Mass Arbitrary Detention of Peasant Farmers in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 31 March 2009

At least 25 peasant farmers from the Colombian region of Santander have been rounded up by police and soldiers and thrown in jail accused of 'rebellion'. The men, who are all well-known in their communities, have reportedly not been told what they are supposed to have done and no read more

JFC Delivers 200 Computers to Colombian Trade Unions

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 30 March 2009

Working with the charity Computer Aid International, and with financial support from trade union branches all over Britain, Justice for Colombia has arranged for two hundred computers to be shipped to Colombia for distribution around trade union offices. The project, which also received financial support from the British TUC, read more

Catholic Church Calls for Peace Talks in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 30 March 2009

The president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, Monsignor Ruben Salazar, has called for the Colombian Government and the guerrillas fighting against them to begin negotiations. In an interview Salazar pointed out that "in no place in the world" has a military solution been found to a conflict like read more

Take Action: Paramilitaries Forcibly Disappear Two Children and Aunt, Mother Under Threat

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 29 March 2009

A rightwing paramilitary death squad in the city of Medellin has taken away the 5-year-old and 10-year-old sons of a woman that they have been threatening in recent months. The woman's sister, who was caring for the two boys at the time, was also taken and none have been read more

Public Sector Workers Forced From Workplace in Colombian City of Cali

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Colombian Government has used riot police and soldiers to remove over 400 workers from the installations of the public waste company in the southern Colombian city of Cali. The company, EMSIRVA, was privatized on March 26th and security forces were sent in the same day to forcibly eject read more

Four Students Assassinated as Death Threats Appear at University Campuses Across Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 27 March 2009

A wave of attacks against Colombian student leaders have seen four assassinations in little more than a fortnight and numerous threats issued by paramilitary groups against student organisations warning them not to oppose Government policies or highlight human rights abuses. The latest killings, which student groups accuse the Government read more

Colombian Ministry of Defence Issues Death Threats

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 26 March 2009

A paramilitary death threat sent to community leaders in Bogota has been traced to the Colombian Ministry of Defence's own web server. The threat, sent on March 24th, came from the e-mail address '' – the web domain of the Colombian Defence Ministry – and said that unless the read more

Teacher Trade Unionist Assassinated in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 25 March 2009

An active trade unionist who had requested but been denied protection from the Colombian authorities was shot dead outside of his home yesterday morning as he left for work. Ramiro Cuadros Roballo, a member of the teachers' trade union SUTEV, had been active in his union for over 20 read more

US Congressman Says Colombian Regime Criminalising Opponents

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Democrat Congressman James McGovern has called for US aid to Colombia's Prosecutor General's Office to be frozen because, he says, the Colombian authorities are pursuing politically-motivated and baseless investigations into government critics.McGovern specifically highlighted the plight of human rights activists who have spoken out about abuses by the Colombian state read more

Strike Closes Down Multinational Coal Operations in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Nearly 9,000 workers at mines and other facilities owned by the US multinational corporation Drummond have started strike action following the death of a colleague and the refusal of the corporation to improve safety standards or negotiate with trade unions. The company has described the strike as illegal though read more

Washington Post Reports on Afro-Colombian Battle for Land Rights

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Washington Post has reported on Colombian Government efforts to clean up their image in the US Congress by trying to solve the problems of an Afro-Colombian community. The community was forced from their land over a decade ago by army-backed paramilitaries to make way for huge agro-industry projects read more

Amnesty International Alleges Colombian Legal System Being Used to Hound Human Rights Activists

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 20 March 2009

Amnesty International yesterday condemned the Colombian authorities for using the country's legal system to undermine the legitimate work of human rights defenders. A statement released by the organisation also highlighted how attacks against trade unionists are a "constant feature" of the conflict in Colombia and said that they suspected read more

Community Leader Murdered by Colombian Soldiers

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 20 March 2009

Soldiers of the 1st Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army have assassinated Luis Arbey Diaz Rubiano, the President of the Community Action Council in the village of El Tapir. The troops, under the command of a Lieutenant Londono, allegedly shot Mr Diaz Rubiano dead as he left the home read more

US Military Aid to Colombia Frozen Over Army Killings

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 19 March 2009

Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the most powerful Democrat politicians in Washington, has confirmed that $72 million dollars of US military aid to Colombia will remain frozen until the Colombian authorities deal with the problem of extra-judicial executions committed by members of the Army. The Senator said that little read more

Colombia Not a Democracy Say Majority of Colombians

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 18 March 2009

An official opinion poll carried out by the National Statistics Office of Colombia, known as the DANE by its Spanish initials, has found that only 34 out of every 100 Colombians consider Colombia to be a proper democracy. The survey, of over 15,000 Colombians aged 18 or above, was read more

Take Action: Harassment of Colombian Human Rights Lawyer

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 18 March 2009

A leading Colombian defence lawyer who represents political prisoners and victims of human rights violations has reported that he is being followed, intimidated and having his communications intercepted in what he describes as a systematic pattern of persecution. In a formal letter to the Colombian authorities Rodolfo Rios, who read more

National Trade Union School Director: EU More to the Right Than US on Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 18 March 2009

In an interview with the Inter-Press Service high profile Colombian labour leader Norberto Rios, the director of Colombia's National Trade Union School, has accused the European Union of ignoring human rights concerns in an effort to secure a trade agreement with the Colombian regime. This position, says Rios, contrasts read more

MPs, Union Leaders, Lawyers, Call on FCO to Speak Out on Colombia’s Political Prisoners

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Over 60 British union leaders, MPs, lawyers, Labour Party figures, academics and others who have visited political prisoners held in appalling conditions in Colombia's jails have called on British Foreign Office Minister Gillian Merron to speak out about their situation. Ms Merron recently told Parliament that she was aware read more

Death Threats Appear in 20 Colombian Cities

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Paramilitary death squads have circulated death threats in at least 20 Colombian cities, including the capital Bogota, announcing that they will shortly start murdering those that they describe as 'undesirables'. The threats , which take the form of flyers and pamphlets, first appeared in the city of Medellin in read more

Peasant Farmer Association Targeted by Army in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 16 March 2009

The past month has seen an increasing number of attacks by the Colombian security forces on members of the Peasant Farmer's Association of Arauca (ACA) who say that as well as several arbitrary detentions and a raid on the ACA headquarters, soldiers are harassing and stealing from peasant farming communities read more

Colombian Soldier Tortures and Rapes Two Teenage Girls

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 15 March 2009

A member of the notorious 'Calibio' Battalion of the Colombian Army has raped and tortured two young girls who he dragged from a house in the town of San Francisco in the Colombian region of Antioquia. The Battalion has a long history of committing severe abuses of human rights read more

Police Extra-Judicially Execute 16-Year-Old in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 14 March 2009

Police officers in the Colombian city of Barranquilla have murdered a 16-year-old boy who they wrongly suspected of having been involved in a robbery. Miguel Andres Martinez was shot in the head by the police in the Montes neighbourhood of the city on the evening of March 10th shortly read more

The Guardian: Counter-narcotics Campaign in Colombia Not Working

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 13 March 2009

This article about the counter-narcotics campaign in Colombia appeared in yesterday's Guardian. The article argues that the current strategy is not working and that the Colombian environment is being destroyed by a US-funded aerial fumigation strategy. Justice for Colombia recommends it. read more

Colombian State Systematically Targeting Human Rights Activist and Family

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 13 March 2009

A human rights activist and community leader was yesterday illegally detained by the Colombian authorities in the latest in a long line of attacks on him and his family. Aristides Oime Ochoa, a human rights defender from the town of Cartagena del Chaira, in Caqueta region, was not told read more

Opposition Political Activist Killed in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A leading member of the Democratic Pole opposition party has been shot dead in the northern Colombian city of Barranquilla. Jose Pinzon Nunez, who had recently attended the party's National Congress and had stood as a Democratic Pole candidate in elections in Barranquilla, was killed on the evening of read more

Another Union Leader Jailed in Colombia, No Charge, No Trial

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 11 March 2009

In the latest in a string of attacks on the Colombian agricultural workers' trade union FENSUAGRO a member of the union's National Executive, Rosalba Gaviria Toro, has been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned. Ms Gaviria, who was dragged from her home at 6am on March 9th in the city of read more

UN Calls on Colombian Regime to End Arbitrary Detentions

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Three days after soldiers detained four civilians in the Colombian region of Bolivar, the United Nations has called on the Colombian authorities to end their practice of arbitrarily detaining people. The call, made in Geneva on March 6th by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, is unlikely to read more

Colombian Army Colluding with Paramilitary Death Squad

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 9 March 2009

Reports from the remote Colombian region of Guaviare say that soldiers in the area are collaborating with a rightwing paramilitary militia to terrorise residents of small villages whom they accuse of supporting the FARC guerrilla insurgency. Military personnel are also allegedly launching indiscriminate attacks against some of the villages read more

Human Rights Defender Murdered

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 8 March 2009

A leading Colombian activist who had dedicated his life to defending the rights of LGBT people has been murdered in his apartment in the city of Cali. Alvaro Miguel Rivera, who also led the LGBT section of the Democratic Pole opposition party, was found beaten to death on March read more

Former Indigenous Governor Assassinated in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 7 March 2009

News has reached the Justice for Colombia office that Edgar Arcadio Ocoro, a well-known indigenous leader in the Colombian region of Cauca, was yesterday assassinated on the 'Corinto Lopez Adentro' reserve where he lived. Mr Arcadio Ocoro, who was shot eight times at around midday whilst standing in front read more

Families Protest Ongoing Army Killings in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 7 March 2009

Hundreds of friends and families of civilians murdered by the Colombian Army yesterday protested outside the headquarters of the Colombian Ministry of Defence demanding that those responsible be brought to justice. The protesters say that soldiers have killed over 1400 civilians since President Uribe came to power in 2002 read more

RECOMMENDED: New UN Report Slates Colombia’s Human Rights Performance

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 6 March 2009

A damming new report from the Bogota office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has accused the Colombian State of involvement in extra-judicial killings, torture, sexual violence, illegal detentions and a variety of other human rights crimes. The UN says that in relation to extrajudicial killings read more

Three Trade Union Leaders Detained in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 6 March 2009

Three members of the Executive of FEDEAGROMISBOL trade union – which represents miners and other workers in the Bolivar region of Colombia – have been arbitrarily detained and remain in police custody despite no arrest warrant having been issued for them. The men, union President Gabriel Henao, union treasurer read more

TUC Protests Upsurge in Colombian Trade Union Murders

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 6 March 2009

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), representing over six million British workers, has written to the Colombian Ambassador in London protesting the recent murders of four trade union activists and the attempted assassination of another. The letter was sent by Frances O'Grady, the TUC's deputy leader who is also a read more

US Congressmen and Human Rights Advocates Criticised by Colombian Vice-President

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 6 March 2009

Colombia's controversial Vice-President has described a senior US Congressman as an "enemy of Colombia" after he compared Colombia to El Salvador during the height of the death squads in the 1980s and Chile under General Pinochet. Congressman George Miller, a California Democrat who chairs the Congressional Committee on Education read more

No Justice for Victims of Colombia’s Paramilitaries

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 6 March 2009

Colombian human rights groups have expressed dismay at the extradition of paramilitary death squad leader Herbert Veloza to the United States on drugs trafficking charges. Mr Veloza was in the middle of court proceedings in Colombia for human rights crimes and had confessed to thousands of killings as well read more

Launch of JFC Wales

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 5 March 2009

Trade unionists, students, Welsh Assembly members, employment lawyers and other Justice for Colombia supporters in Wales have come together to launch a JFC branch in Wales and we urge all those with an interest to get involved. The launch meeting will take place on Tuesday 10th March in Cardiff read more

Fresh Allegations of Army-Paramilitary Collusion in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 5 March 2009

Former Colombian Army commander General Mario Montoya is at the centre of new allegations that he collaborated with a paramilitary death squad during a military operation in the Colombian city of Medellin during which dozens of people and disappeared. The new accusations against him were made in a New read more

US Unions Nominate Colombian Activist for Human Rights Award

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 5 March 2009

The AFL-CIO, the US federation of trade unions, has nominated Yessika Hoyos, a Colombian human rights activist and the daughter of a murdered union leader, for a prestigious human rights award. Read the full story on the AFL-CIO blog. read more

Colombian Commission of Jurists Threat Sparks International Outrage

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 5 March 2009

The United Nations, the International Trade Union Confederation, Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists and other bodies around the world have condemned a new death threat made by army-backed paramilitaries against the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ), one of Colombia's foremost human rights organisations. The threat arrived by read more

Tories and Lib Dems Raise Colombia Concerns During Parliamentary Debate

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A debate in Westminster Hall yesterday heard Shadow Foreign Minister David Lidington MP express concern that "the promises and good will expressed by the Colombian Government are not translated into practical effect in improved human rights at grass-roots level" and highlight the "real issues remaining around the persecution of trades read more

Colombian Defence Minister Sparks Regional Row

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Venezuela and Ecuador have reacted furiously to comments made two days ago by Colombian Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos in which he argued that it was legitimate for Colombia to launch military operations into neighbouring countries to fight 'terrorism'. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa warned Colombia not to mess with read more

250 to 300 Colombian Soldiers Missing

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A report released yesterday by an NGO representing relatives of members of the Colombian armed forces claims that up to 300 soldiers are currently missing in action in Colombia. "We don't know if they are alive, dead or taken hostage", Marleny Orjuela, the President of families association ASFAMIPAZ, told read more

Medellin: Violence Envelops Colombia’s Second City

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Colombian city of Medellin is experiencing a sharp increase in violence with assassinations currently occurring on an daily basis. February 24th, one of the most violent days so far this year, saw 14 killings alone, helping to contribute to a nearly 20% rise in murders in the city read more

British Government Unaware of Colombian President’s Drugs Trafficking Links

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Despite widespread press coverage and leaked documents from US intelligence agencies alleging that he worked with cocaine traffickers, the British Government yesterday claimed that they had not received any information about the relationship between Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez and drugs traffickers. Several sources have suggested that the President read more

Army Implicated in Murder and Attempted Rape in Colombian Region of Meta

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 1 March 2009

Just days after Justice for Colombia posted an article on this site about the difficult situation in the Colombian region of Meta, reports have reached us of two serious human rights violations: the assassination of the son of a regional trade union leader and an attempted rape. In read more