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Colombia News

Colombia News Archive:

7/02-7/03
up to 6/02


AfroColombia

World News

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Cuba: Race & Identity

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colombiamobilization.org

colombiasupport.net

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ANNCOL

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Colombia Libre

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Agencia Cubana de Noticias (Esp)

AIN (Eng)

Centro de Información para la Prensa

CubaWeb

Granma (Esp, in Cuba)

Granma (English)

Granma (Español)

Juventud Rebelde

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CNN Español

El Nuevo Herald

Miami Herald

South America Daily

Europe based media

BBC Mundo - América Latina

Rebelión

Sodepaz

Colombia in the News
Archive: 8/03-12/04

The Narco-Terrorist Who Came in From the Cold  12/29/2004 Narco News: "On December 11, Stewart Tuttle, head of the Political Affairs division of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota looked on as Salvatore Mancuso, commander of Colombia’s largest and most brutal network of right-wing death squads, ceremonially surrendered his Berretta to Colombian Peace Commissioner Carlos Luis Restrepo. But Tuttle and his superiors were strangely silent a week later when the government of President Alvaro Uribe announced that it would not extradite Mancuso to the U.S. to face cocaine trafficking and money laundering charges as long as the death squad leader agreed to “cease all illegal activities” and encourage other paramilitaries to take part in the government’s demobilization process."

Colombian cocaine suspect in Cuba, out of U.S. reach  12/27/2004 Miami Herald: "Even as Colombia extradites a record number of drug traffickers to the United States, one reputed capo is eluding capture and extradition in an unusual way: He is being held in Cuba on a charge of using a false passport. Havana has been slow to move on the charge against Hernando Gómez, and Colombian authorities say they have no news on their request for is extradition to Bogotá to face charges here. Now, some of Gómez's associates have told The Herald that they suspect that Gómez may have bribed his way into an extended stay in Cuba so he could avoid a Colombian prison and later possible extradition to the United States."

Protecting people or profit?  12/14/2004 BBC: "America's privatised military machine is at the heart of the war on drugs in Colombia. Defence corporations hired by the US government enjoy extremely lucrative contracts, but who is responsible when something goes wrong?"

Rightist Bias in Wire Coverage of Colombia  12/1/2004 Counterpunch 

Colombia: Bush's Triumph Gladdens Uribe, Scares Others  11/5/2004 AntiWar: ""I am going to say something very frank: the hope is that the situation in the Middle East will become so complicated for the United States that it will not focus on the crisis in the Andean region, and in Colombia in particular," historian and political scientist Jaime Zuluaga, with the Institute of Political and International Studies (IEPRI) at the National University of Colombia, told IPS."

Indigenous Mobilization in Colombia - Speaking Truth to People, Not Power  10/3/2004 Counterpunch 

¡Ay San Pachito, Mi Amor! Colombia: la Fiesta de San Pacho  9/25/2004 CaribeNet: Colombia - "El Chocó manifiesta a través del San Pacho su sincretismo entre lo católico, los vástagos de las religiones africanas y la brujería."

San Pacho: cuarenta días de jolgorio y un día de reflexión  9/25/2004 Latino America Online: Colombia - "En medio de la selva chocoana y atravesada por el río Atrato está Quibdó; la capital del departamento del Chocó que en el mes de septiembre y en algunos días de octubre, se engalana para rendirle un homenaje a su patrono, San Francisco de Asis."

New super strain of coca plant stuns anti-drug officials  8/27/2004 Scotsman: "This is a very tall plant," said Colonel Diego Leon Caicedo of the anti-narcotics police. "It has a lot more leaves and a lighter colour than other varieties." A toxicologist, Camilo Uribe, who studied the coca, said: "The quality and percentage of hydrochloride from each leaf is much better, between 97 and 98 per cent. A normal plant does not get more than 25 per cent, meaning that more drugs and of a higher purity can be extracted."

Colombia's oil pipeline is paid for in blood and dollars  8/20/2004 Guardian: "Why has Arauca been singled out for "enhanced" security? One answer is oil. It is home to the Caño Limón oilfield, which accounts for 30% of Colombia's oil production. The oil is pumped to the Caribbean through a pipeline that has been a major target for guerrilla forces. Now a complex mosaic of armed groups - rightwing paramilitaries and the army, often working closely together, and leftwing guerrillas - struggle for control of the lucrative pipeline and cocaine routes."

Yes, Colombia's Uribe Is a Narco  8/20/2004 NarcoNews 

A Harsh Light On Associate 82  8/9/2004 Newsweek: "A Harsh Light On Associate 82 - A declassified Pentagon report claims Uribe once worked for Pablo Escobar"

Drug Czar Sees Little Colombia Cocaine Ebb  8/5/2004 Newsday: especially when President Uribe is a cartel member…

Once deemed a bad guy, Uribe is now a top ally  8/3/2004 Newsweek: "The declassified Defense Department intelligence report, dated September 1991, reads like a Who's Who of Colombia's cocaine trade. The list includes the Medellin cartel's kingpin, Pablo Escobar, and more than 100 other thugs, assassins, traffickers and shady lawyers in his alleged employ. Then there's entry 82: "Alvaro Uribe Velez—a Colombian politician and senator dedicated to collaboration with the Medellin cartel at high government levels. Uribe was linked to a business involved in narcotics activities in the U.S. ... Uribe has worked for the Medellin cartel and is a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar Gaviria." Escobar died in a 1993 police raid. Two years ago this week, Uribe became president of Colombia."

U.S. INTELLIGENCE LISTED COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT URIBE AMONG "IMPORTANT COLOMBIAN NARCO-TRAFFICKERS" IN 1991  8/2/2004 National Security Archives: "Then-Senator and now President Álvaro Uribe Vélez of Colombia was a "close personal friend of Pablo Escobar" who was "dedicated to collaboration with the Medellín [drug] cartel at high government levels," according to a 1991 intelligence report from U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials in Colombia. The document was posted today on the website of the National Security Archive, a non-governmental research group based at George Washington University. Uribe's inclusion on the list raises new questions about allegations that surfaced during Colombia's 2002 presidential campaign. Candidate Uribe bristled and abruptly terminated an interview in March 2002 when asked by Newsweek reporter Joseph Contreras about his alleged ties to Escobar and his associations with others involved in the drug trade. Uribe accused Contreras of trying to smear his reputation, saying that, "as a politician, I have been honorable and accountable." "

Colombia: Paramilitary Commanders Address Congress  7/29/2004 AntiWar.com: "Three senior paramilitary leaders wanted for mass killings of civilians and drug trafficking addressed a congressional hearing in Colombia Wednesday while protesters and supporters clashed outside. Although previous Colombian governments have stuck to the official position of considering members of the paramilitary militias criminals who should be brought to justice, right-wing President Alvaro Uribe is following a different strategy, engaging in negotiations with the main umbrella group. Salvatore Mancuso, Iván Roberto Duque and Ramón Isaza, three of the most wanted men in Colombia, spoke in Congress Wednesday in the midst of tight security, after receiving a safe-conduct pass."

Colombia: Paramilitary Commanders Address Congress  7/29/2004 AntiWar.com: "Three senior paramilitary leaders wanted for mass killings of civilians and drug trafficking addressed a congressional hearing in Colombia Wednesday while protesters and supporters clashed outside. Although previous Colombian governments have stuck to the official position of considering members of the paramilitary militias criminals who should be brought to justice, right-wing President Alvaro Uribe is following a different strategy, engaging in negotiations with the main umbrella group. Salvatore Mancuso, Iván Roberto Duque and Ramón Isaza, three of the most wanted men in Colombia, spoke in Congress Wednesday in the midst of tight security, after receiving a safe-conduct pass."

Ancient way of mining returns in machine age  7/13/2004 Miami Herald: "Tadó, where Pino lives, is one of the main gold and platinum mining towns in Colombia's Chocó province, which is wedged between the Andes and the Pacific. In its alluvial plains, which hold one of the highest densities of biodiversity on the planet, Afro-Colombian communities have been living off mining since Chocó was first populated with African slaves brought by the Spanish conquerors to extract the gold they found there."

PASC:Info evening on the Colombia Solidarity & Accompaniment Project  6/26/2004 CMAQ: "The Colombia Solidarity & Accompaniment Project (PASC, for its French acronym) is an independent organization based out of Montreal, Quebec which is working to create a network of direct solidarity with rural communities in civil resistance. As well as diffusing and sharing information about the human rights situation and social movements of the civilian population in Colombia, the PASC is putting the idea of direct solidarity into action by preparing and sending International Accompaniers to a group of villages directly affected by paramilitary repression. The physical presence of international accompaniers represents an important support for communities struggling for their rights as civilians living amidst an armed conflict… We will then focus on the Choco department and Afro-Colombian communities struggling against multinationals, paramilitaries and the State."

Plan puts Colombia on offensive  6/22/2004 CSM: "Though the Colombian government is quiet on the plan's details and cost, US assistance comes from the same resources used for the $3.2 billion antidrug effort called Plan Colombia, which began in 2000. With this new initiative, US officials are pushing for an increase in the four-year-old cap on troops and contractors that currently limits to 400 each the number of military and civilian personnel permitted in Colombia at any one time. The Bush administration wants to double the troop cap to 800 and raise the ceiling on civilian contractors to 600. In Congressional testimony last Thursday, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega called the existing caps "too restrictive" and said they were damaging the implementation of new and existing US-funded programs. The House Armed Services committee has raised the troop cap to 500, but that number could change when a vote goes before the full Congress."

Indigenous Group Along Colombia-Venezuelan Border Threatened by Tensions, Smuggling  6/18/2004 One World: "Growing tensions between the governments of Colombia and Venezuela, as well as the persistence of fighting between left-wing insurgents and Army-backed paramilitary groups within Colombia, are threatening the welfare of a hundreds of members of the Wayuu indigenous group, descendants of the Arawaks who dominated the southern Caribbean before the European conquest of the Americas. A massacre allegedly committed by right-wing paramilitaries in the Caribbean border town of Bahia Portete two months ago reportedly killed at least 12 Indians, although 30 more, including 20 children, remain unaccounted for, according to Massachusetts-based Cultural Survival… Paramilitaries, who have long profited from drug trafficking, were, according to some accounts, invited into the region several years ago by local mafia families precisely to assert control over the trade. According to one report in the Bogota newspaper, 'El Tiempo,' the massacre was carried out in retaliation against a group that included some Wayuu from the town who allegedly stole cocaine from the paramilitaries. Another account published by 'El Espectador,' depicted the massacre as part of an ongoing struggle between the paramilitaries and a group of Wayuu over control of the port itself."

Colombia: Death toll mounts from spate of bombings  5/24/2004 AP: "A bomb planted by suspected rebels exploded in a crowded discotheque in northwest Colombia, killing at least six people and wounding 82 -- the bloodiest in a series of attacks marking the 40th anniversary of Colombia's main rebel group."

Colombia: Riding Shotgun on a Pipeline  5/16/2004 LA Times 

Chiquita paid alleged terror groups - Banana producer says Colombian unit made protection payments to groups U.S. regards as terrorists.  5/11/2004 Reuters: the banana republic - "Chiquita ships bananas from plants in northern Colombia in areas with a heavy presence of the outlawed far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, which is responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in recent Colombian history. Known by its Spanish initials AUC, it has killed thousands of people, mainly peasants, for suspected links to Marxist rebels over the past few years. It also traffics cocaine, according to U.S. officials. Human rights groups say the AUC worked closely with the army in a push against rebels in the Uraba banana growing region in the 1990s."

‘Plan Colombia has been not an antidrugs plan but a counterinsurgency plan’  5/8/2004 Progreso Weekly: "Arauca is a key region for all the armed participants in the conflict because it is rich in crude oil and lies on the border on Venezuela. And it is vital not only for those participants but also for international companies and other governments that have economic and strategic interests in the zone, such as the United States and the U.S. company Occidental Petroleum, which owns the Caño Limón pipeline, the most important oil conduit in Arauca. Because many of the violations of human rights and international law are committed in the areas along the pipeline, it is very important for the Colombian government to restore order and security in Arauca."

Hitting them while they’re down: The difficult position of Afro-Colombians  4/29/2004 Progreso Weekly: "Colombia has progressive laws providing Afro-Colombians with rights and displaced persons with help, but these laws have no teeth. They suffer intimidation, massacres, supply blockades, and massive displacement caused by the armed actors, both paramilitaries on the right and guerrillas on the left. They are also affected by harsh U.S.-funded drug policies that spray herbicides on illegal coca crops, often mixed with food crops, and are provided relatively little in the way of alternative development assistance. And Afro-Colombian communities endure lower scores than their compatriots on all the human development indicators. The Afro-Colombian population is no small minority, representing around a quarter to a third of the country’s population[1]. There are about 10 million Afro-Colombians, 900,000 of which are displaced[2] – a number which represents a large percentage of all displaced Colombians. Noteworthy when you consider that Colombia suffers the largest internal refugee crisis after the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

The Afro-Colombians: Afrodes  4/29/2004 Zmag: published 7/01 - "Afrodes is the name of the organization of displaced Afro-Colombians. Although we didn't have enough time with them, we had the privilege of hearing from some of the most courageous and effective organizers in the hemisphere. They were incredibly generous with their time and energy, opening their office to talk to us at great personal risk."

African Colombian activist wins $125,000 Goldman Environmental Prize  4/28/2004 SF Bay View: by Willie Thompson "Libia Grueso Castleblanco, a 43-year-old African Colombia civil rights and environmental activist, was presented last week with the “Nobel Prize” for the environment: the 2004 Goldman Environmental Prize… The 16 million Colombians of African descent have never had title to the land their ancestors lived on for more than 400 years as maroons, enslaved and ex-enslaved people. Law 70, passed in 1991 with determined pressure of Libia and others, grants Afro-Colombians collective land title rights to their ancestral lands. However, title to very little land, if any, has actually been transferred to them so far."

Terror Case Against Irish Men Never Materialized The Colombia Three Acquitted  4/27/2004 Counterpunch: "Three Irish men arrested on leaving FARC territory in Colombia during august 2001 were acquitted of the most serious charge of providing training to FARC rebels yesterday in Bogotá. Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan were convicted on the less serious charge of traveling on false identification. For this charge they were sentenced to between 26 and 44 months each, though it is not yet clear whether the three will be released immediately having served that much time already since their capture."

The Women in Good Sheperd Prison - Colombia's Forgotten Prisoners  4/21/2004 Counterpunch 

''The Role of Drug Trafficking in Colombia's Internal Political Conflict''  4/20/2004 PINR: cites current estimate for FARC drug profits at $400 million (2000) but no current estimate for the cartel/paramilitaries, only $2 to $5 billion in the 80s.

Colombian paramilitary chief disappears after unconfirmed shooting  4/19/2004 AFP 

Afro-Colombians: 'Invisible' People Strive to Survive War, Racism  4/16/2004 NCM: "Ingrid Vaicius, a Colombia Project Associate at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., said the “invisibility” of Colombians of African descent stems from their staying to themselves on the Pacific Coast. And, she said, the Colombian government does not want to admit that its poorest and most marginalized citizens are Black. “The secret is out now because of so many Blacks being displaced from their farms and turning up in cities such as Bogotá, the Colombian capital. They have the worst education, and now they are at every stoplight begging and this is causing people to question why this is happening,” Ms. Vaicius explained… He and the other two activists also pointed out that U.S. foreign policy and militarization of the fight against drugs through “Plan Colombia” has displaced huge numbers of Blacks. “Plan Colombia,” started in 1999 under President Bill Clinton, was launched to stop cocaine production by supplying the Colombian government with helicopters and other aircraft to spray fields as well as military assistance. The U.S. gave $2.5 billion of aid. Critics say the operation has clearly caused more harm than good, with the brunt of Plan Colombia borne the backs of farmers. They complain that insecticides sprayed to kill coca plants often destroy food crops. Many also suspect the U.S. wants access to Colombia’s oil reserves and natural resources, like gold, silver and copper."

Afro-Colombians: 'Invisible' People Strive to Survive War, Racism  4/16/2004 NCM: "Ingrid Vaicius, a Colombia Project Associate at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., said the “invisibility” of Colombians of African descent stems from their staying to themselves on the Pacific Coast. And, she said, the Colombian government does not want to admit that its poorest and most marginalized citizens are Black. “The secret is out now because of so many Blacks being displaced from their farms and turning up in cities such as Bogotá, the Colombian capital. They have the worst education, and now they are at every stoplight begging and this is causing people to question why this is happening,” Ms. Vaicius explained… He and the other two activists also pointed out that U.S. foreign policy and militarization of the fight against drugs through “Plan Colombia” has displaced huge numbers of Blacks. “Plan Colombia,” started in 1999 under President Bill Clinton, was launched to stop cocaine production by supplying the Colombian government with helicopters and other aircraft to spray fields as well as military assistance. The U.S. gave $2.5 billion of aid. Critics say the operation has clearly caused more harm than good, with the brunt of Plan Colombia borne the backs of farmers. They complain that insecticides sprayed to kill coca plants often destroy food crops. Many also suspect the U.S. wants access to Colombia’s oil reserves and natural resources, like gold, silver and copper."

Afro-Colombians speak of surviving a war  4/12/2004 MundoAfroLatino 

Colombia rebels not in cards  3/29/2004 Washington Times: The biggest narcoterrorists are in the government and the paramilitaries…

Clashes in oilfields kill 17 soldiers and guerrillas  3/28/2004 ANNCOL 

Eleven killed in 'friendly-fire' attack in Colombia  3/21/2004 AP: "Soldiers searching for rebels in rural southwest Colombia accidentally ambushed a police unit yesterday, killing seven police officers and four civilian prisoners, police said."

Colombia: Old Domino's New Clothes Foreign Policy In Focus  3/18/2004 Defense in the National Interest: "There are moments in American foreign policy that run a déjà vu chill down one's spine. Just such a moment was the recent talk to a group of Cali businessmen by William Wood, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia. In his remarks, Wood endorsed efforts by the present government of President Alvaro Uribe to overturn that country's constitution to permit himself a second term. "The U.S. Constitution permits presidential re-elections," Wood argued, "that's why we don't see this proposal as anti-democratic." "

Colombian Police Capture Rebel Commander  3/17/2004 AP: "Police captured a top rebel commander who was allegedly recruiting youths to carry out suicide attacks against President Alvaro Uribe and other officials, Colombia's secret police chief said Wednesday."

Colombia, U.N Lock Horns Over Human Rights  3/10/2004 AP 

Union Leader Detained in Colombia  2/29/2004 Justice for Colombia: "At 8.30pm on February 18th trade union leader Luz Perly Cordoba was detained by the DAS secret police in Bogotá, Colombia, where she had been living for some time after receiving death threats from both the army and the paramilitaries in her home region of Arauca. It is believed that Luz, who is responsible for human rights for the Colombian agricultural workers’ trade union FENSUAGRO, is currently being held at the DAS headquarters in Bogotá and human rights groups fear for her safety… We urge you to write to or e-mail the relevant authorities in Colombia demanding that Luz and her colleagues be released and calling for an end to the ongoing attacks against the Colombian trade union movement. Addresses for Colombian officials and the UK Government minister responsible for relations with Colombia can be found on the “Take Action” page of our website where general pro-forma letters are also available."

US-Colombia Coca Eradication Called Destructive, Futile  2/28/2004 Antiwar 

Private U.S. Operatives on Risky Missions in Colombia  2/14/2004 NYT 

Colombia: La guerrilla destruye una base paramilitar en Simiti, sur del Bolivar  1/16/2004 Rebelion 

Colombian Rebel's Capture Was Result of Hunt Aided by U.S.  1/4/2004 NYT: "Colombian agents, working with American intelligence, tailed a top Colombian guerrilla commander for months before he was arrested Friday on a busy street in Quito, the capital of neighboring Ecuador, Colombian military authorities said today… Colombia's security services have become more adept in their war against the rebels thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in American military aid, training and, most recently, the sharing of intelligence information gleaned by American intelligence analysts. Although it was unclear today what role the Americans played in Mr. Palmera's capture, the minister of defense here, Jorge Uribe, called the American assistance "vital" in locating the guerrilla commander. The United States monitors radio signals and phone conversations and uses aircraft for surveillance of rebel-held regions. American troops have also trained a Colombian Special Forces unit whose sole purpose is capturing high-ranking rebel and paramilitary commanders. Many of those commanders are assumed to cross porous borders into Ecuador and Venezuela, where they are hard to track."

Colombia Arrests Senior Rebel Commander  1/3/2004 Reuters: "Simon Trinidad, a commander of the Marxist-inspired Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym as FARC, was captured late on Friday."

SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION COMPLETES MISSION TO COLOMBIA  1/3/2004 UN: "long and painful delay in the investigation of crimes coupled with many unsolved cases of murder of journalists, trade unionists and teachers that may never successfully be concluded – unfortunately this has fostered a culture of impunity creating intimidation and fear amongst the general public… Indigenous peoples, the Afro-Colombian minority and other ethnic groups still suffer discrimination, intolerance and social exclusion. Their right to express opinions and to be part of the decision-making process, especially on the land where they live, seems to have been neglected in spite of the adoption of specific laws in the past for their welfare."

Leftist Takes Over As Mayor of Bogota  1/1/2004 AP: "With a pledge to combat poverty, Luis Eduardo Garzon took the helm Thursday as the first leftist mayor of Colombia's capital. "We have never had the opportunity to govern," the former communist union organizer said in his inauguration speech in Bogota's Plaza Bolivar. "We have a responsibility to manage things well, and to be completely efficient." "

Colombian rebels attack village, killing at least 39 paramilitaries, one civilian  12/31/2003 AP 

Colombia's displaced caught in cross fire of war and racism  12/15/2003 CNN: "The last African slaves landed at Colombia's port of Cartagena 150 years ago. But long after abolition, their descendants are still not masters of their destiny. More than 50,000 refugees, almost all of them black, have left behind plots of land in the interior of Colombia and are now squatting on the outskirts of the former slave port… About 30 percent of the refugees are black or indigenous people although those groups make up 10 percent of the population overall, said Leila Lima, head of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Colombia."

Communities in resistance  12/9/2003 Latin America Press 

Campesinos e indígenas rompen con la Justicia oficial  12/4/2003 ANNCOL: "Nueve comunidades rurales anuncian su ruptura total con el sistema de justicia colombiano. Entre las comunidades, que a partir de ahora se niegan a colaborar con el actual sistema, se encuentra la comunidad indígena U'wa, las Asociaciones Campesina del Valle del Cimitarra y Arauca, y la organización “Proceso de Comunidades Negras”. "

Six Colombian police officers killed in suspected FARC rebel attack  12/1/2003 AFP 

New Colombian Military Chief's 'Slap' in US' Face  11/21/2003 AntiWar: "Troops commanded by Ospina were implicated in a particularly grisly massacre by paramilitary units in the province of Antioquia in 1997 in which 11 villagers were killed. The incident was never formally investigated. The general was named army commander by President Alvaro Uribe as part of a major cabinet and military reshuffle touched off earlier this month after his government fared unexpectedly poorly in regional elections."

STATEMENT OF DR. WILLIAM F. SCHULZ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA ON PROMOTION OF COLOMBIAN GENERAL OSPINA  11/19/2003 Amnesty USA: "General Ospina has a long history of working closely with paramilitary forces responsible for gruesome attacks on civilians. While commander of the Fourth Brigade in 1997 and 1998, troops under his command committed a series of massacres, executions, and torture. In 1997, his troops reportedly surrounded the village of El Aro and allowed paramilitary forces to round up villagers, terrorize, threaten and kill four of them. General Ospina was never suspended and no formal investigation was ever launched, though Colombian law and military regulations require such action to be taken when human rights violations are alleged."

Colombia military chief resigns  11/12/2003 BBC 

A call from family  10/29/2003 SF Bay View: "H., a current member of Afrodes, accompanied the African North American delegation through the Choco region where he is from. As we walked through the busy streets of the capital city of Quibdo, he told me his story. He has worked with Afrodes since 1993, I believe, and used to live about an hour or so down the river from Quibdo. There, he worked to secure land title for the earth historically inhabited by Afro-Colombians in the region. This was before 1996, when the FARC, who then controlled the region, didn’t like what he was doing and told him so. But they did not attempt to harm him. Circa 1996, paramilitaries took over the region. In about 1997, paramilitaries started threatening folks, and some of H.’s fellow organizers at Afrodes were killed. H. learned that he was on a list of people to be dealt with and decided to escape to Quibdo. But he discovered this was not far enough when he learned that the paramilitaries were still after him. So, he with other folks fled to Bogota, the capital of Colombia. He has lived there since, though not without risk. At one point, an attempt was made on his life. His friend Marino was shot in the leg."

Colombia’s New Age of Terror - Uribe Attacks Human Rights Groups as “Supporters of Terrorism”  10/15/2003 Narco News 

Letting Colombia's criminals off easy  10/4/2003 Daily Camera, CO 

U.S. Aid Worsens Poverty, Oppression  10/3/2003 Khilafah: "Later, four of us kept a rendezvous in Washington to bring Colombians' messages straight to the policy makers. In offices on Capitol Hill, the staff was courteous, but across town in Foggy Bottom, we met with a tightly knit foreign-service community at the State Department. When I tried to speak of Medellin and the attack on community leaders in Commune 3, the representative from the Office of the Displaced and Refugees, said sharply, 'Well, you know they were all FARC, don't you?' "

Latin Rebels Down Plane  10/2/2003 NYT: "BOGOTÁ, Colombia, Oct. 2 — National Liberation Army rebels took responsibility on Thursday for downing an American plane that was dusting clandestine coca plantations with herbicide. The plane crashed on Sept. 21, killing the Costa Rican pilot, Mario Álvarado. A State Department official in Washington acknowledged that the plane had been fired on. Early on Sept. 21, the rebels fired upon "a squadron of airplanes" and shot down an OV-10 Buffalo in the Catatumbo region in the northeast, according to the rebels' statement."

Hugo Chávez and the war in Colombia  10/1/2003 ANNCOL 

Colombian rebels seek 'solution' to kidnap of tourists  9/30/2003 Independent 

10 dead, 48 hurt in Colombia bomb attack  9/28/2003 AP 

Speakers to address U.S. policies on Colombia  9/23/2003 Lenawee Connection, MI: "The presentation will feature speakers Luz Marina Becerra, 29, who is secretary general of the Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians, or AFRODES, and Father Rafael Castillo, 45, who has nearly 20 years of experience working with communities affected by violence and poverty."

Colombians to discuss impact of foreign policy  9/23/2003 Western Herald, MI: "Castillo is a 45-year-old Afro-Colombian priest based in the city of Cartagena, where he works with communities affected by violence and poverty. Luz Marina Becerra is a 29-year-old Colombian woman from the province of Choco who was forced from her home five years ago. She is now the secretary general of one of the main organizations for displaced Afro-Colombians."

Uribe's Desperate Squeals - When Terrorists Talk of Human Rights  9/20/2003 Counterpunch 

''Counternarcotics, the 'War on Terror,' and South America''  9/16/2003 PINR 

Denuncian que Coca-Cola secuestra y tortura al hijo de un sindicalista  9/13/2003 ANNCOL: "Paramilitares bajaron de la bicicleta en que se movilizaba al niño de quince años David José Carranza Calle, lo subieron a la fuerza a una camioneta blanca, se lo llevaron y lo torturaron, preguntándole por el paradero de su padre, trabajador de Coca-Cola y dirigente nacional de Sinaltrainal, Limberto Carranza."

Fiction and Reality in Colombia - Terrorists, Their Friends and the Bogota Three  9/13/2003 Counterpunch 

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE IN A COLOMBIAN WAR ZONE  9/13/2003 WW3: "When I ask Gonzalez if he has any closing words for read ers in the United States, he immediately states that Washington must cut off aid to President Alvaro Uribe's government. "The government is the greatest perpetrator of violence in our communities," he says. When I point out that most of the violence in Vi lla Rica seems to come from ostensibly illegal criminal gangs and paramilitaries, he responds: "The paramilitary groups are funded by the same government. Everybody knows it." Before we get on the chiva back to Cali--before sundown, to avoid ga ng hold-ups--Gonzalez offers his final words: "Every dollar from the United States is one more death. They are cutting health, education, public services-- everything is going for the war. The United States government needs to reflect about what it is doing to our country." "

Afro-Colombian Leader Murdered  9/6/2003 AfroCubaWeb: "The Black Communities Process in Colombia ? PCN - denounces before the country and the world the assassination of JOSE LUCIANO CASTILLO ALEGRIA, respected Afro-Colombian leader from the coast of the Department of Nariño, by the 29th Front of the FARC-EP (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia-Army of the People)."

Rumsfeld Does Bogota Right Turns in South America?  8/23/2003 Counterpunch 

Colombian gun-running scandal links shady Israelis, Al-Qaeda  8/15/2003 Daily Star 

Car Bomb in Colombian Village Injures 17  8/1/2003 NYT 

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