Posts Tagged ‘FARC’

Peace in Latin America at stake in Colombian election

Sunday, June 1st, 2014
((Zuluaga and Uribe -- El Clarín photo))

((Zuluaga and Uribe — El Clarín photo))

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for May 29, 2014. See original here.]

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera

The runoff in the Colombian presidential elections on June 15 will be of exceptional importance for Latin America and the Caribbean.

If Uribista candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga, whose dirty war campaign was managed by [former President Álvaro] Uribe, should prevail, the peace process in Havana between the FARC and the Colombian government would cease and the country would fall into a bloody intensification of the hostilities with this guerrilla and with the ELN [Ejército de Liberación Nacional].

Zuluaga based his campaign on an iron fist against the guerrilla and declared the day after his winning the first round that he would suspend the peace talks in Havana provisionally until the FARC, which he describes as the largest drug cartel in the world, agrees to a unilateral ceasefire and other onerous conditions. This is the equivalent of asking the guerrilla to surrender unconditionally, which would put an end to the promising peace process. (more…)

Local elections in Colombia, in the shadow of ‘parapoliltics’

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

At least 41 candidates have been assassinated by guerrillas or by paramilitaries during the campaign

[Translation of an article from Nueva Tribuna of Madrid, Spain, for October 28. See original here.]

By Javier M. González

This Sunday, October 30, Colombians will choose local and regional officials in the first elections under the presidency of Juan Manuel Santos. Between February 2 and October 20, 41 candidates were assassinated by diverse violent groups, according to a study by the independent NGO Misión de Observación Electoral (MOE – Electoral Observation Mission). This figure is practically double the number of deaths recorded in the last regional elections, in 2007.

The guerrillas, especially the FARC, rightist paramilitary groups, drug traffickers and other criminal groups are also competing in these elections, through the buying of candidates or the assassination of possible adversaries. For the different violent organizations, of the right or the left, tied or not to drug trafficking or other illegal activities, the control of mayors, city councilors and even governors is an objective that assures them impunity for their activities. And, in many cases, access to security information vital to their survival. (more…)

Humanitarian aid for Colombia from Venezuela and Brazil

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Vanguardia Liberal photo

[Three articles. Under newly elected President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia renewed diplomatic relations with Venezuela last August after ties had been broken over accusations by former President Álvaro Uribe that Venezuela was harboring guerrillas of the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez have since made a show of harmony. In the meantime, Colombia has been hit with serious flooding in recent weeks, resulting in some 138 people dead, 208 injured, 22 missing and 1.3 million homeless. The United States has pledged $150,000 in relief funds, in sharp contrast to the seven billion dollars the US has spent on Plan Colombia in the ten years since the US began participating in the effort, most of it directed to financing the Colombian military in its pursuit of the FARC.]

Venezuela and Brazil to send aid after winter storms

[Translation of an article from Vanguardia Liberal of Bucaramanga, Colombia, for November 28. See original here.]

The president of the republic, Juan Manuel Santos, reported yesterday that his counterparts in Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and in Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have made a commitment to provide aid in response to the harsh winter weather the country is experiencing, as they informed him during the UNASUR (Union of South American States) heads of state summit held last Friday in Georgetown, Guyana. (more…)

Colombia: Opposition Senator Piedad Córdoba removed from office for alleged ties with FARC

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for September 27.  See original article here.]

Piedad Córdoba at the negotiating table — AP photo

Bogotá – The attorney general of Colombia on Monday removed opposition Senator Piedad Córdoba from office and barred her from holding any public position for 18 years because of her alleged ties with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

The ruling was announced by the public ministry on Monday after confirmation of reports that the opposition legislator maintained a relation with the FARC, the largest and oldest guerrilla force operating in the South American country.

The ruling, which renders the Colombian senator politically powerless, can be appealed on petition by the accused, judicial sources stated on Monday. (more…)

The war in Colombia goes on

Monday, September 6th, 2010

[Abridged translations of two articles, the first from the Venezuelan website TeleSUR, the second from El Nuevo Siglo of Bogotá, both from September 3.  See the original articles here and here.]

TeleSUR photo
TeleSUR photo

New outbreak of armed conflict in Colombia aggravates human rights situation

The renewal of the armed conflict Colombia is living through has aggravated the human rights situation in the country, the Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y los Desplazamientos of the country declared on Friday.

“The Colombian tragedy really consists of the fact that the war continues, we are not in any post-conflict state,” Marcos Romero, a member of the Consultoría, affirmed during an exclusive interview with TeleSUR.

According to Romero, despite the iron-fisted policy imposed by the Colombian government for eight years, there are still remnants of paramilitary groups in almost all regions of the country.

“We have had eight years of an iron-fisted policy and this policy has resulted in the cornering of the guerrillas but there are heirs to the paramilitary groups in almost all regions of the country,” he stated… (more…)

Colombian President Santos rejects peace talks with FARC

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for August 14 based on Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Agence France Presse and Reuters dispatches. See also “Colombia: FARC proposes dialogue with Santos” posted here on August 1.]

Bogotá, August 13 – A day after the explosion of a car bomb for which no organization has claimed responsibility, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos rejected the possibiliity of peace talks with guerrilla forces because “the conditions are not right” and prohibited any gesture leading to such talks.

“We haven’t thrown the key to dialogues into the sea but the door is closed and will stay closed until those who want a dialogue on peace show their real motives in a clear and credible way,” Santos said in Popayán, capital of the department of Cauca, the scene of clashes between soldiers and combatants of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

“Until we have a very clear demonstration of the real intentions for a dialogue for peace, with concrete steps like those we have mentioned, that they free the hostages, that they give up terrorism, that they release the children they have recruited by force, that they give up extortion, that they stop acting like terrorists, until we see that, the key will be carefully hidden away,” he said. (more…)

Colombia: Uribe’s “seguridad democrática” strategy a matter of social perception

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for August 6, 2010.]

by Blanche Petrich

Bogotá, August 5 – In the view of a wide sector of Colombian society – 70 percent according to the polls – President Álvaro Uribe, who will move out of the Casa de Nariño [the presidential residence] this Saturday, is practically a hero, who defeated “narco-terrorism,” eliminated insecurity in the major cities and restored the citizens’ ability to travel on the South American country’s highways without the risk of kidnapping or extortion, with which the guerrillas and the paramilitaries had ravaged the country until just a few years ago.

An aura of legendary proportions built up around Uribe moved his former adviser, José Obdulio Gaviria – known as his “musketeer” – to express himself in exalted language in his article in El Tiempo last Wednesday: “Heaven has granted us a superior intellect, a guide to lead his people across the desert,” he declares. (more…)

Colombia: FARC proposes dialogue with Santos

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

FARC leader Cano says US military presence is “an indignity”

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 31.]

Alfonso Cano

Bogotá, July 30 – In a 30-minute video posted Friday on its web site, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), the oldest guerrilla force in the country, has proposed to President-elect Juan Manuel Santos that a dialogue be initiated to seek a political solution to the internal armed conflict.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced last night that his country has deployed military units on the border in response to “a threat of war” by Colombia because outgoing President Álvaro Uribe is “capable of anything.”

“What we are proposing, once again, is that we talk. We are still determined to seek political solutions. We are hoping for the new government to reflect and not to deceive the country any longer,” said Guillermo Sáenz, known as Alfonso Cano, leader of the insurgency, in a video recorded in July in the Colombian mountains. (more…)

Colombian President-Elect Santos greeted with protests in Argentina

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Social organizations repudiate Colombia’s policies, support Venezuela

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 27.]

Juan Manuel Santos

By Stella Calloni

Buenos Aires, July 26 – President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner met tonight with the president-elect of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, who is on a tour of the region in the midst of a severe crisis with Venezuela and while an emergency meeting of the Unión de Naciones Sudamericanas (Unasur – Union of South American Nations) is being planned for Quito, Ecuador.

During the afternoon, thousands of demonstrators gathered in the Plaza de Mayo to reject Colombia’s policies and the Colombian visitor and to support Venezuela, a country they consider to be the target of “generalized activity by the United States that threatens all of Latin America.”

The meeting between Fernández de Kirchner and Santos, which lasted an hour, included a broad review of the situation in the region. It included the participation of Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, the foreign minister designate of Colombia, María Angela Holguín and the Colombian ambassador in Buenos Aires, Álvaro Eduardo García Giménez. (more…)

Meeting held in Guatemala despite absence of three Central American presidents

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
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Caracas declares Clinton tour a failure

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for March 4, 2010.]

Agence France Presse and Deutsche Presseagentur

Caracas, March 4 – Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro has called Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Latin American tour “a failure” and declared that she came to the region “to scheme, to attempt to divide the countries that are trying to unite our continent, to attempt to sow doubt about the process of democratic transformation that countries like Venezuela are living through.” (more…)