The Labor Movement's Principled Position on Colombia FTA

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 30 April 2008

In an article for the US-based Huffington Post, US trade union leader Dan Kovalik explains why trade unions in his country are opposing the proposed Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the United States. Mr Kovalik also lambasts the US press for their coverage of the human rights crisis read more

Interview with Student Leader

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 28 April 2008

Earlier this month Colombian student leader Numa Paredes concluded a week long visit to Britain that aimed to raise awareness about the human rights crisis faced by the Colombian student movement. During his visit, co-hosted by Justice for Colombia (JFC) and Unite the union, Mr Paredes participated in the British read more

Mounting Evidence of President’s Involvement in Massacre

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sworn testimony from one of the participants, a beeper message sent from one paramilitary death squad member to another, and the participation of his official helicopter, all indicate that the former Governor of the Colombian department of Antioquia was involved in the notorious 1997 'El Aro' massacre of 15 civilians read more

Extrajudicial Executions Continue in Meta Department

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 April 2008

Colombian soldiers have murdered a peasant farmer in the village of Cano Cabra in the department of Meta in the latest in a long line of similar killings in the region. Jesus Mamerto Maturana was shot dead in front of his seven-year-old grandson on April 17th by troops of read more

Opposition Political Activist Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 April 2008

A regional activist in the 'Polo Democratico' opposition political party has been murdered outside his home in the city of Ibague in the Colombian department of Tolima. 42-year-old Ruben Dario Manjarres, who was also a local community leader, was shot three times and died immediately after two assassins on read more

Colombian Police Implicated in Assassination Attempt Against National Union Leader

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 April 2008

Two men who attempted to kill Jorge Gamboa, president of the Colombian oil workers' trade union USO, were released by police less than two minutes after they and the gun used in the attempt were handed over to officers. Confusion surrounds the attempted assassination, which took place at 4pm read more

URGENT: Trade Union Leader Disappeared

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 April 2008

Guillermo Rivera, a trade union leader and opposition political activist has disappeared and there are serious concerns for his life. Mr Rivera, who disappeared on Tuesday 22nd April after walking his daughter to a bus stop in the Colombian capital Bogota, is the President of SINSERPUB, the Bogota public read more

Death Threats against Regional Trade Union Leaders and Human Rights Defenders

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 April 2008

A series of death threats have been received by regional leaders of the CUT trade federation as well as individual trade unions and human rights groups. The threats, which accuse the recipients of working with guerrilla groups, list over 20 individuals who the paramilitary group that signed the threats read more

Political Prisoners Freed!

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 April 2008

A judge yesterday ordered three leading members of the Rio Cimitarra Peasant Farmer Association (ACVC) to be freed from jail citing a lack of evidence against them. Mario Martinez, Oscar Duque and Evaristo Mena, who were all detained last year and accused of 'rebellion', have all been released partly read more

Uribe is a “Liar” Says President of Ecuador

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 22 April 2008

In a wide ranging interview with the Spanish newspaper Publico, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa repeatedly labels President Uribe of Colombia a liar. Correa says that Uribe's government is "completely discredited" and describes him as "like the little emperor who follows his boss's dictates." In his harshest remarks Correa read more

Rock Concert to Raise Money for JFC

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 22 April 2008

For the second year running the annual 'Moncada Rocks' gig held in Leeds has decided to donate the proceeds of the night to Justice for Colombia. This year's donation will go towards providing assistance to female political prisoners being held in Colombia's appalling jails – many of them for read more

24 Civilians Murdered in Arauca Department

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 21 April 2008

Intense violence in the Colombian department of Arauca has seen 24 people lose their lives since early March. The killings, which follow the deaths of 11 people in the region during just a two week period in February (more information at bottom of page), have occurred despite the fact read more

Priests Forced to Flee After Death Threats

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 20 April 2008

Death threats against trade union, community and religious leaders in the southern part of Colombia's Bolivar department have forced several people, including three priests that work in the region, to flee their homes in fear for their lives. The threats are part of a pattern of violent harassment that read more

Six Civilians Massacred by Army in Catatumbo

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 19 April 2008

Troops of the 30th Brigade of the Colombian Army have massacred at least six civilians in the Catatumbo region of Norte de Santader department. Though details of the killings are still emerging, four of the victims are thought to be children, including one aged 11 and another 12-years-old. read more

Union Leader Tortured and Murdered

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 18 April 2008

The regional leader of the adult education workers' trade union, SINDESENA, has been found dead in the municipality of Sabanalarga in Colombia's Atlantico department. Jesus Heberto Caballero Ariza was kidnapped on April 16th and his body found yesterday next to a road. He had been severely tortured before read more

UN: Colombia 2nd in World for Internal Displacement

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 17 April 2008

A new UN-sponsored report on displacement has reported that Colombia has the second highest number of internally displaced refugees in the world. Only Sudan has more than Colombia according to the study carried out by the Norwegian Refugee Council. The report states that nearly 4 million people are read more

Members of US Congress Accuse President Uribe

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 15 April 2008

In a letter to President Uribe of Colombia, 63 members of the US Congress have said that they believe that his government is indirectly encouraging attacks against trade unionists. The Congress members, including both Republicans and Democrats, specifically raise their concerns over comments by the President's senior adviser Jose read more

Child Dies after Being Fumigated

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 14 April 2008

Aerial fumigation by Colombian Government aircraft, allegedly to destroy drugs crops, has in fact wiped out food supplies, poisoned water supplies and led to at least one death according to residents of the area along the Colombia-Ecuador border. Locals in the Tumaco municipality of Narino department claim that the read more

Army and Paramilitaries Sowing Terror in Narino Department

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 12 April 2008

Various civilians have been killed in the Colombian department of Narino in what locals claim is a joint military operation being carried out by a paramilitary death squad and troops of the 19th Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army. The majority of the victims have been peasant farmers living read more

A Million Deaths in Colombia?

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 11 April 2008

An article published by the Indigenous Association of Cauca, an organisations representing indigenous people in southwest Colombia, has alleged that a million people have lost their lives in the current Colombian conflict. The article also states that the conflict is primarily about control of resources and land in particular read more

US Think Tank Slams Uribe

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A Statement from the Washington DC-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs has called on the US to distance themselves from the Colombian regime. The statement also slams Colombian President Alvaro Uribe saying "for years [he] has had a sinister history of sanctioning human rights violations, compromising the work of local read more

CUT Trade Union Federation Accuse Uribe Regime of Encouraging Assassinations

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 8 April 2008

An an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Fabio Arias, the Vice President of the CUT trade union federation has accused the Colombian Govermnet of encouraging the assassinations of trade unionists. "It tries [the Colombian Government] to stigmatize us, it tries to paint us as rebels, and that's when read more

Friends in low places

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Guardian newspaper has today reported on how Hilary Clinton has been forced to get rid of her her chief strategist, Mark Penn, due to his links to the Colombian regime. For the full article see: read more

PCS Union Activists Report on Colombia Work

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Trade union activists in the British civil service union PCS have sent the following report to Justice for Colombia concerning recent activities that they have been involved in to support our work in Colombia."Over 400 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union in Liverpool discussed the situation in Colombia read more

UNISON Condemns Murders

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 7 April 2008

British public sector workers trade union UNISON has asked members to contact the Colombian Ambassador in Britain demanding an end to the impunity enjoyed by those who murder trade unionists in Colombia. The union has established an action page on their website from which people can send messages of read more

British-trained Colombian Soldiers 'Working at the Behest' of Cocaine Traffickers

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 6 April 2008

Tribune Magazine has reported on a case in which a group of British-trained Colombian soldiers ambushed and murdered a group of elite anti-narcotics police officers. Adding insult to injury the policemen killed by the British-trained troops had themselves been trained by the US.Jail for Colombia's army killers trained by read more

Head of Journalist’s Federation Visits UK

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 6 April 2008

Eduardo Marquez Gonzalez, the President of the Colombian Federation of Journalists, has ended a highly successful visit to the UK during which time he addressed the annual conference of the British National Union of Journalists (NUJ) as well as a meeting arranged by Justice for Colombia and Thompsons Solicitors on read more

IACHR Condemns Colombian Army for Ongoing Murders

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 6 April 2008

In their new report on the human rights situation in the Americas, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has included a harsh condemnation of the Colombian Army for continuing to regularly murder civilians. The Commission talks of "a 92% increase in the number of extrajudicial executions committed by read more

Successful Visit by Colombian Student Leader

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 3 April 2008

A week long visit to Britain by a Colombian student union leader has helped raise awareness about the human rights crisis being faced by the Colombian student movement. During his visit Numa Paredes, a member of the Executive of the National Association of Colombian University Students, participated in the read more

CORRECTION: Nine (not seven) Trade Unionists Assassinated During March

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 3 April 2008

March was a deadly month for Colombian trade unionists with nine (not seven as previously reported) having been assassinated – two of them by soldiers of the Colombian Army. As is usual in such cases nobody has been arrested for any of the murders. Below are the names read more

Colombia: Paramilitarism Alive and Well

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 2 April 2008

An article published yesterday by the Inter Press Service (IPS) reports on the fact that rightwing paramilitary death squads, many of which have close ties to the Colombian security forces, are behind a recent wave of threats against human rights defenders and trade union leaders.RIGHTS-COLOMBIA: Paramilitarism Alive and WellBy Constanza read more

Army & Paramilitaries Implicated in New Killing

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A community activist who worked alongside of national and international NGOs in securing support for poverty-stricken rural communities has been assassinated despite frequent assurances from the Colombian authorities that his life would be protected. Gerardo Antonio Ciro was killed on March 30th in the municipality of Cocorna, Antioquia department, read more