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
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