Colombia

Unraveling Justice: Military Jurisdiction Expanded in Colombia

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On December 11, the day after International Human Rights Day, the Colombian Congress approved a justice “reform” bill that will likely result in many gross human rights violations by members of the military being tried in military courts—and remaining in impunity.  The bill, along with a separate ruling by the Council of State, unravels the reforms put in place after the “false positives” scandal in which over 3,000 civilians were killed by soldiers.

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Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence

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Edited and compiled by Max Schoening and Sibylla Brodzinsky, Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence, offers a glimpse into the tragedy faced by the women, men and children who have had to flee their homes because of the violence affecting Colombia. Part of the Voice of Witness book series, Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence is a compilation of stories from Colombia’s victims of violence, offering personal accounts about the effects Colombia’s internal armed conflict has had on civilians.

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Talking Peace in Colombia

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You’ve likely heard about the exciting buzz that has been permeating in Colombia. Yes, you guessed it; we’re talking about the announcement of the peace talks! We’ve decided to compile our own list of interesting sources –including the important voices of different civil society actors that are sometimes not heard –for our faithful readers to easily access.

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Driving Home Labor Rights in Colombia

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“Here we have two governments and a very standard labor issue with a small group of workers, yet no resolution, which is very disconcerting. If this can’t be resolved, what can we expect to happen in terms of broader protection for labor?”
Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director of the Latin America Working Group

On September 13, 2012 the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, Witness for Peace and the United Steelworkers welcomed Jorge Parra, leader of ASOTRECOL, Association of Injured Workers and Ex-workers of General Motors Colombia, to speak about the group’s struggle protesting their illegal firing from the U.S. - based company.  Claiming they were fired for their work-related injuries, members of ASOTRECOL have been protesting in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, demanding to be reintegrated into the company -and to be fairly compensated for their work-related injuries.

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Still a Dream: Land Restitution on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast

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As Colombia moves forward with a peace process, the government’s ability to deliver on restitution and reparations to victims is crucial for construction of a just and lasting peace. Lutheran World Relief and the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, along with our partner Agenda Caribe, toured the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the provinces of Sucre, Bolívar and Córdoba, in June 2012 to investigate whether displaced communities are starting to be able to return to their land and whether the Colombian government’s landmark initiative, the Victims’ and Land Restitution Law, has gotten off the ground. This law aims to provide reparations to victims of the conflict and land restitution or compensation for some of the more than 5 million people who were displaced by violence. It has generated enthusiasm in the international community and raised hopes among survivors of violence in Colombia’s brutal, decades-old conflict. See our full report, Still a Dream: Land Restitution on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, here.

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