Previously, the last murder of a social leader occurred on Christmas eve when a hitman shot culture manager Lucy Villarreal when she was leaving a workshop with children in Tumaco.
The National Association of Farmer Users (ANUC) activist Reinaldo Carrillo was killed at dawn on Wednesday by hitmen who entered his house and shot him in front of his family in Pitalito town, Department of Huila, Colombia.
Also at the beginning of the week, the murder of two environmentalists was reported; Nathalia Jiménez and Rodrigo Monsalve, both from the department of Magdalena.
According to figures from Colombian authorities, from January 2016 to May 2019, 482 social leaders were murdered in this South American country.
Das Streikkomitee hatte 13 Forderungspunkte formuliert, die sich gegen neoliberale Reformen, die Sabotage des Friedensabkommens und die Nichterfüllung von bereits geschlossenen Übereinkünften mit Indigenen und Studentenorganisationen richten. Zu den neoliberalen Reformen und Dekreten, die Duque momentan vorantreibt oder schon verabschiedet hat, zählen die Privatisierung staatlicher Firmen und des Rentensystems, die Steuerbefreiung für Großunternehmen oder die Erhöhung von Steuern für die Mittelschicht.
At least 86 human rights defenders were murdered this year in Colombia, according to a report released Tuesday by Alberto Brunori, the country’s representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Since the beginning of the national strike, on Nov. 21 artists have played an active role in the demonstrations, not only musicians but from all artistic genres. Demonstrators are rallying against economic plans – such as a rise in the pension age and a cut to the minimum wage for young people, as well what they say is a lack of government action to stop corruption and the murder of hundreds of human rights activists.
In the Bogota meeting, it is expected the participation of governments aligned with the U.S. foreign policy, among which are Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.
The U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) Carlos Trujillo and the U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Kozak are also expected to attend the TIAR meeting.
“We in the Trump administration will continue to support countries trying to prevent Cuba and Venezuela from hijacking those protests and we’ll work with legitimate (governments) to prevent protests from morphing into riots and violence that don’t reflect the democratic will of the people,” Pompeo told an audience at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed „steadfast support“ to Colombia’s far-right government as it faces public protests and marches against economic austerity plans, corruption and police violence, President Ivan Duque in a phone call on Wednesday, according to a State Department spokeswoman.
Indigenous organizations like the Cric from the Cauca province, arrived at the capital Thursday in order to support the workers, students, and campesinos that have so far been the core of the national protests against the conservative government.
Bolivian coup leader Luis Fernando Camacho is a far-right multi-millionaire who arose from fascist movements in the Santa Cruz region, where the US has encouraged separatism. He has courted support from Colombia, Brazil, and the Venezuelan opposition.
By Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton
The latest atrocity occurred Tuesday in Tacueyo in Northern Cauca in southwest Colombia. Criminal groups trying to enter indigenous ancestral lands shot and killed five indigenous people and severely wounded six others. Among the victims is a prominent human rights defender, Cristina Bautista.
Venezuela’s Minister of Communication and Information, Jorge Rodríguez, announced on Friday the capture of Argenis Vaca, alias ‚Vaquita‘, who was in charge of the finances of the Colombian paramilitary group ‚Los Rastrojos‘.
The photos were taken, uncredited, from various media organizations. French media AFP said Defense ministry called and apologized for using their photos which were not from Venezuela but Catatumbo, Colombia.
Students demonstrated against the anti-riot police that have been indiscriminately cracking down on university protests on-campus. They were met with more police repression.
The former president and his party have tried to politicize the trial, but without much success. The once-almighty former Medellin Cartel associate’s days seem numbered.
The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo confirmed the validity of claims made by former paramilitary ‘Victor’ that Uribe’s lawyers had paid him over half a million dollars, along with other payments, for favorable testimony. Victor is one of only two known surviving members of the paramilitary group that Uribe stands accused of having founded.
Over 100 Colombian riot police stormed a university campus located outside Bogota during a peaceful protest, firing shots, tear gas and detaining serveral students.
Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) requested that former President Alvaro Uribe appear on October 8 to answer for bribery and procedural fraud.
Thousands take to streets in cities across Colombia demanding government action over the killing of social leaders.
Nevertheless, the Kfir has been sold to the air forces of Sri Lanka, Colombia and Ecuador. The planes are also used by ATAC, an American civilian company that provides enemy staging and trials for the US Navy.
In an open letter to Latin American delegates gathered at the OAS assembly session in Medellin, Colombia, Wednesday, human rights organizations denounced the current administration’s blatant disregard for the sanctioned violence raging across the country and overbearing presence in international affairs, particularly concerning Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The political party of Juan Guaido — Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) — was never all that popular to begin with. The sixth largest political party in Venezuela, Popular Will is heavily financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Now, a recently exposed embezzlement scandal in Colombia risks to further alienate the party from the Venezuelan people.
According to the Colombian Interior Ministry data, there are 7,400 people under some form of public protection, 4,500 of whom are social leaders. Since January, 16 social leaders have been murdered in Colombia, as denounced by UN-verified data.
Before leaving the South American city, Goldberg was accused of conspiring against the government of Evo Morales and declared a “persona non grata” by the state. Washington has denied all conspiracy allegations and has not commented on the pending nomination. However, Goldberg will have to be approved by both the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Upper House and by the plenary.
Workers, farmers, teachers, students, and pensioners are staging a nationwide „Peace and Justice“ strike to reject President Ivan Duque’s neoliberal policies, supporting Indigenous rights and defending the peace process in Colombia being left behind by the head of state.
Phil Gunson, a Caracas-based Crisis Group analyst, said that despite Bolsonaro’s hard-line rhetoric he was “obviously not going to invade unilaterally”.
But it was possible the future leader of Latin America’s biggest democracy might provide diplomatic cover to some kind of US action.
At least 15,000 Indigenous people have kept demonstrating to demand that President Ivan Duque complies with previous state-level agreements. Indigenous spokesmen pointed out that they have also been subjected to corporate land grabbing, persecutions, murders, and violence.
Among the victims was the mayor of the municipality of Taraira, Ms Doris Villegas, and her husband and daughter, as well as the owner of the aircraft, pilot Jaime Carrillo, co-pilot Jaime Herrera and an aviation technician identified as Mr Alex Moreno.
President Ivan Duque paid tribute to the victims on Twitter.
(6.3.2019) Led by retired General Cliver Alcala, who has been living in Colombia, they were going to drive back the Venezuelan national guardsmen blocking the aid on the other side. The plan was stopped by the Colombian government, which learned of it late and feared violent clashes at a highly public event it promised would be peaceful.
“We are not experts in etiquette and formalities, but, like the rest of Colombia, we have the right to have our requests and demands heard,“ the letter said.
Chilean Senator Alejandro Navarro said that only when the CIA declassifies information around the failed coup in Venezuela over the weekend will the public will know that Trump convinced Piñera to “make a fool of himself.”
„In 20 years, when the CIA declassifies this coup operation (in Venezuela) will we know what Trump offered Piñera to make a fool of himself for this trip, leaving Chile and the southern forest fires abandoned,“ said Navarro Monday during an interview.
Social organizations are shouting: „Terrorists get out of Colombia!“
According to witnesses, violent right-wing opposition members torched the trucks on the Colombian side with Molotov cocktails trying to incriminate Venezuelan security forces.
A new episode in the false flag operation being waged against the Venezuelan government to justify a foreign intervention, happened on the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge that links Venezuela and Colombia.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has stated on its certified Twitter account that they have noticed „some people not affiliated with Red Cross Colombia and Red Cross Venezuela wearing Red Cross emblems at Colombia-Venezuela and Brazil-Venezuela border.“
The international organization has urged these people “ to stop doing this. They might mean well but they risk jeopardizing our neutrality, impartiality & independence.“
US Vice President Mike Pence is planning a face-to-face meeting with the self-proclaimed Venezuelan ‚interim president‘ at the Lima Group summit, which will examine ways to put additional pressure on the Maduro government.
After security forces maintained loyalty to the Maduro government and blocked convoys of USAID supplies –intended for the opposition– from entering Venezuela on Saturday, US-backed “interim president” Juan Guaido vowed to attend the Lima Group summit, apparently to discuss a course of further action with the countries that have supported his claim to power.
23. Feb. 2019
23.2.2019 Antwort an Marco Rubio: You have no evidence of who set the aid truck on fire and these photos indicate your guarimberos had a hand in it.
We urge them to stop doing this
According to the Venezuelan president, „Never before has a Colombian president fallen so low as Ivan Duque. Devil go home! Everyone who hurts Venezuela eventually loses.“ Maduro highlighted that neither Duque, nor the Colombian oligarchy make decisions in Venezuela.
Dos tanquetas de la Guardia Nacional Bolivariana (GNB) embistieron la barrera de seguridad venezolana instalada en el puente internacional Simón Bolívar. Los autores del atentado fueron tres terroristas infiltrados, quienes robaron las tanquetas.
The Venezuelan administration closed the passage completely and temporarily on the Simón Bolívar, Unión and Santander bridges, alleging „serious and illegal threats attempted by the Government of Colombia against the peace and sovereignty of Venezuela.“
(15.2.2019) So, what happened?
On Feb. 6, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a tweet that drew a lot of attention.
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The data categorizes armed actors in four main types:
– Government forces
– Insurgent organizations
– Paramilitary groups
– Criminal organizations
Each of these types of actors is further disaggregated in a multitude of specific organizations.
(21.2.2019) Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams will travel to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida and Cucuta, Colombia February 21-22 to support the delivery of humanitarian aid to some of the most vulnerable people in Venezuela in response to Interim President Guaido’s request.
Special Representative Abrams will lead a U.S. government delegation to accompany humanitarian supplies to be transported from Florida to Colombia by military aircraft. While in Colombia Special Representative Abrams will meet Colombian President Duque and visiting delegations from Central and South America.
On February 20, French diplomatic officials issued a security alert advising travelers to avoid all gatherings in Cúcuta due to the possibility of protests.
A major movement to gain access to humanitarian aid is expected this Saturday in Cucúta along the Venezuela- Colombia border and ahead of that, a number of American debt holders have a specific and personal interest in a calm and swift resolution to the power vacuum in Venezuela Opens a New Window. — they want to be repaid.
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters slammed an upcoming „Live Aid“-style concert to raise funds for humanitarian aid for Venezuela, calling the event a U.S.-backed effort to tarnish the socialist government in a video circulating Tuesday.
„It has nothing to do with humanitarian aid at all,“ the 75-year old Waters said. „It has to do with Richard Branson … having bought the US saying, ‚We have decided to take over Venezuela, for whatever our reasons may be.'“
Delcy Rodríguez called for unity among the Venezuelan people against the interference threats that have been leveled against the country for this Feb. 23
A child was found brutally murdered in the area of San Jose de Apartado in the north of Colombia — another in a long string of murders in rural Colombia.
Right-wing Colombian President Ivan Duque announced on Monday that he and several South American leaders, including billionaire Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, are in talks to develop a diplomatic group, Prosur, to counter Unasur (Union South American Nations) begun by former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Murdered Jan. 6 by hitmen for fighting for land rights in northern Colombia, Maritza Quiroz Leiva becomes the country’s 6th murder within six days of the new year.
He is the second witness to die under mysterious circumstances, though the cause of death has yet to been determined. Rafael Merchan, the former secretary for transparency of the president and a former diplomat working out of London, had been set to testify in the Odebrecht case when he was found dead.
As part of a strike that began on Oct. 11, Colombian university students mobilize to reject violence against social leaders and rights defenders.
The Campesino Association of Catatumbo (Ascamcat) in Colombia denounced Thursday the killing of the social leader Jose Antonio Navas. Like other social leaders and human rights defenders killed in Colombia in 2018, Jose Antonio was murdered by unknown gunmen who shot against him and fled. teleSUR has registered at least 178 murders this year alon
„When some children do not receive the same education as those who live in better conditions, we can not speak of a country in peace, we can not speak of a country that has equality, because education is that which gives us equality, it is that opportunity and that inalienable right that makes us all equal, that gives us all the same opportunity,“ Shakira said.
“We have decided to walk to demand those rights which historically have been denied to us by public authorities and governments,” Hernando Gonzalez, a spokesman for Comite de Desarrollo Campesino, from Santo Domingo, said.
Women’s rights activist Maria Caicedo Muñoz was found dead in Rio Macay, Cauca department Friday. She was a member of the Asociacion de Mujeres Campesinas de Argelia (an association of women farmers).
The Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) announced Wednesday, in the context of nationwide protests led by public university students, professors, and directors who are demanding an increase in their budget, that they will also go on strike.
Thousands of students, professors, university directors of 32 public universities in Colombia participated in the National March in Defense of Higher Education to demand higher budgets and transparency from the national government Wednesday.
According to reports, there have been at least 160 social leaders killed in Colombia this year.
The minister said his government has received several requests from citizens abroad to return to Venezuela.
The premier canceled his trip over progress that was made at the time in talks regarding an emerging Israel-Hamas deal, which has since been cast into doubt amid tensions along the Gaza border.
Duque’s administration said it would review Santos’ decision on Palestine, but acknowledged that it was legal.
The new Colombian government “will cautiously examine” the “implications” of the decision and “will act according to international law,” Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes said in a statement.
On Wednesday, during a radio interview, Macias said: “Alvaro Uribe has reconsidered his decision (…) he heard the pleas of the parties, including the left-wing parties, not to abandon parliament.”
The current homicide rate, 22 per 100,000 residents, has placed Mexico nearer to the elevated homicide rates of Colombia and Brazil, which record 27 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Mario Montoya, a former Colombian military commander and close ally of former President Alvaro Uribe, has agreed to submit himself to the South American country’s war tribunal July 22, accused of having ties to paramilitary groups and the mass execution of civilians.
Several cities around the world joined Colombia’s vigil Friday to protest the systematic murder of social and community leaders.
Ana Maria Cortes, a social leader and the coordinator of Gustavo Petro’s presidential campaign in the city of Caceres, Antioquia was murdered Wednesday.
Luis Barrios, a communal leader in Palmar de Varela, in the department of the Atlantic, was also murdered Wednesday. Barrios was known for organizing protests against corruption in the municipal hospital and revealing local networks for micro-trafficking.
Senator Rubio has close political ties with the Colombian right wing, and has been one of the main voices in the U.S. establishment calling for pressure on Venezuela…. Duque has close personal ties to the United States, where he worked and lived for 10 years as a consultant for the Development Bank of Latin America and the International Development Bank.
Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo, Julio Cesar Montalvo, Orlando Negre and ex-FARC fighter Frady Estiver Chica Chica were latest victims of the violence.
Some 36 million Colombians are eligible to vote, according to a March 2018 electoral census.
Colombia will be part, starting next week, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the first Latin American „global partner“, announced on Friday the president of that nation, Juan Manuel Santos.
„We will formalize in Brussels next week -and this is very important- the entry of Colombia into NATO in the category of global partner, we will be the only country in Latin America with this privilege,“ the president said in a televised address from the presidential Narino Palace.
United States officials were well aware that Colombia’s former president Alvaro Uribe Velez campaigned in 1993 using donations from drug cartels, according to a series of recently declassified files published by the U.S. National Security Archive Friday.
Human rights groups decried the recent killings of Colombian social activists Maria Magdalena Cruz Rojas and Belisario Benavidez Ordoñez in two separate attacks on Good Friday as Colombia’s environmental activists, social leaders and human rights defenders continue to face persecution as the government fails to provide the necessary security measures to protect them from increasing threats from armed group and paramilitaries.