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Colombia: ‘That is How Dead Guerillas are Made’, Through False Positives

“So you are the mother of the narco-guerilla commander,” the Ocaña District Attorney told her. “No, sir. I am the mother of Fair Leonardo Porras Bernal,” said Luz Maria Bernal. She replied that her son Leonardo, 26, had been born with mental disabilities and that he had the mental capacity of an eight year old. He could not read or write and had been certified as having a mental capacity of 53%.The right side of his body was paralyzed, including the hand which was allegedly used to hold the gun.



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Colombia: Peace Talks Fail to Stop Human Rights Abuses Ahead of UN Review

March 29, 2014 Amnesty International 0

Colombia’s government is failing to address the country’s critical human rights situation said Amnesty International on Tuesday ahead of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ annual review of the country. For example, most paramilitary groups have not been effectively disbanded despite their supposed demobilization in a government-sponsored process that began in 2005. They are still responsible for multiple human rights violations, often acting in collusion with elements of the security forces.


Air Force Bombings Endanger and Kill Civilians in Colombia

February 21, 2014 Dawn Paley 0

Some victims of the bombings fear denouncing the events, while others do step forward and lodge formal complaints against the Army or other armed groups in the area. The hopes for compensation from the state are slim, as the process by which victims receive reparations from the state can drag on for years, if it is given at all.


Southwest Antioquia: Microcosm of Social Conflict in Colombia’s New Gold Rush

January 14, 2014 James Rodríguez 0

Twenty kilometers west, in the municipality of Ciudad Bolivar, locals have carried out protest marches and painted numerous anti-mining murals throughout the municipality. Diego Tobón, president of the Friends of the Arboleda Environmental Corporation (Corporación Ambiental Amigos de la Arboleda, COAMAR, in Spanish), states: “Ciudad Bolivar is a farming municipality and [the government] wants to impose a mining culture that nobody here wants.”



‘Touch One of Us and We Will All Respond’: Building a Movement to Fight Femicide and Impunity in Medellin

December 9, 2013 Gina Spigarelli 0

The International Day of No Violence Against Women, kicked off 16 days of Public Actions in Medellin, Colombia on November 25 to raise awareness and mobilize support for combating violence against women. Organized locally by a caolition of human rights organizations including student groups, women’s groups, human rights NGOs, anti-war groups, and other local grass roots organizations, the campaign named, ‘For the right to exist, think and make decisions: 16 days of public action for women, dignity and peace’ is part of an international initiative started by the United Nations which runs until International Human Rights Day on December 10.


Indigenous Continental Summits: The International Politics of Resistance

November 27, 2013 Manuela Picq 0

Indigeneity is not exactly where one looks for world politics. Yet it is probably one of the hip sites of global governance today. Indigenous peoples are engaging in international relations with a vibrancy that belies any perception of their politics as isolated or passive. The Fifth Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples of the Abya Yala, held November 10-15 in Cauca, Colombia, was only the latest expression of Indigenous diplomacy.


Women, War and Peace: Colombian Women Demand Truth and Justice

November 26, 2013 Mariel Pérez and Dana Brown 0

November 22, thousands of people, mostly women, united in Bogotá to demand this gender equality as an essential part of the resolution to the conflict. The march was part of worldwide mobilizations surrounding November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In highlighting the connections between gender violence and the Colombian conflict, the November 22nd march sought the elimination of such violence as an essential part of the resolution of the conflict and is a concrete example of women’s important contributions to building sustainable peace.


Putting Profits over People: Extractivism and Human Rights in Colombia

November 15, 2013 Mariel Pérez and Dana Brown 0

Colombian human rights organization CINEP notes an exponential rise since 2008 in the number of social movements protesting extractive industries such as carbon, gold, and petroleum, seemingly in response to the increased economic focus on mining. Although Colombians are exercising their constitutional rights in mobilizing against these devastating large-scale mining projects, the recent murders of brave defenders show the high risks involved in confronting the powerful economic and political interests at stake in large-scale extractive projects.


Water Festival of El Carmen de Viboral: Communities Resist Water Privatization and Multinational Mining in Colombia

November 13, 2013 Gina Spigarelli 0

Queremos agua! Queremos maíz! Multinacionales fuera del país!” yelled the protesters on October 26th as they marched through the streets of El Carmen de Viboral in Eastern Antioquia, Colombia. Around 1,000 people representing 60 grassroots organizations from 17 municipalities of the region traveled to participate in the fourth annual Water Festival, “for the autonomy, defense of territory, life and peace.”


This Is Peace: “Walking The Word” in Colombia

October 24, 2013 Chris Courtheyn 0

Organized by the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, 150 people converged upon the village of Rodoxalí to confirm and confront the presence of death-squad paramilitary groups. The pilgrimage was organized in response to reports that four people had been killed, and paramilitaries had kidnapped and disappeared a young man and demanded that the area’s campesinos (small-scale farmers) give them information and supplies. An estimated 28 families subsequently fled their homes in fear.


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