Take Action: Trade Unionist in Grave Danger

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 31 January 2009

A Colombian Army unit notorious for executing civilians is allegedly hunting trade unionist Erminson Tique in the Colombian region of Meta. Mr Tique, a member of the SINTRAGRIM trade union, is thought to be in grave danger and Justice for Colombia is asking all supporters to send urgent messages read more

Brazil to Facilitate Hostage Release, First Releases Expected Tomorrow

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 31 January 2009

After weeks of deadlock, a planned hostage release by the FARC guerrilla group is back on track with the first liberations due to take place tomorrow according to Senator Piedad Cordoba who is negotiating the releases. A delay had occurred over the Colombian Government's refusal to cede to the read more

Trade Unionist Killed Following Paramilitary Death Threat

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 30 January 2009

Leovigildo Mejia, an activist in the ASOGRAS trade union in the Colombian region of Santander, has been murdered just a day after army-backed paramilitaries delivered a death threat to a Santander-based human rights group threatening to kill local trade unionists and human rights activists. The wife and children of read more

FCO Expresses Concern for Colombian Political Prisoners

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Justice for Colombia has welcomed comments by British Foreign Office Minister Gillian Merron in which she expresses concern for those held in jail in Colombia "because of their political views or activities". The Minister's statement, made yesterday, is significant in that it is believed to be the first time read more

Bogota Bomb Kills Two, Injures Twenty

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A large bomb yesterday killed two people and injured 20 others in the Colombian capital Bogota. No group claimed responsibility for the blast though authorities alleged that it was linked to extortion attempts. It was the third bombing in the capital this year though the first in which people were read more

Recommended Reading: ‘Beyond Bogota’ - New Book on Colombia Released

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Independent journalist Garry Leech has spent the last eight years working in the most remote and dangerous regions of Colombia, uncovering the unofficial stories of people living in conflict zones. "Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia" is a brand new account of his time in Colombia read more

Indigenous Colombians Fleeing to Venezuela

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed concern at growing levels of violence in the northeast of Colombia and says that paramilitary attacks are forcing numerous Wayuu indigenous people who live in the region to flee across the border into Venezuela in search of protection. Reports from read more

12 Killed in Two Massacres

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 26 January 2009

Two massacres in southwest Colombia have left 12 civilians dead in the most recent attacks by presumed paramilitary death squads in the region. Saturday saw five members of the same family , including at least one child, slaughtered near the town of Buga in Valle department, whilst just days read more

Conservative Peer Describes Colombia as “Narco-State”

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 23 January 2009

In comments that the Colombian regime are unlikely to appreciate, Lord Mancroft, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, yesterday described Colombia as a "narco-state" that is "run by....the narcotics industry". Mancroft, who was speaking during a debate in Parliament on drugs, also said that "firing phosphorous at read more

US Mining Multinational Accused of Destroying Indigenous Lands

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 22 January 2009

Indigenous people in the Colombian region of Antioquia have accused a US mining company of destroying their lands and the environment, carrying out illegal prospecting work in indigenous reserves and ignoring the concerns of local communities. The Muriel Mining Corporation, which is based in Colorado, denies the accusations and read more

Colombian Government Rejects US Congressman as Hostage Mediator

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Colombian Government has rejected a proposal that US Congressman Jim McGovern act as an international observer in the release of six hostages by the FARC guerrilla group. It had been hoped that the proposal to involve McGovern could have broken a deadlock that has developed over international involvement read more

Secret Police Raid Cultural Centre, Attempt Made to Kill Director

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Members of Colombia's DAS secret police have raided the well-known Bogota cultural centre 'Casa Salmon' – a venue used for film, dance, painting and music workshops as well as by human rights organisations as a location for meetings. The day after the raid two armed men attempted to assassinate read more

Simpson and Woodley Condemn Killing of Colombian Trade Unionist

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 19 January 2009

Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, the joint leaders of Unite, Britain's largest trade union representing around 2 million workers, have written to the Colombian Ambassador in London condemning the killing of trade unionist Adolfo Tique. Mr Tique, who was killed on January 1st in an incident that apparently involved read more

Colombian Trade Unionist Shot Dead in Front of Six-Year-Old Son

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 19 January 2009

Arled Samboni Guaca, an active member of the Colombian agricultural workers' trade union FENSUAGRO, has been assassinated in the city of Popayan. He was killed by two men, who shot him seven times, including three times in the head, as he walked to a shop near his home with read more

UPDATE: Criminalisation of the Opposition Campaign

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Colombian regime is continuing its efforts to silence critics with ongoing spurious legal proceedings against some of the most high-profile opposition figures in the country. Those accused include several opposition members of Congress, a former Minister and presidential candidate, two journalists who have been critical of the regime, and read more

Justice for Colombia Ireland Launched

Justice For Colombia News | on: Saturday, 17 January 2009

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and a number of its affiliated trade unions have launched an Irish 'Justice for Colombia' campaign that will work closely with its UK counterpart on campaigns and other activities. As a first step towards raising awareness of the issues faced by Colombian read more

Tony Blair to Advise Colombian Government

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 16 January 2009

The Colombian Foreign Ministry has confirmed press reports that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has agreed to become an adviser to the Colombian regime on foreign policy. The announcement has been condemned by human rights campaigners and by former Colombian President Andres Pastrana who says that Colombia should read more

Human Rights Watch Highlights UK Military Aid to Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 15 January 2009

In their 2008 annual report on Colombia, the US-based international human rights organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) has for the first time highlighted that the UK is providing military aid to Colombia. In the past the organisation has regularly raised concerns about US military aid but this is the read more

Senator Robledo: Why We Oppose a Free Trade Agreement

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 15 January 2009

In an extensive interview with US journalist Den Feder, one of the leading members of the Colombian opposition, Senator Jorge Robledo of the Democratic Pole party, has explained why the proposed Free Trade Agreement between the US and Colombia failed and why his party will oppose any future attempt to read more

Hilary Clinton: No Trade Deal for Colombia until Unionist Killings Stop

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Despite intense lobbying by the Colombian Government, incoming US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton yesterday made clear that the Obama administration will not be agreeing to a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia any time soon. According to Clinton "continued violence and impunity directed at labor and other civic leaders read more

Blair Condemned for Colombia Comments

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been condemned by Labour MPs and union leaders for comments he made during a meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in Washington yesterday. Mr Blair is reported to have told the Colombian leader that he believed that "Colombia is one of the read more

US Intelligence Knew of Colombian Army Abuses

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A series of declassified US intelligence documents obtained by the National Security Archive in Washington DC show that US authorities have long been aware of the widespread human rights violations being perpetrated by the Colombian Army. The documents, which were produced between 1994 and 2000, describe regular collaboration between read more

Two Local Leaders Assassinated in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Right wing paramilitaries, which the Colombian Government have repeatedly claimed are demobilised and no longer exist, have shot and killed a local councillor in the southern Colombia department of Narino. Luis Eduardo Leyton was murdered in the municipality of Turquerres, where he served on the council, by two paramilitaries read more

Bush Attacked by Human Rights Groups over Uribe Medal

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 12 January 2009

A coalition of seven leading US human rights groups and research institutions with an interest in Latin America have condemned outgoing US President George W Bush's decision to award Colombia leader Alvaro Uribe with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In a joint statement issued today the organisations described the read more

Labour Party Chair Calls for End to UK Military Aid to Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 11 January 2009

In a scathing article for weekly political magazine Tribune, the Chair of the Labour Party's ruling National Executive has called on the British Government to stop "aiding the perpetrators of violence" in Colombia and says that on a recent visit to the country she "saw at first hand the actual read more

Disappeared Trade Unionist Found Murdered

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 9 January 2009

The body of Diego Ricardo Rasedo Guevara, a member of the ASOGRAS trade union who disappeared on January 4th this year from the town of Sabana de Torres, has been found on a farm near to the town. He had been shot in the mouth. His body was read more

Colombian Hostage Release Mediator Should Get Nobel Peace Prize

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 9 January 2009

Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said that Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba should be awarded the prize for her efforts to free hostages in Colombia and that giving her the award would help build peace in Colombia. Cordoba, who successfully negotiated the release of five read more

Wife of Trade Union President Shot Dead

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 8 January 2009

The wife of the leader of the health workers trade union ANTHOC in the Colombian region of Narino has been shot dead in what the union describes as the latest in a series of state-sponsored attacks on trade unionists. Cecilia Montano was shot three times in the head in read more

Murder of Five Indigenous People ‘Accidental’ Says Colombian Army

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Five indigenous people have been killed and 85 injured in a grenade attack on a New Years Eve party in the northern Colombian region of Cesar. The victims were all members of the Kankuamo indigenous group which the Colombian State has been ordered to protect after the Inter-American Court read more

Colombia’s Most Dangerous Region: One Assassination Every Two Days in Arauca

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A human rights group in the Colombian region of Arauca says that they have documented an average of one assassination every two days during November and December in the region, making it one of the most violent areas in the country. In the past three weeks alone the 'Joel read more

US Spy Drone Shot Down by Rebels in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Colombia's leftwing FARC guerrilla group say they have brought down an unmanned US spy plane somewhere over the eastern jungles of Colombia. A photograph of the aircraft has been posted online though the rebels did not specify where exactly the plane was shot down.The Colombian military is not known read more

Four Hours into the New Year, First Colombian Trade Unionist Murdered in 2009

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 5 January 2009

A trade unionist and member of the political opposition in Colombia was assassinated just four hours into 2009 after his killer shot him three times in the chest whilst he attended a New Year's party in the town of Montoso. Soldiers detained the assassin, Jose Vicente Acosta, but then read more

Colombian Unions Angry Over Minimum Wage

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 4 January 2009

Colombian trade unions say that the new minimum wage level agreed between the Colombian government and employers' organisations will leave millions of working people in poverty. The unions are also furious that their concerns were ignored by the government and the employers who unilaterally set the new level at read more

Soldiers Physically Attack Trade Unionists

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 3 January 2009

Three trade unionists have been physically attacked by a group of drunken soldiers in the southern Colombian region of Caloto, Cauca department. The three, which included the President of a local trade union, were beaten and threatened by troops of the 8th 'Batalla de Pichincha' Infantry Battalion of the read more

Launch of JFC North West

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 2 January 2009

Justice for Colombia activists in the North West of England have launched a local branch of JFC and are inviting supporters in the region to get involved. Tony Lloyd MP, a vice-President of JFC who was previously the Foreign Office Minister responsible for relations with Colombia, will be read more