We Helped President Get Elected Says Colombian Paramilitary Leader

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 30 May 2009

The leader of Colombia's AUC paramilitary group, the largest and most powerful of all the rightwing death squads in the country, has told reporters from the Colombian newsweekly Cambio that the organisation helped support the 2002 election of President Alvaro Uribe. Mancuso told the magazine that "Uribe's ideological discourse read more

FARC Kidnap Local Government Official in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 30 May 2009

Leftwing FARC rebels yesterday kidnapped a local political leader in the town of Garzon in the Colombia's southern region of Huila. The guerrillas, who apparently arrived in the town dressed as soldiers, took away Armando Acuna, a supporter of President Alvaro Uribe, and killed two of his bodyguards and read more

Colombia: Moving Towards a Paramilitary State?

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 29 May 2009

Justice for Colombia recommends this article by Javier Dario Restrepo for the Inter-Press Service in which he investigates the close links between the Colombian political elite and illegal paramilitary death squads. Restrepo also examines some of the evidence linking Colombia's President, Alvaro Uribe, to the paramilitaries. read more

European TUC Slams Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 28 May 2009

The leader of the trade union movement in Europe has accused the Colombian government of doing nothing in the face of hundreds of assassinations of trade unionists and says that President Alvaro Uribe is trying to present a false picture to the outside world of what is happening in Colombia. read more

Obama Administration: Colombia Must Solve Union Violence

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 28 May 2009

The United States yesterday made clear that relations with Colombia would not revert to normal until the Colombian regime deals with the ongoing problem of violence against trade unionists. Speaking to a conference in Los Angeles, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke confirmed that the US Congress would not even read more

Over 70 Colombian Politicians Linked to Death Squads and Drugs Trafficking

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Recent days have seen further investigations opened by the Colombian Supreme Court into several members of Congress for their alleged links to illegal paramilitary drugs trafficking gangs. The new cases bring to over 70 the number of Colombian Congressmen now being investigated – virtually all of them allies of read more

In-Depth Analysis: The Dark Side of Plan Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The US news weekly 'The Nation' has carried this interesting article by Teo Ballve which examines the murky role of US aid in Colombia and its relationship to drugs traffickers, illegal paramilitary groups and human rights abuses. It is well worth a read. read more

Police Officers Execute Indigenous Woman in Southern Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Members of the Colombian police have shot and killed an indigenous woman in Colombia's southern Cauca region just days after the Governor of the local indigenous reserve was himself gunned down. Nilvany Cruz Zambrano was shot dead by the police officers on the evening of May 23rd at a read more

Further Threats and Killings in Santander Region

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 25 May 2009

Two peasant farmers have been assassinated and several trade unionists threatened in the central Colombian region of Santander. The oil workers trade union, two of whose activists received a written threat apparently posted from the regional Governor's office, says that they believe the Government to be behind the threat. read more

Two Indigenous Governors Murdered in Latest Colombia Violence

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 22 May 2009

The Governors of two Colombian indigenous reserves, one of whom was a nationally recognised leader whom the Colombian authorities had been asked to protect, have been assassinated within days of each other in separate incidents in southern and central Colombia. Luis Manuel Martinez Velasquez, a member of the 'Zenu' read more

“Odious Regime” in Colombia Says Conservative MP

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 20 May 2009

During an international debate in the House of Commons yesterday a Conservative Party Member of Parliament described Colombia as having an "odious regime". John Bercow, the MP for Buckingham, raised concerns during the debate about the ongoing attacks on journalists in Colombia and also drew attention to "civilians being read more

Threats Against Colombian Food and Drink Workers Trade Union Activists

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Two leading members of the Colombian trade union SINALTRAINAL have been threatened by rightwing paramilitaries who, in one case, also told the union leader that her family would be targeted too because of her union work. The threats, which targeted leaders of the 'El Paso' branch of the union, read more

Further Attacks on Political Opposition in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 19 May 2009

An abduction attempt against a regional leader of Colombia's political opposition yesterday has increased concerns that efforts are being made to physically eradicate opposition to the regime of President Alvaro Uribe. The attempt follows recent killings of members of the Democratic Pole (DP) opposition party and two death read more

US Military Base to Open in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The US is to establish a new military facility in central Colombia which will provide the US with the capacity to carry out military intervention throughout most of Latin America. The base, which will include a 10,000-foot runway, hangers for more than 100 aircraft and housing for more than read more

JFC Delegation Statement on Martin Sandoval

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 18 May 2009

Members of the recent JFC delegation to Colombia have issued a statement welcoming the release of Colombian political prisoner Martin Sandoval whom the delegation visited in jail during last month's trip to Colombia. The statement accuses the Colombian authorities of jailing those that work to highlight human rights abuses read more

Army Attacks on Civilian Population Continue in Colombian Region of Meta

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 18 May 2009

Further to a serious of reports on this site about abuses being perpetrated against residents of the eastern Colombian region of Meta, yet more serious violations of human rights, including several assassinations, have occurred in recent weeks. Local people and human rights groups say that Army units in the read more

Colombia Relations with Neighbours Remain Strained

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 17 May 2009

Colombia's relations with Ecuador and Venezuela have suffered further blows in recent weeks with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa again refusing to restore diplomatic relations with Bogota and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rebuffing an attempt by the Colombian Government to help catch a FARC guerrilla unit that allegedly crossed into Venezuela read more

Colombia Meeting in Parliament

Justice For Colombia News | on: Saturday, 16 May 2009

Justice for Colombia and Progress are jointly hosting a public meeting in Parliament to discuss how Colombia can achieve peace and human rights. We urge all supporters to attend what will be an interesting and informative discussion on the situation with speakers including Foreign Office Minister Gillian Merron MP, read more

Local Mayor Accused of Establishing Death Squad in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 15 May 2009

The mayor of the Colombian municipality of San Onofre has been accused by human rights groups of organising and directing a paramilitary death squad that is terrorising residents of the region and which has assassinated at least 15 civilians in recent months. Mayor Edgar Benito Rebollo, who comes from read more

Colombian Political Prisoner Martin Sandoval Free At Last!

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 14 May 2009

Martin Sandoval, the president of the Permanent Committee for Human Rights in the Colombian region of Arauca, was yesterday released from prison after being unjustly detained for over six months. Less than a month ago members of a JFC delegation to Colombia visited Martin in prison and we have read more

TAKE ACTION: Stop Attacks on Colombian Human Rights Defenders

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 14 May 2009

US-based group 'Human Rights First' has set up this action page where people can send e-mail messages direct to senior Colombian Government officials calling on them to take action over two recent incidents in which human rights activists were targeted in Colombia. We urge supporters to visit the read more

British Ambassador Meets JFC Project Partner

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Justice for Colombia is extremely pleased that the British Ambassador in Colombia has taken the time to meet with senior members of the Permanent Committee for Human Rights (CPDH) – Colombia's largest human rights organisation and a JFC project partner. Ambassador John Dew met with CPDH Executive Secretary Jairo read more

No To Free Trade Agreements with Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Dan Kovalik, a human rights lawyer working for the United Steelworkers trade union in the US, has written two excellent pieces for the Huffington Post looking at the Free Trade Agreements that the Colombian regime is trying to secure with the US, Canada and the European Union. Mr Kovalik read more

Trade Union Murders in Colombia Climb to 19 Following Assassination of Health Workers Union Leader

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The Colombian health workers trade union ANTHOC yesterday announced that one of their regional leaders in the central region of Bolivar has been assassinated. Vilma Carcamo Blanco was killed at around midday on Saturday when men on motorcycles pulled alongside her car and shot her repeatedly as she was read more

24 Assassinations and Mass Round-Up of Civilians in Colombian Region of Arauca

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 12 May 2009

At least 2,000 civilians have been arbitrarily detained in recent years in the remote Colombian region of Arauca say local human rights groups following the recent arrest of a large group of trade unionists, community leaders and others last week. The latest roundup follows weeks of intense violence which read more

Trade Unionists, Academics, Students and Human Rights Defenders in Barranquilla Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 11 May 2009

Paramilitaries in Colombia's fourth largest city have been issuing constant death threats against civil society activists since January say human rights groups. Rather than taking steps to protect those in danger, the security forces in the city of Barranquilla have instead increased the pressure by harassing or arbitrarily detaining read more

Attempt Made to Kill Witness in Murder Case against British-Trained Colombian Soldiers

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 10 May 2009

Colombian human rights groups have reacted furiously to an attempt made earlier today to murder Jose Wilson Giraldo in the southern Colombian city of Cali. Mr Giraldo is the key witness in a case against troops of the British-trained High Mountain Battalion who are accused of the extrajudicial execution read more

Colombian Journalist Survives Assassination Attempt, Another Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 9 May 2009

Colombian radio and newspaper reporter Francisco Marquez Lugo yesterday returned home to find a notice threatening to kill him stuck on the front door of his house in the town of San Pelayo in the northern region of Cordoba. The threats comes less than two week after unknown assassins read more

Uribe Attacks Lawyers

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 8 May 2009

Two days after the release of a report by a group of British lawyers about human rights abuses in Colombia and the need for international support for Colombian human rights lawyers, President Alvaro Uribe has made a speech in which he accuses certain, unnamed, lawyers of trying to obstruct read more

The Guardian: Aid to Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 7 May 2009

A group of Labour MPs who recently visited Colombia with JFC had this letter printed in The Guardian newspaper this morning. The MPs welcomed the end of some UK military aid to Colombia but call for all UK aid to the Colombian Army to be stopped and for read more

British Lawyers Denounce Impunity in Colombia, Slam Colombian Regime for Lack of Action

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 7 May 2009

A delegation of over 40 British lawyers that visited Colombia in 2008 yesterday released a detailed report of their visit – including their finding that over 400 Colombian lawyers had been assassinated but that not a single person had been prosecuted for any of the killings. The lawyers also read more

Colombia: Testimonies of Terror and Torture

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Stephanie Peacock, a member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, was one of those who participated in last month's Justice for Colombia delegation to Colombia. Her excellent article about what she saw and heard whilst in Colombia appeared in this week's Tribune, a magazine with close links read more

Trade Unionists Forced to Flee Homes in Central Colombia After Authorities Refuse Protection

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Two trade union leaders have been forced to flee their homes and jobs after the Colombian authorities ignored their requests for help. Cesar Augusto Tamayo, the President of the ASOGRAS trade union, and his colleague Rosendo Duarte fled the region of Santander on April 30th after receiving no response read more

UN Condemns Killing of Colombian Journalist

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 4 May 2009

Colombian radio reporter Jose Everardo Aguilar, an outspoken critic of government corruption, has been gunned down in his home in southwest Colombia in an attack condemned by a senior UN official as an attempt to silence criticism. "No democracy can allow guns to silence debate," said Koichiro Matsuura, the read more

Violence in Colombian City of Medellin ‘Out of Control’

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 4 May 2009

The numbers of murders in Colombia's second city of Medellin have climbed to their highest level in years according to press reports whilst human rights groups yesterday described how a paramilitary death squad attempted to murder one of the city's best known youth leaders. The rate of killings has read more