Thursday, March 30th- NOON - 1:30 pm -- A peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas was signed late last year, and implementation is already underway. But political and logistical roadblocks have already arisen – not to mention a shocking increase in the number of assassinations of human rights defenders and community leaders. And negotiations with the ELN guerrillas have just begun. Amazon Watch / CIEL Conference Room
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The European United Left – Nordic Green Left – European Parliamentary (GUE/NGL) Group in the European Parliament hosted an event on “Colombia after the Havana agreements: paving the road to peace.” The March 28 event looked at the challenges and difficulties in the implementation of the peace agreements with representatives from civil society, trade unions, political parties as well as a legal advisor to the FARC-EP Peace Delegation. New Europe
The former presidents of Uruguay and Spain, José Mujica and Felipe González, respectively, will be appointed next Thursday, March 30, as notables of the International Verification Component of the peace agreement. These notables, as described in the final agreement with the FARC, are chosen by the National Government and the FARC. El Espectador
Hundreds of Colombian villagers have been killed or driven from their homes despite the recent peace deal between the government and rebels, according to a new report by Amnesty International. [...] "Hundreds of thousands of people across the country have yet to see any difference in their lives since the peace accords were signed." The report says violence in the cities, unexploded mines and bombs, and restrictions on freedom of movement mean there is still "a long way to go in Colombia." Voice of America
“Everybody’s peace situation is very complex but there’s a genuine interest from the people in Colombia to understand what happened after the peace process here and what are the issues that we’re still facing.” News Letter
Kingston High School students who attended the recent 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates say the event will influence their endeavors going forward. Some of the 25 students who attended the summit in early February in Bogota, Colombia, spoke to the Kingston Board of Education at its meeting last week. Students said among the impressive aspects of the peace agreement is that it gives former fighters a future. The Daily Freeman
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver awards on Friday to four Colombians who contributed to the success of the peace talks with FARC. These include Colombia's chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle. The awards ceremony, which will take place at Georgetown University, where Clinton will deliver remarks on "the role women can play in international politics and peacebuilding efforts." RCN Radio
The longing for peace is concentrated in Colombia's middle and lower classes, because the upper class already has peace and harmony, they never take up arms or fight a war, never feel hungry (perhaps hunger for corruption or the famous ambition) never suffer from the poor treatment from health providers, never stand in long lines to claim a family allowance or to claim free groceries in election campaigns. The average Colombian longs for peace in their daily lives, in their daily hustle to feed their children, find scholarships or educational subsidies for them, earn a meager minimum wage, seek a better position for themselves and for their families. Las 2 Orillas
They arrived in Colombia on March 16 and will return on April 2. The post-peace era with the guerrilla, however important it may be, is not the main reason they are here. They've traveled, mainly, to support the Comunidad de Paz in San José de Apartadó, that on 23 of March celebrates two decades of existence. It is a space that the peasants of the region (Urabá in Antioquia) declared neutral space. Therefore, they do not even allow the presence of the Army.
One of the most cruel crimes of paramilitaries occurred there in February 2005, when a paramilitary commando of the Heroes of Tolová block, in collusion with some soldiers of the 17 Brigade, executed five adults and three children. El Espectador
At the meeting held in Medellín between the United States, represented by its Agency for International Development (USAID), Starbucks Coffee Company, and the Government of Colombia, represented by Sergio Londoño Zurek director of APC-Colombia and Marcela Mosquera of the High Council for Post-Conflict, Human Rights and Security, the wooing of private capital investment in rural areas of the country was evidenced. APC Colombia