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Colombia News Brief for September 15-26, 2018

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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


Source: Alto Comisionado para la Paz


Featured
Mission Report: Municipality of Tumaco, Nariño, Colombia
Space of Peace Cooperation, September 18, 2018
“Therefore, the situation of the municipality today is not what was hoped for with the signing of the peace agreement and the general perception is that, since the end of 2016, the situation of security and violence has worsened. In some rural districts of the municipality, the armed conflict is considered to have escalated significantly since the beginning of the implementation.”

Government-FARC Peace Process

Colombia Struck a Peace Deal with Guerillas but many Return to Arms
Nicholas Casey and Federico Rios Escobar, The New York Times, September 18, 2018

“These dissident guerrillas invited The New York Times to their camp, hidden among mountains north of Medellín, to tell the story of why they abandoned the peace deal. But well before the visit, the agreement was already fraying.”

FARC Leader Warns over Risks for Colombia Peace Deal
Agnés Pedrero, AFP, September 21, 2018

“Former FARC rebel commander and Colombian senator Victoria Sandinohas told AFP that the hard-won peace deal between Bogota and the leftist guerillas risked being derailed.”

Duque insiste en necesidad de modificar el Acuerdo de Paz
El Espectador, 24 de septiembre de 2018

“Para Duque uno de los temas más importantes es garantizarle a las personas de las regiones, afectadas por más de 50 años de conflicto, que la guerra y la inseguridad no volverá a sus territorios”.

Implementación de los acuerdo: los puntos comunes entre Duque y la ONU
Semana, 20 de septiembre de 2018

“A pesar de las debilidades que tiene el proceso de implementación, el jefe de la misión de la ONU lo ve como una experiencia inspiradora para otros países que están sumidos en conflictos, y por eso recordó la importancia del proceso de paz colombiano”.

No hay recursos para implementar el Acuerdo de Paz

El Espectador, 24 de septiembre de 2018

“Según el alto consejero para la Estabilización, alguien no hizo bien su trabajo en el anterior Ministerio para el Posconflicto, pues aún no hay una salida para cumplir con lo acordado”.

Colombia’s Peace Process Budget is $25B Short: Comptroller
Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, September 20, 2018

“The newspaper reported on Tuesday that it received a copy of the report of the Comptroller General’s Office in which the fiscal watchdog said that the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos gravely underestimated the cost of the process.”

In Colombia, Victims of Sexual Abuse Speak out After Peace Deal

Nacho Doce and Daniel Flynn, Reuters, September 20, 2018

“Colombia’s National Centre for Historical Memory estimates 15,687 people were victims of sexual violence during the conflict, at the hands of right-wing paramilitary groups, security forces and the guerrillas.”

Government-ELN Peace Process

La incertidumbre regresa a la mesa del ELN y el Gobierno
Víctor de Currea-Lugo, ¡Pacifista!, 20 de septiembre de 2018

“Duque tiene el derecho y el deber de replantear la paz, pero los colombianos seguimos sin saber cuál es su real propuesta. Parte de su errónea campaña mediática ha sido “secuestrar la paz”, es decir: reducir el conflicto armado al problema del secuestro. Si bien, este es un problema grave, no es el único ni el principal problema asociado al conflicto armado. El ELN debe entender que mientras persista en la práctica del secuestro, afectará la negociación, como ya sucedió en el caso de Odín Sánchez.”

En el proceso con el Eln, nadie quiere hacerse cargo de un portazo
Marisol Gómez Giraldo, El Tiempo, 20 de septiembre de 2018

“Lo evidente es que ni el Gobierno ni el Eln quieren ser autores de un portazo al proceso de paz, pero tampoco ninguna de las dos partes quiere quedar como la que más cede para reiniciar los diálogos”.

Colombian Politics

Colombia’s Largest Opposition Movement Gathers to be Allowed in Next Year’s Local Elections
Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, September 24, 2018

“The opposition leader called on President Ivan Duque to support his attempts and use his influence to convince the political parties that make up the CNE to recognize Humane Colombia as a legitimate political party.”

Uribe proposes to abolish Supreme Court amid investigation over his alleged ties to death squads
Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, September 26, 2018

“Uribe and his hard-right Democratic Center (CD) party want to abolish the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and the State Council, and form one “supercourt.” Whether the proposed bill will make it through congress and past the Constitutional Court is unlikely; other parties have rejected the idea.”

[Podcast] La historia del polémico congresista por el que interceptaron a Uribe
El Diario, 20 de septiembre de 2018

“A pesar de los pecados que lo persiguen, Nilton Córdoba salió elegido como el representante a la Cámara más votado del Chocó. La corte lo llama a indagatoria por pagar presuntamente 200 millones de pesos para torcer sus procesos judiciales; de su expediente reservado se esfumaron documentos”.

Human Rights and the Environment

Colombia False Positive Scandal: Families Demand Greater Truth
Christina Noriega, Al Jazeera, September 19, 2018

“It was revealed that the Colombian military lured, killed and falsely reported civilians as ‘combat kills’ to boost body counts in the war against the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The military committed at least 2,248 of these extrajudicial killings, known as “false positives” between 1988 and 2014, according to a report from Colombia’s prosecutor’s office, but rights groups say the number may be much higher.”

Informe sobre la grave crisis humanitaria, social, económica y ambiental en el departamento de Chocó
Foro Interétnico Solidaridad Chocó, et. al., 14 de septiembre de 2018

“El Chocó sigue viviendo hoy una situación preocupante por las continuas violaciones a los Derechos Humanos e infracciones al Derecho Internacional Humanitario. Las principales evidencias de la crisis humanitaria son…”

Colombia Makes Progress with Humanitarian Mine Clearance
Myriam Ortega, Diálogo Digital Military Magazine, September 17, 2018

“The Colombian government’s goal is to free the country of antipersonnel mines by 2021. According to Descontamina Colombia, an office of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia’s Administrative Department, the country has 264 municipalities and two departments free of mines.”

Colombia Fines Hydroelectric Firm for Defying Environmental Laws
EFE, September 13, 2018

“Colombia’s National Authority of Environmental Licenses imposed a fine of 2,419 million pesos ($794,000) on Hidroeléctrica Ituango SA, operators of the Hidroituango dam in the northwest, for violating environmental norms, official sources said Wednesday.”

Colombia’s Cerro Matoso Mine Wins Appeal, Will not Pay Damages
Reuters, September 20, 2018

“In the appeal, the court ruled the company will not have to indemnify the eight communities, but it upheld part of the ruling requiring the company to re-apply for its environmental licensing, including a community consultation process, the spokesperson said.”

‘FARC dissidents’ kill three Continental Gold geologists in north Colombia

Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, September 20, 2018

“At least three people were killed, three were injured and one person is missing after alleged FARC dissidents attacked a mining project of multinational Continental Gold in northern Colombia, the military said Thursday.”

Nadie extraña a las Farc…excepto la Amazonía
Silvia Margarita Méndez, ¡Pacifista!, 12 de septiembre de 2018

“El punto es que el 90 % de la deforestación actual en el país está sucediendo en municipios del posconflicto, es decir en selvas que la exguerrilla abandonó con el Acuerdo de Paz y que hoy son un foco para diferentes tipos de taladores ilegales”.

Venezuelan Refugee Crisis

Duque Calls for International Emergency Fund for Venezuela Displacement Crisis
Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, September 24, 2018

“Speaking at a forum for Colombian citizens living in the United States, Duque said he will ask the United Nations for an emergency fund when making his first appearance before the General Assembly later this week. Furthermore, he said, he will ask for a “temporary protection status” for neighboring countries that have been overwhelmed by the millions of Venezuelans who have fled their country.”

Colombia Struggles to Secure Border Overrun by Desperate Venezuelans
Juan Forero, Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2018

“Police commander admits stopping refugees is futile: ‘How are you going to control people when the issue is that they are hungry?’”

Counternarcotics

Colombia: los cultivos de coca de 2017 rompen récords
France 24, 20 de septiembre de 2018

“La Oficina de ONU contra la Droga y el Delito confirmó la tendencia al alza de las hectáreas de cultivos ilícitos en el país. Una problemática que se confronta a las raíces del conflicto armado y a la falta de políticas de largo plazo”.

Colombia Cocaine Production Breaks New Record Levels: UNODC Report

Parker Asmann, InSight Crime, September 19, 2018

“The continued increase in the amount of coca being planted in Colombia can, in part, be explained by the government’s struggle to meet an ambitious eradication goal that includes a coca crop substitution program threatened by criminal violence and a lack of viable alternatives for coca growers, in addition to other logistical and political obstacles.”

‘Without Drug Traffickers, we’d Have Peace’: Colombian Villagers Flee New Killings

The Guardian, September 22, 2018

“Despite pledges by the government and Farc in the peace agreement to substitute illegal crops with alternatives among farmers and eradicate vast tracks of coca leaf, peace remains a distant hope for people in Cabeceras and the surrounding villages.”

[Photo Essay] The Displaced Indigenous Communities of Colombia
Federico Rios, The Guardian, September 22, 2018

“Cocaine trafficking and the battle to control land in the country’s Valle del Cauca department are forcing indigenous and Afro-Colombian people to flee their homes.”

“Si queremos que en Colombia brille la paz, es necesario que derrotemos el narcotráfico”: Duque ante la Onu
Semana, 26 de septiembre de 2018

“En su primera intervención ante la Asamblea General del organismo, el mandatario aseguró que la paz es un objetivo de todos los colombianos y que trabajará para que el proceso de desmovilización, desarme y reinserción salga adelante con éxito”.

Trump felicita a Duque en la ONU y le pide trabajar para acabar con cocaína
Caracol Radio, 24 de septiembre de 2018

“El mandatario de Estados Unidos afirmó que todos los países deben trabajar juntos para desmantelar producción de drogas y derrotar las adicciones. Para eso pidió la cooperación de las Naciones Unidas y de la cooperación internacional”.

Venezuela, the New Regional Crime Hub
Jeremy McDermott, InSight Crime, September 13, 2018

“Cocaine is pouring into Venezuela from neighboring Colombia. Drug production has never been higher, and we estimate that Colombia is producing 921 tons of cocaine a year.”

Gobierno venezolano pide a Colombia combatir de manera efectiva los cultivos de uso ilícito
El Espectador, 23 de septiembre de 2018

“‘El Gobierno de Venezuela urge a las autoridades colombianas a realizar esfuerzos sinceros y efectivos para solucionar esta alarmante situación, así como a hacer buen uso de las ingentes cantidades de dinero que el sistema internacional les ha confiado con buena voluntad para ese fin’”.


* 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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