Posts Tagged ‘paramilitaries’

Colombia: The indigenous peoples of Cauca have a lesson for the world

Friday, July 20th, 2012

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 18, 2012. See original here.]

by Elaine Tavares

In the past few days, the Brazilian media have carried the news that a group of Colombian Indians occupied a military base in the city of Toribío, in the Cauca region, and expelled the army. The articles describe how the indigenous peoples were tired of living in the crossfire between state forces and the guerrilla commanded by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, the FARC. But the news in itself, as printed, gives no account of the long process of struggle and resistance carried on by the indigenous communities of that strategic region. As always, the Brazilian press is lacking in contextualization of the facts. (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, 2011. 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…)

Colombia: Piedad Córdoba says trial proves links between government and paramilitaries

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Piedad Córdoba — El Tiempo photo

[Translation of an article from TeleSUR for January 22, 2011. See original article here and related article here.]

Colombian defender of human right Piedad Córdoba said on Friday that the public trial of former subdirector of the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS – Administrative Security Department), José Miguel Narváez, demonstrates the truth of charges she has made for years concerning links between paramilitaries and the government.

“The link between the paramilitaries and the government, through DAS, is confirmed, there is overwhelming proof,” Córdoba declared in an interview granted to TeleSUR. (more…)

Colombian campesinos break the silence and denounce massacres

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

[Translation of an article from the Venezuelan website TeleSUR for July 27, 2010. See also “International team confirms mass grave in Colombia” below.]

Colombian campesinos in the northern area of San Onofre, in the department of Sucre, broke the silence by deciding to denounce to communications media the massacres committed by paramilitary groups since their incursion into this territory more than ten years ago.

The Movimiento de Víctimas en Colombia recorded more than 75 massacres, with more than 4,000 victims, since insurgents arrived in the town, where a large number of those killed are buried in mass graves, while a number of displaced persons have not been able to return to their homes because the state does not offer them adequate guarantees. (more…)

International team confirms mass grave in Colombia with at least 2,000 bodies

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Deaths attributed to army and paramilitaries

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 24, 2010,  based on dispatches from Agence France Presse and Notimex.]

Bogotá, July 23 –In a public hearing on Friday with residents of La Macarena, in the department of Meta, a delegation from the United States and Europe confirmed the existence of a mass grave containing some 2,000 unidentified bodies whose deaths they attribute to rightist paramilitaries and the Colombian army.

The delegation was headed by six Members of the European Parliament (MEP), who denounced that “the army is killing its own people.” Ana Gómez, an MEP in the Commission on Human Rights, said the grave is an abnormality she cannot understand, since the armed forces exist to protect the people and not to act against them.

“They’re not there to kill the people; there is a horrible perversion in these acts in which innocent youths, men and women, area taken by members of the armed forces who turn them into false positives and are rewarded for it,” she said in reference to civilians who are executed extrajudicially and displayed as guerrillas killed in battle. (more…)