Havana, Cuba, site of the peace talks, April 2, 2016
With deep concern, the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP rejects the attempt of aggression against the spokeswoman of the Social and Political Movement Marcha Patriótica and warrior for Peace PIEDAD CÓRDOBA RUIZ, on April 1 in the city of Quibdó, crowning a threatening paramilitary offensive across the country (Read: Attack against Piedad Córdoba in Quibdó).
CERAC, Resource Centre for Conflict Analysis, has recently published a report on its blog called “Political violence in Colombia: growing and increasingly selective”. Here is a summary of its findings. The report in Spanish can be found here.
Human Rights defender Piedad Córdoba was victim of an attack Friday by an armed man in the town of Quibdó, capital of the department of Chocó. The former senator is unhurt, thanks to the quick reaction of her bodyguards.
Written by Dan Kovalik, Human & Labor Rights Lawyer, Adjunct Professor of International Human Rights Law
While Colombia, the U.S.’s staunchest ally in the Hemisphere, is held out as some beacon of democracy in Latin America, the facts on the ground tell a very different story.
Based on Marcha Patriótica Valle del Cauca
Another social leader has been killed by paramilitaries. Adrián Quintero Moreno, from the Platform Antorcha Ciudadana (member of Conafro and Marcha Patriótica) was murdered Friday 18 March, allegedly by members of the well known group "Los Urabeños".
Two brothers, Cristian and Jorge Castiblanco, (23 and 18) and Alex Carrillo (35) have been found dead in Ricaurte, municipality of Girardot. They had disappeared on 14 March in the municipality of Cabrera.
Luis Rodríguez Castro, an indigenous community leader has been killed in Mapiripán in the department of Meta. The area is rife with paramilitary activity, with presence of the paramilitary groups the “Gaitanistas” and the “Urabeños”.
In a press released published on Sunday, the political parties and movements that integrate the Forum of Sao Paulo have welcomed the significant progress that has been made between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP, as a result of the peace talks being carried out since 2012 in Havana, Cuba.
In the press release the Foro underlines that "This process represents one of the most important events in Latin America and represents a significant contribution peace on the continent. We invite both sides to move towards the signing of a final agreement to end the conflict and facilitate the search for a peaceful society, just and democratic".
Sao Paulo Forum also expresses "its readiness to accompany the implementation of the peace accords in Colombia. Likewise, we urge the formal opening of negotiations with the ELN and affirm our decision to support this important effort towards progress towards the end of the armed conflict".
The Foro invites "to participate in the Seminar Sao Paulo Forum in Support the Peace Process in Colombia to be held on 10 and 11 April this year, all parties organized by Forum members in that country".
The statement also expresses "concern over the reprehensible acts of violation of human rights, life and integrity of members of the democratic opposition in Colombia", and condemn "the murders of Marisela Tombé, Alexander Oime, Klaus Zapata, Milton Escobar and William Castillo, recognized members of Colombian social and political organisations".
The statement ends by urging "the Colombian government to take immediate and effective measures to protect the life and integrity of the members of the political and social opposition and implement actions to definitively dismantle paramilitary structures and drug traffickers today are still operating in that country" and by supporting "resolutely the mobilizations of the Colombian people against the neoliberal policies of the government of Santos, seeking to download the popular classes the effects of the economic crisis, reflected in rising inflation, higher unemployment, and deepening their precarious. We support the national strike on March 17 this year, in which converge the population claims against the nefarious official policy".
Based on: www.prensarural.org
Four community leaders have been assassinated in less than 10 days. Leader Andrés Gil Gutiérrez asks President Juan Manuel Santos: "What can we expect in post-conflict times?"