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Colombia News Brief for April 20, 2022

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Welcome to LAWG’s Colombia News Brief, a compilation of top articles and reports on issues of peace, justice, human rights, and more in Colombia.

SPOTLIGHT

The Courageous Leaders Building Peace in Colombia: Meet the 2020 Winners of the National Human Rights Prize
Washington Office on Latin America, April 19, 2022
“The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the Latin America Working Group (LAWG), the International Institute for Race and Equality, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Diakonia and Act Church of Sweden (grantors of Colombia’s National Human Rights Prize) cordially invite you to the following event:The Courageous Leaders Building Peace in Colombia: Meet the 2020 Winners of the National Human Rights Prize.”

COLOMBIAN ELECTIONS

Gustavo Petro denuncia campaña de asedio de la derecha colombiana
TeleSur, 19 de abril de 2022
“A siete semanas de las elecciones presidenciales en Colombia, el candidato Gustavo Petro denunció el avance de una campaña de difamación en contra del Pacto Histórico que busca afectar su candidatura, que hasta el momento encabeza las encuestas”.

Colombian candidate says he won’t nationalize property
Manuel Rueda, AP News, April 18, 2022
“Colombian presidential front-runner Gustavo Petro pledged on Monday that he will not expropriate private property if he wins the nation’s presidency this year as critics in the South American country accuse the leftist candidate of wanting to make radical changes to the country’s economy.”

La visita del hermano de Petro a presos por corrupción enreda la campaña de Colombia
Juan Diego Quesada, El País, 14 de abril de 2022
“Gustavo Petro ha teorizado a menudo con la idea de un perdón generalizado en Colombia, una especie de amnistía en un país que ha vivido durante décadas pequeñas guerras que se solapan unas a otras. Cuando expone esta teoría, que no especifica cómo se podría llevar a la práctica, cita a Jacques Derrida, un filósofo posmoderno, elegante y atractivo, que alcanzó una gran notoriedad en vida por su concepto de deconstrucción, una forma de desmontar ideas e instituciones desde su interior”.

PEACE PROCESSES

Víctimas entregan propuestas de garantías para la no repetición ante la Comisión de la Verdad
Infobae, 19 de abril de 2022
“​​Por medio de un documento del Movimiento de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado (Movice) y el Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (Cajar), víctimas del conflicto armado pidieron a la Comisión de la Verdad (CEV) el reconocimiento de cinco hechos que se habrían repetido durante los años de violencia”. 

Colombia asks UN to extend peace process monitoring until 2034
 Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, April 14, 2022
“President Ivan Duque asked the United Nations to continue monitoring Colombia’s peace process until 2034 amid concerns over escalating violence. Duque asked the UN to extend its monitoring mandate in Colombia a day after the president defended his government’s implementation of the 2016 peace deal with the FARC before the Security Council.”

Remarks of Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to the Peacebuilding Commission Ambassadorial-level meeting on Colombia
Relief Web, April 13, 2022
“The report highlights the progress made in the implementation of the Peace Agreement between the Government and the former FARC-EP, including on issues related to the long-term success of reintegration, as well as the challenges facing the consolidation of peace, especially in the territories most affected by violence and poverty.”

Colombia’s President Duque: Drug trafficking is ‘greatest enemy’ to peace
NBC News, April 13, 2022
“Speaking at the U.N. Security Council for the first time, outgoing Colombian President Iván Duque on Tuesday touted his government’s accomplishments in building peace, including steps to reintegrate more than 12,800 former rebels into society, but he warned that drug trafficking remains the ‘greatest enemy’ to achieving peace.”

Recent Elections in Colombia Saw Most Women Voted into Office, Special Representative Tells Security Council, Highlighting Value of Peace
Relief Web, April 12, 2022
“Presenting the Secretary-General’s report (document S/2022/267), Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative and the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, stressed that not only were the congressional elections — held 12 March — ‘mostly free’ of violence due to the disbanding of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army (FARC-EP), but women were voted into office at a rate not seen before.”

Success of Colombia peace process hinges on ending violence: Mission chief
UN News, April 12, 2022
“Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, said armed groups in some parts of the country are targeting the very communities who were most victimized during the half-century-long civil war, which officially ended with the signing of a historic Final Peace Agreement in 2016.”

CONTINUING ARMED CONFLICT 

Colombian army says 6 soldiers killed in attack in northwest
Al Jazeera, April 20, 2022
“At least six Colombian soldiers have been killed in a bombing in the country’s northwest, the army said, attributing the attack to accused drug traffickers who are active in the area. Another five soldiers were injured and one remains missing after the attack, which took place around midnight Tuesday in the Antioquia department and was blamed on the Gulf Clan cartel.”

Siguen desplazamientos en la Sierra Nevada por la pelea entre grupos armados
El Tiempo, 19 de abril de 2022
“Mientras aumentan los desplazamientos por los enfrentamientos de grupos armados en la Sierra Nevada, los gobiernos departamental y municipal no logran ponerse de acuerdo para atender la situación de seguridad que se registra en la vereda La Secreta en jurisdicción de Ciénaga, Magdalena. Ya son más de 300 personas entre adultos y niños que dejaron sus casas y fincas para huir de la disputa a bala por el territorio entre el Clan del Golfo y Los Pachenca”.

HUMAN RIGHTS 

55 Colombian Human Rights Activists Assassinated So Far
TeleSur TV, April 19, 2022
“On Monday night, the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (INDEPAZ) denounced the murder of John Jairo Esquivel. This fact brings to 55 the number of human rights defenders killed so far this year.”

Asesinan a otro defensor de derechos humanos en Colombia
Telesur TV, 19 de abril de 2022
“El Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz (Indepaz) denunció este lunes en la noche el asesinato de John Jairo Esquivel, líder y defensor de los derechos humanos en Colombia, quien sería el activista número 55 asesinado en lo que va de 2022, según los registros de la organización no gubernamental (ONG)”.

Corte Constitucional estudiará las medidas de protección que cobijan a los líderes sociales de Colombia
Infobae, 18 de abril de 2022
“Con el objetivo de estudiar las medidas que protegen a los activistas de derechos humanos del país, la Corte Constitucional citó a una audiencia pública para evaluar la situación. Se indicó que, en especial, se revisarán nueve tutelas interpuestas por 18 ciudadanos que aseguran que el Estado está permitiendo que se vulneren sus derechos. El espacio se realizará desde las 8: 00 a. m. del jueves 28 de abril de forma virtual”.

UN and OAS urge Colombia to investigate military massacre
Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, April 14, 2022
“The human rights offices of the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS) called for investigations into a recent military operation in which 11 people were killed. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) of the OAS on Wednesday rejected the attack on Alto Remanso, a hamlet in the southern Putumayo province, on March 28.”

Francia Márquez Mina: the Triumph of a Pedagogy of the Oppressed in Progress
Charo Mina Rojas, Black Agenda Report, April 13, 2022
“Francia Marquez is Colombia’s vice presidencial candidate, the first Black national candidate in that country. Her triumph is not just personal, but the result of a strong mass movement. I am excited and moved by the process that has been unleashed after anger and indignation led Francia Márquez Mina to declare: ‘I want to be President of this country ,’ and I am excited to think about the growth and maturity of the Afro-descendant people in the face of the Colombian political-electoral process in 2022.”

Las cifras claves del informe de EE. UU. sobre derechos humanos en Colombia
El Espectador, 13 de abril de 2022
”El Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos publicó su más reciente evaluación de la situación de Colombia. Lo hizo en un documento que le servirá de guía al Congreso estadounidense a la hora de determinar la ayuda exterior que se concede a cada país. El examen corresponde a hechos ocurridos durante 2021 y, como era de esperarse, la versión actual incluyó las graves violaciones de derechos humanos que sucedieron durante el Paro Nacional”.

ENVIRONMENT

“They Will Not Stop Us!”: Solidarity with Environmental Rights Defenders
Amnesty International, April 19, 2022
“As efforts continue in Colombia to stop fossil fuel fracking because of its impact on the right to a healthy environment, death threats have increased against leaders who speak out. Afro-Colombian defender Yuvelis Morales was forced to leave the country. Others remain at grave risk. Please sign our Urgent Action to send a message urging Colombian authorities to act. Please encourage others to do so too!”

DRUG POLICY

Mexican cartels swap arms for cocaine, fueling Colombia violence
Luis Jaime Acosta, Reuters, April 12, 2022
“Mexican drug cartels appear to be shipping high-powered weapons to Colombia to purchase shipments of cocaine, a trade Colombian authorities say is fueling the deadly struggle between rival traffickers for control of the nation’s drug routes.”

Colombia arrests alleged Sinaloa Cartel emissary
Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, April 9, 2022
“An alleged emissary of the Sinaloa Cartel was arrested in Cali on Friday, Colombia’s police chief told press. Brian Donaciano Olguin, a.k.a. “Pitt,” was arrested in an operation in the exclusive ‘Cuidad Jardin’ neighborhood in the south of Colombia’s third largest city.”

VENEZUELAN CRISIS

Venezuelan Consulate is Vandalized in Bogota
TeleSur, April 19, 2022
“The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced that its consular headquarters in Bogota was set on fire on Sunday night…The Venezuelan diplomats also pointed out that the vandalization of the consulate has been taking place permanently and shows that the Colombian State ‘is incurring, by action or omission, in a flagrant and repeated violation of the essential norms on which diplomatic relations are based.’”

Venezuela dismantle explosives on the border with Colombia
Ana Ibis Falcón Lamoth, Prensa Latina, April 18, 2022
“The strategic operational commander of the FANB, Domingo Hernandez Larez, informed on Twitter that the units of engineers and combat sappers are scanning every inch of the territory in search of mines and handmade devices installed by paramilitary groups coming from Colombia.”

Drug cache of Colombian irregulars seized in Venezuela
Ana Ibis Falcón Lamoth, Prensa Latina, April 14, 2022
“During the last months, the FANB dismantled several structures used for the processing of drugs and the manufacture of explosive devices in that territory bordering Colombia, where irregulars try to establish themselves, terrorize the population and promote actions to destabilize Venezuela.* The Colombia News Brief is a selection of relevant news articles, all of which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Latin America Working Group.


* The Colombia News Brief is a selection of relevant news articles, all of which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Latin America Working Group.

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