Public Meeting with Human Rights Lawyer

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 30 September 2008

This Thursday (2nd October) Justice for Colombia are hosting a meeting with Colombian human rights lawyer German Romero who works with the Inter-Church Justice & Peace Commission in Colombia. The Commission is a Church-based organisation that accompanies, advises and represents communities that are at risk in Colombia. Many of the read more

Huge Increase in Forced Displacement in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Over 270,000 Colombians were forced from their homes during the first half of the year according to a new report on displacement in Colombia. The figure is a 41% increase over the numbers displaced in the same period last year, confirming estimates by several NGOs that displacement is soaring read more

Senior Regional Official, Brother of Interior & Justice Minister, Detained

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 26 September 2008

The chief prosecutor in the Colombian city of Medellin has been arrested following revelations of his links to drugs traffickers and paramilitary death squads. Guillermo Valencia Cossio, who opposition leaders have accused courts of treating leniently, is also the brother of Colombian Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio.Mr read more

Colombian Regime Protests FARC Statue in Venezuela

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 26 September 2008

The unveiling of a statue of guerrilla commander Manuel Marulanda in the Venezuelan capital Caracas has caused a diplomatic spat between the two countries with the Colombians expressing "outrage" that the statue has been allowed. Marulanda, who recently died of a heart attack aged 79, was the founder of read more

Women’s Rights Activist and Family Massacred in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 26 September 2008

A leading women's rights campaigner has been gunned down in her home in the Colombian city of Medellin along with her son and daughter-in-law and her five-year-old grandson. In a strange outburst shortly after the killings, which occurred on the evening of September 24th, regional police commander, General Dagoberto read more

Further Attacks on Striking Sugarcane Workers as Government Links Strike to FARC

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 26 September 2008

In what unions claim is an effort to discredit strike action taken by over 10,000 sugarcane workers in southwest Colombia, the Colombian Government has alleged that the strike is being coordinated by the leftwing FARC guerrilla group and says that the dispute is not a "labour problem" but rather a read more

Betancourt Again Urges Dialogue with FARC

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 25 September 2008

For the second time in less than a month, former Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt has urged the Colombian authorities to open negotiations with the leftwing FARC insurgency who held her for six years. Betancourt told Spain's Cadena SER radio yesterday that "The solution is not to close the door read more

Uproar over Secret Meeting with Paramilitaries in Presidential Palace

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 25 September 2008

A political firestorm has been ignited in Colombia after it was revealed that emissaries of a notorious paramilitary death squad leader and drugs trafficker were allowed into the presidential palace last April for secret meetings with senior officials of the administration of President Alvaro Uribe Velez. The Washington Post read more

JFC at Labour Party Conference 2008

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Justice for Colombia had a high profile at Labour Party conference this year which was helped by the fact that our guest to conference was charismatic Colombian Congressman and former trade union leader Wilson Borja. Colombia came up several times in the main conference and JFC arranged for Congressman read more

New Report Blames Colombian State for 75% of Abuses

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 23 September 2008

A coalition representing over a thousand Colombian civil society groups has submitted evidence to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that blames the Colombian state for three quarters of the human rights abuses perpetrated in Colombia since 2002 when President Alvaro Uribe took power. The report documents over read more

Companero Miliband!

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 23 September 2008

During a speech at Labour Party conference, union leader Gerry Doherty turned to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to urge; "Companero Miliband, stop giving British military aid to those who kidnap, kill, torture and imprison trade unionists in Colombia". The line was the culmination of a powerful speech delivered read more

Assassination Attempt on Judicial Strike Leader

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 22 September 2008

Unknown men have tried to assassinate the leader of the Colombian judicial workers trade union ASONAL whilst the union is in the midst of an intense strike that has lasted almost three weeks. Fabio Hernandez, President of the union who has visited the UK as a guest of Justice read more

Human Rights Activist Assassinated in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 22 September 2008

A human rights activist who the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights had ordered the Colombian regime to protect has been killed in the town of Guachicono by two unidentified men. Ever Gonzalez, who had worked in the region since 1994, was shot at around midday on September 20th. read more

Community Leader Murdered in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 21 September 2008

A community leader has been shot dead in front of his young child in the Colombian municipality of Granada in Antioquia department. He is the third leader to be assassinated in the area in the past six months and human rights groups have accused the Army of being complicit read more

Colombian Government Offers 15 Pence Salary Increase to Striking Judicial Workers

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 20 September 2008

The trade union representing over 40,000 striking judicial workers in Colombia has rejected a pay offer from the Government that would have meant a daily increase in salary of 600 Colombian pesos – equivalent to 15 British pence.The strike, which has paralyzed the Colombian judicial system, began on September 3rd read more

Jeremy Dear: Colombia Takes Arms Against its Troublesome Journalists

Justice For Colombia News | on: Saturday, 20 September 2008

JFC Chair Jeremy Dear, who is also the leader of the National Union of Journalists, has penned a piece on the recent rescue of Ingrid Betancourt and the consequences for journalists. The article, which also looks at the attempts of the Colombian regime to silence critical journalists, appears in read more

Repression Meets Striking Sugarcane Workers in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 20 September 2008

Police and soldiers have attacked large numbers of striking sugarcane workers in southwest Colombia after they began industrial action in an attempt to improve what have been described as "slave like" working conditions. Over 10,000 workers have walked out after months of unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with the owners read more

More Soldiers Killed in Further Guerrilla Attacks

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 19 September 2008

Leftwing FARC guerrillas in Colombia are continuing to attack the security forces in several regions of the country with days of heavy fighting registered in the departments of Cauca in southwest Colombia and Choco near Colombia's northern border with Panama. In a separate attack outside the town of Buga read more

Washington Post: Colombian Army Chief Worked with Paramilitaries

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Washington Post has today reported on serious allegations that the commander of the Colombian Army, General Mario Montoya, worked with paramilitary death squads. Last year, the Los Angeles Times also disclosed that a leaked CIA report had accused the General of collaborating with the paramilitaries. Montoya became read more

Lawyer Delegation to Colombia Gathers Evidence on Human Rights Abuses

Justice For Colombia News | on: Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Solicitors from British law firm Thompsons recently joined a delegation of over 50 lawyers from around the world to visit seven regions in Colombia. The delegation heard testimonies from over 100 victims and victims' families, trade unionists, lawyers, judges and human rights defenders and also interviewed state officials including the read more

New Law Firm Affiliates to JFC

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Rowley Ashworth Solicitors, a firm specialising in representing trades unions and their members, has affiliated to Justice for Colombia and made an important donation towards our project to assist displaced people in Colombia. The firm, which has been acting for trades unions for over a century, has eight offices in read more

Youth Leader Assassinated in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Motorcycle-riding paramilitary assassins have gunned down 27-year-old youth leader Oscar Rodriguez Amaya whilst he was visiting friends in the Colombian city of Cucuta. His colleague, Marvin Emmanuel Melendez, was also wounded in the attack which occurred around midday on September 13th. Mr Rodriguez was active in both the read more

US Congressman Slams Union Rights Record in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 15 September 2008

A scathing letter to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe from George Miller, a Democrat Congressman from California, says that killers of union activists enjoy near total impunity and points out that "even according to the statistics kept by the Government of Colombia, 2008 has already been a more violent year that read more

Colombia at TUC Congress

Justice For Colombia News | on: Saturday, 13 September 2008

Colombia had a high profile at this year's TUC Congress with a motion unanimously passed condemning the ongoing attacks against Colombian trade unionists and supporting the work of Justice for Colombia. Several union leaders and activists made speeches about why it is important to continue assisting trade unionists in read more

Colombian Guest Addresses TUC Congress

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 12 September 2008

Tarsicio Mora, the newly elected leader of the CUT trade union federation, was this year's JFC guest at the annual conference of the British Trades Union Congress in Brighton. Mr Mora, who took over leadership of the CUT in June this year, also visited the UK as a guest read more

Colombia: Biggest Fringe at TUC, 2nd Year Running

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Justice for Colombia fringe meeting at the 2008 TUC Congress in Brighton was, for the second year running, the most well attended meeting of the entire Congress with nearly 300 delegates attending. Held in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, the meeting was addressed by Colombian TUC (CUT) leader Tarsicio read more

Colombian Government Declares Judicial Strike Illegal, Suspends Wages

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 10 September 2008

A week old strike by ASONAL, the trade union representing judicial workers in Colombia, has been declared illegal by the authorities who claim that the justice system is an "essential service". Wages of all those involved – some 40,000 workers – have also been suspended pending their return to read more

Three More Trade Unionists Assassinated in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 4 September 2008

The total number of trade unionists assassinated this year in Colombia has now reached 41 following three further murders in recent days. The figure is now already higher than the total number killed during the whole of 2007 and ensures that Colombian will retain the macabre title of being read more

JFC Meeting at TUC Congress

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 4 September 2008

Justice for Colombia has arranged a meeting to discuss the situation in Colombia during the 2008 TUC Congress which is being held in Brighton next week. The leader of the Colombian union movement, Tarsicio Mora, will be speaking as well TUC head Brendan Barber and Tony Woodley, leader of read more

Human Rights Defender Abducted by Paramilitaries

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 4 September 2008

A human rights activist working for the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission ('Comision Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz') in Colombia was yesterday abducted and threatened by a group of armed men that human rights organisations say were almost certainly Army-backed paramilitaries. Yimmi Armando Jansasoy Munoz was forced into a read more

Colombian Court Orders Arrest of President Uribe

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 3 September 2008

In an unprecedented move three judges of the Superior Tribunal of Sincelejo, a city in northern Colombia, have ordered that President Alvaro Uribe and several of his top ministers be arrested and jailed. Others named by the court include Interior Minister Fabio Valencia and Housing Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga.The read more

90% Impunity for Killers of Journalists in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A seminar organised yesterday in the Colombian capital Bogota by the Inter-American Press Society heard how virtually none of those responsible for murdering journalists in Colombia in recent years have been punished. Enrique Santos Calderon, a Colombian journalist who is vice-president of the Society, called the new figures "scandalous" read more

Colombian Judicial Workers Launch Strike Action

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Over 40,000 workers in the judicial sector will today begin strike action in Colombia in an effort to win better salaries, more stable employment contracts and more moderate workloads according to the judicial workers trade union ASONAL. The CUT trade union federation – the rough equivalent to the British read more

Colombian Army Executes Peasant Farmer

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Human rights organisations have blamed troops of the 15th Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army for detaining and then executing a well-known peasant farmer and community activist in the north-eastern Colombian region of Catatumbo. Olivo Pena, 45, was taken from his home by soldiers on August 12th and then read more

LA Times: 'Paramilitaries in Control of Large Part of Northeast Colombia'

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 1 September 2008

An article in yesterday's edition of the Los Angeles Times has reported that paramilitary gangs now control much of the department of La Guajira in northeast Colombia. As well as carrying out numerous selective assassinations, the paramilitaries have subjected local businesses to extortion and carried out a systematic campaign read more