. The most recent episodes took place in San José, in a township in the municipality of Apartado, in Antioquia, historically ravaged by violence. On the morning of July 11, residents were surprised by graffiti on their houses alluding to the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia: 'We're here to stay: AGC' was tagged on the walls of several dwellings. Similar events and other even more alarming ones include threats, murders or displacements took place in other municipalities and departments, carried out mainly by this armed group and in some areas in the name of the Águilas Negras. Colombia Informa
FARC confirmed in a statement that the murders of Kellys Henao, 20 years old, Alberto Osorio, 33, and Marcela Osorio, 14, were likely committed by alleged members of paramilitary groups operating in the area of Remedios. The letter also confirms that that the victims of the triple homicide are relatives of Guillermo León Osorio, a guerrilla fighter who is in the process of being reinstated into civilian life in the area of Carrizal, in Remedios. FARC also reported that the family of another guerrilla, Wilson Adrian Tapias, has received threats and are not protected by the authorities. Blu Radio
When I moved from the Criminal Chamber of the Medellin Tribunal to the Chamber for Justice and Peace, I had a very different vision of paramilitarism. I held to the idea that this phenomenon was dysfunctional to the State, to the political regime. And yet when I came here to the Chamber for Justice and Peace, I discovered that there were very close links between those armed groups and the public authorities, that is the State. We have stated this in several judgments, based on an analysis of the evidence. PACIFISTA!