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!
"The last thing a resident told us was that one of the paramilitaries who entered Domingodó was frantically looking for people in some houses. It's known is that the Gaitanistas took a villager, who was released a few minutes later," a member of a social organization told Espectador, asking to remain anonymous. El Espectador
The greatest threat to Colombia’s peace deal doesn’t come from the Left, but from right-wing paramilitaries. Should the paramilitaries continue unchecked, they will destroy this chance at peace and unleash a wave of terror such as has not been seen in Colombia for many years. If the current government is serious about building a more inclusive, equal, and democratic Colombia it is vital that they address this problem quickly — or they will live to regret their mistake. Jacobin
The year 2016 closed with a balance of 117 social leaders and human rights defenders killed in just one year. For a society that claims to be democratic and a defender of life, that figure is but an embarrassment and should lead people to pour out on the streets protesting. It is a concealed, silent genocide by a government that denies the systematicity and political motives executed through paramilitarism.
The defense of peace also involves the defense of life and political participation. Today, when it comes to implementing the peace agreement signed between the Government and the FARC, and as dialogues develop with ELN, it is necessary to bare the words and to show the face of the war that's perpetrating a genocide against the political opposition in Colombia. Con la Oreja Roja
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!
The forced displacement of nearly 400 people from a community in North West Colombia by a paramilitary group is tragic evidence that the armed conflict is far from over, said Amnesty International. Over the weekend, some 200 armed men identified as members of paramilitary group the Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, AGC) entered the town of Peña Azul, Alto Baudó, Chocó, in North Western Colombia. Amnesty International
"These 1,200 new professional soldiers are part of a group of more than 5,000 who are graduating this year and will be deployed to the most critical areas of Colombia," General Alberto Jose Mejía said as he presided over the graduation of new professional soldiers in Nilo, central Colombia. "The purpose is to occupying unstable areas." Reuters