Calls for Reinstatement of Sacked Colombia Workers

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 28 February 2009

The mayor of the Colombian city of Barranquilla has arbitrarily dismissed over 2000 municipal workers – 70% of whom are trade unionists. The union representing them, SINALSERPUB and SINTRENAL, have complained that the mayor failed to observe legal requirements are calling for the workers to be reinstated. As read more

Credit Crunch Hits Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 28 February 2009

Economic indicators suggest that Colombia's economy is being hit hard by the worldwide economic downturn with unemployment increasingly sharply, industrial output down and a 10% fall in retail sales in the country. The crunch is likely to hit Colombia's poor majority hardest in a country that already suffers from read more

Welsh Assembly Motion on Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 27 February 2009

A new Statement of Opinion tabled today in the National Assembly for Wales has highlighted the plight of Colombia's "numerous" political prisoners who are described as being "held for long periods in appalling conditions without any trial or conviction" in Colombia. The statement also welcomes the forthcoming launch of read more

Three Indigenous People Murdered in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 27 February 2009

Three indigenous people have been assassinated in separate attacks around Colombia during February. The perpetrators are unknown though one killing, that of Reinaldo Martinez on February 7th, took place in the paramilitary stronghold of Uraba near Colombia's northwest border with Panama.Mr Martinez, a member of the Tule indigenous group read more

More Politicians Linked to Paramilitaries in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 27 February 2009

In the latest phase of what has become known in Colombia as the 'parapolitica scandal', the Colombian Supreme Court has ordered a close ally of President Uribe to answer questions about his links to a rightwing paramilitary death squad. Ex-Senator Carlos Garcia, the former chairman of the pro-Uribe 'Partido read more

Trade Unionist in Intensive Care After Assassination Attempt

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 27 February 2009

The Colombian teachers' trade union EDUCAL has accused the Colombian State of being complicit in the attempted murder of trade union activist Jose Jair Valencia who was shot six times yesterday in the town of Filadelfia in the Colombian department of Caldas. According to the CUT trade union federation read more

Colombia: Spurious Cases Against Human Rights Defenders

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 26 February 2009

Justice for Colombia recommends this article about the use of judicial proceedings against those who speak out in favour of human rights defenders in Colombia. Two of those, Andres Gil and Miguel Gonzalez, whom JFC are currently campaigning on as part of our Political Prisoners Campaign are read more

Army-Paramilitary Terror Continues in Meta Department

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 26 February 2009

Human rights groups in the Colombian region of Meta have protested that a paramilitary death squad, which appears to be collaborating with local Army units, is threatening residents and community leaders in the large rural municipality of Vista Hermosa. Complaints of army-paramilitary collusion in the region have been repeatedly read more

US Human Rights and Church Groups Call on Obama to End All US Military Aid to Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 26 February 2009

A coalition of nearly 50 US human rights groups and faith-based organisations yesterday called on President Barack Obama to instigate major changes in US policy toward Colombia. In a letter to the President the signatory organisations described the current military approach of US policy as having been an "abject read more

US Government Says Killings, Massacres, Torture, Displacement & Detentions Increasing in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The US State Department's annual study into the human rights situation in Colombia has recorded increases in numerous types of human rights abuses and says that collaboration between members of the Colombian security forces and illegal paramilitary death squads is continuing. According to the report, "such collaboration often facilitated read more

Free Miguel Gonzalez and Andres Gil!

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A march and rally held last week in the Colombian city of Barrancabermeja to demand the freedom of two political prisoners is the subject of this report on the Upside Down World website. Justice for Colombia is currently campaigning for both men, Andres Gil and Miguel Gonzalez, to read more

New Report: ‘Criminalisation’ Attempts to Silence Critics in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 24 February 2009

A new report by Human Rights First says that the Colombian regime is attempting to silence those that criticise them by opening malicious criminal investigations against them and engaging in spurious legal proceedings. The report is a valuable resource for those involved in Justice for Colombia's own read more

Three Trade Unionists Assassinated in Eight Days in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 23 February 2009

Mid-February has seen an upsurge in killings of trade unionists in Colombia with at least three cases confirmed in recent days. The new killings bring to seven the number of trade unionists murdered so far this year in Colombia – an average of one each week. However, in read more

Threats, Blockades and Disappearances in Putumayo Region

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 21 February 2009

More than a thousand civilians are registered as having disappeared in the Colombian region of Putumayo according to the Colombian Attorney General's office who also say that in recent days they have received a further 400 complaints from the region – mainly from the municipalities of La Hormiga and Puerto read more

Urgent: Community Leader Disappeared in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 20 February 2009

A well-known Colombian community leader who is also the sister of a regional trade union activist has disappeared near an Army roadblock in the eastern Colombian region of Meta. Alba Nelly Murillo, the president of the Community Action Council in the town of La Esmeralda, was last seen on read more

Colombian Army Accused of Using Children to Infiltrate FARC

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 19 February 2009

The International Committee for the Red Cross has confirmed that leftwing FARC guerrillas in Colombia last month handed over a minor to them who the guerrillas said the Army had sent to infiltrate their ranks. Red Cross spokesman Yves Heller said that the girl, Angelica Martinez, was handed to read more

Colombia Cocaine Production Increases

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A new report from the International Narcotics Control Board says that coca production in Colombia, the raw material used for producing cocaine, increased by 27% during 2008. The findings follow on from a US Government report released in October that showed an large increase in both coca and cocaine read more

Colombia President Lies About Trade Union Deaths – Again

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 16 February 2009

"So far this year not one trade unionist has been killed in Colombia", or so claimed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in a February 14th speech in the Colombian town of Samaca. In fact, as of the date of his speech, at least five Colombian trade union activists had already read more

Two 14-Year-Olds Covered in Petrol and Set Alight by Police Officers in Bogota

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 15 February 2009

Colombian police officers in the capital Bogota have been accused of trying to murder two teenagers that they had detained by handcuffing them, covering them in gasoline and then setting the boys alight. Both of the unnamed 14-year-olds, who were handcuffed during their ordeal, survived the attack which occurred read more

Former US Ambassador Attacks Colombian President Over Drug Trafficking Ties

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 14 February 2009

The former US Ambassador to Colombia Myles Frechette has given an interview in which he explained how he confronted then regional Governor Alvaro Uribe Velez – now Colombia's President – with allegations about his ties to drugs traffickers. Frechette, who was US Ambassador from 1994 to 1997, says that read more

Colombia Trade Union Rights Record Attacked By US Congress

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 13 February 2009

During hearings in Washington yesterday members of the US Congress condemned the Colombian regime for their record on trade union rights with one Congressman accusing the Colombian authorities of being "at best ineffective and at worst indifferent and complicit". Another Congressman, George Miller, a California Democrat who chairs the read more

Colombian Military Bomb Primary School

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 12 February 2009

A primary school and several homes have been virtually destroyed during an assault by the Colombian military on the rural village of La Esperanza in the northeast region of Catatumbo. According to reports from the area troops of the 23rd Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army, backed by an read more

FARC Ambushes Leave Over 100 Soldiers Dead

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A series of bloody attacks by leftwing FARC guerrillas has killed over 100 Colombian soldiers in eastern and southwest Colombia. The guerrillas also claim to have destroyed two military helicopters and wounded over 100 other members of the security forces. The latest attack, on February 9th, saw 14 read more

138 MEPs Call for Colombia Investigation

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 9 February 2009

The Justice for Colombia campaign to have labour and human rights placed at the heart of European trade policy with Colombia has received a huge boost after 138 Members of the European Parliament signed a declaration calling on the European Commission to open an investigation into the violations of such read more

Over 1,000 Join JFC on Facebook

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 2 February 2009

Over a thousand supporters have joined the Justice for Colombia page on Facebook and we are urging all those who have not yet done so to join now too. JFC already uses the page as a quick and easy way to highlight forthcoming meetings and events and we hope read more

Anatomy of an Investigation: The Colombian State’s War Against Civil Society

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 2 February 2009

Justice for Colombia recommends this article by journalist and author Gary Leech who runs the US-based Colombia Journal website. The article looks at how the Colombian Government uses judicial investigations to attack and intimidate their political opponents. For more on this theme see our 'Stop read more

Four Hostages Freed Amid Accusations of Army Attempt to Sabotage Operation

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 1 February 2009

Three police officers and a soldier being held prisoner by the FARC guerrilla group were today freed in a successful handover operation led by Colombian civil society leaders, the Red Cross and officials from Brazil, though there were severe delays after what some of those participating described as an attempt read more

Interview With A Student Leader

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 1 February 2009

David Flores, a Colombian law student and student leader has been persecuted and threatened for defending a good public education and a negotiated solution to the armed conflict in Colombia, so that his fellow countrymen can live in peace. For security reasons he left Colombia in December and for read more