Posts Tagged ‘Plan Colombia’

Colombia: Fixing the blame

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

[Translations of two articles, the first from Semana of Bogotá, Colombia, for October 30, 2014, the second from La República of Montevideo, Uruguay, for the same date. See originals here and here and related articles here, here, here, here and here.]

FARC acknowledges damage it has caused to civilian population

By Victoria Sandino

For the first time in its history, the FARC guerrilla force admitted on Thursday in Havana that its actions have affected the civilian population throughout the armed conflict despite their not being “the principal or secondary target” of the guerrilla and stressed that they accept their responsibility.

“We are aware that the results of our actions have not always been what were predicted or hoped for by FARC and we accept the consequences, since it could not be otherwise. FARC will accept the appropriate responsibility,” states a communiqué released by the guerrilla group’s peace delegation.

The statement, read to the press by guerrilla fighter “Pablo Atrato,” holds that it “is clear” that as a guerrilla force FARC has “intervened in an active way” and “had an impact on the adversary and in some ways has affected the population living immersed in war.” (more…)

Colombia: The peace process and the international context

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013


((US marines at Turbo, Antioquia, Colombia))

((US marines at Turbo, Antioquia, Colombia))

[Translation of an article from El Turbión of Bogotá, Colombia, for June 7, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Juan Diego García

For the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean a peace process in Colombia is positive from every point of view. None of them benefits directly from the war and, on the contrary, they view with mistrust and fear the possibility that the conflict might spread to neighboring countries or might be reproduced elsewhere sympathetically.

For all of them, the war imposes too many conditions, and in a negative way, on commercial relations, which have grown markedly in the past few years. The fiscal integration of the nations, an imperative need, is blocked by the conflict. To begin with, communication between the two oceans is key, especially in the direction of the Pacific for countries like Venezuela and Brazil. Stability and a good social climate are important requirements for business to prosper. War as a permanent fixture benefits only those who profit from the arms trade or who practice a primitive capitalism. So peace would eliminate a source of concern for the governments of the region, one that is not at all negligible. (more…)

Colombia: Agrarian question a challenge in peace talks

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for October 25, 2012. See original here.]

By Marcel Gomes

In the face of slow progress in the negotiations between the government of Colombia and the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) in Oslo and Havana, economist Héctor-León Moncayo, a member of the Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y un Derecho Alternativos (ILSA), one of the most important NGOs in Bogotá, points out that the “Colombian agrarian question,” one of the reasons the insurgency exists, is also one of the main obstacles to the achievement of peace.

In the past few years, the country has seen a new wave of investment in agriculture and mineral extraction, threatening areas traditionally occupied by small producers and indigenous peoples. The greater part of the armed ranks of the FARC come from these sectors of society. (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, 2010. 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…)

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…)