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Colombia in the News

"Colombia has 40 million people – 26 percent of them of African descent, mostly in the Pacific region. Since the period of slavery, we have shared that area with indigenous Native Americans."

For a basic understanding of Plan Columbia intiated with "Dollar Bill" Clinton and Uribe, see U.S. INTELLIGENCE LISTED COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT URIBE AMONG "IMPORTANT COLOMBIAN NARCO-TRAFFICKERS" IN 1991, National Security Archives, George Washington University

TERRORISMO RACIAL SOCIAL: GRIETAS EN ACUERDO DE PAZ  4/22/2021 Ofunshi: "En ese complejo escenario, más de 1,000 lideres sociales han sido asesinados, golpeando duro a las comunidades rurales, afrocolombianas e indígenas. Hoy, cada dos días se asesina un líder social, cada cinco días un excombatiente. En el 2020, se reportaron más de 75 masacres en numerosas áreas del país; y en el primer trimestre del año, en marzo 27 del 2021, en Corinto (Cauca) explotó un carro bomba, dejando a 43 personas heridas."

Biden Pushes Colombia to Restart Glyphosate Spraying Program  3/20/2021 Common Dreams: "But in 2015, the Colombian Supreme Court ruled that the spraying must end if the spraying of glyphosate was creating health problems. Also, in 2015, the World Health Organization found that glyphosate—also known as "Roundup"—was harmful to the environment and health, potentially causing cancer. In 2014, ending aerial fumigation was central to peace negotiations with FARC, with the Colombian government agreeing with FARC negotiators that it would transition away from aerial spraying. The Colombian government was also facing significant pressure from the rural poor, who were organizing national protests against aerial fumigation and other forms of forced eradication. "National level protests blocking access roads and inhibiting movement were a major hindrance to manual eradication's ability to operate in major coca-growing regions, and also bedeviled aerial eradication operations," the US State Department reported in 2014."

Ejecuciones extrajudiciales en Colombia: la perspectiva de un denunciante  3/18/2021 WOLA: "El sargento afrocolombiano Carlos Eduardo Mora de la Brigada Móvil No.15 de Colombia con sede en Ocaña identificó inconsistencias en las muertes en combate reportadas por miembros de su batallón en sus cifras de contrainsurgencia. En 2008, Mora denunció a sus compañeros por la ejecución de civiles, haciéndolos pasar por combatientes enemigos. Estas ejecuciones extrajudiciales se extendieron a lo largo del país y se dieron a conocer erróneamente como “falsos positivos”, luego de que se hiciera público el escandaloso asesinato de 19 jóvenes del barrio Soacha, al suroeste de Bogotá. Mora ha sufrido profundamente por su papel como denunciante y ha enfrentado múltiples tipos de represalias, incluyendo humillaciones públicas y amenazas de muerte. De hecho, su situación de seguridad llegó a ser tan crítica que en 2013 la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos emitió una resolución en la que urgía al Estado colombiano a garantizar la protección de Mora y su familia."

Territorio  3/13/2021 Comision de la Verdad: "En esta oportunidad se invitó a la lideresa social Francia Márquez a escribir un ensayo sobre el territorio como el espacio donde se ponen en práctica los saberes ancestrales de nuestra cultura; a la geógrafa Tatiana Acevedo, que aprovecha su texto para narrar la transformación de varias de nuestras ciudades, vistas particularmente desde las historias de algunos barrios de invasión; y al bailarín y coreógrafo Álvaro Restrepo, quien se vale del recuerdo de la historia de un niño cuyo cuerpo recorrió las calles y vivió la violencia para hablar sobre el cuerpo que habitamos, que es nuestra casa y es, también, un territorio físico, mental y espiritual."

TERRORISMO RACIAL SOCIAL: BUENAVENTURA EPICENTRO DE INEQUIDAD  3/2/2021 LaNuevaPrensa: "El pasado 16 de febrero del presente año, iniciamos una conversación con el joven rapero activista de los DDHH, Leonard Rentería y Gimena Sánchez, Directora para Los Andes y experta en los temas de Colombia, acera de las injusticias en el puerto mayoritariamente Afrodescendiente de Buenaventura en Colombia. Desgraciadamente, Colombia inició el 2021 con la peor ola de violencia junto a desplazamientos desde que se firmo la paz con las FARC. Buenaventura ha sido particularmente afectada por los combates y desplazamientos. La violencia provoco el asesinato de al menos 42 personas, otras 18 fueron desaparecidas y mas de 6,000 desplazados. En este segundo programa, nos preguntamos como es que este puerto le trae a Colombia unos 1-2 billones de dólares en impuestos aduanales y mas del 53% del comercio del país pasa por el puerto de Buenaventura."

Colombia: errática política exterior del aliado estratégico de Estados Unidos  2/17/2021 DW: "En Colombia se sigue matando a líderes sociales. Bogotá acusa de ello a “grupos criminales”. Para Washington, la causa radica en la “ineficaz implementación del Acuerdo de Paz”. Biden le pide explicaciones a Duque."

#SOSBuenaventura: Black Lives Matter in Colombia’s Largest Port City  2/11/2021 Diaspora Tribune: "Tired of the poverty and violence that plagues the communities of Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, activists in the region are calling for a civic strike in order to bring attention to the precarious situation the municipality has faced for decades. Close to 200,000 have been displaced from the region due to the violence, which has been exacerbated in the last few months. Over 30 families alone were displaced amidst a rain of bullets in the Juan 23 neighborhood of the city on the 3rd of February of 2021."

Communists Framed As Narcos By Colombian Intelligence  2/11/2021 Diaspora Tribune: "Colombia and the West have always attempted to scapegoat communist guerillas for narcotrafficking. Before the peace agreement of 2016, the Colombian government released reports attributing 60% of cocaine exports to FARC. However, if you look at this period of time and even at the present, you will find that banks and transnational corporations often dominate the market and profit the most off of narcotrafficking. The U.S. has been able to fund their numerous counterinsurgency programs throughout Colombia, and the rest of Latin America, through narcotrafficking. These counterinsurgency programs are directly responsible for much of the brutal violence witnessed at the hands of paramilitaries throughout Colombia. Many of Colombia’s highest-ranked military personnel, police officers and politicians, including Uribe, have known links to narcotrafficking."

El gobierno colombiano y los legisladores estadounidenses deben proteger las vidas de las personas negras en Buenaventura  2/6/2021 WOLA: "En enero, Buenaventura, la mayor ciudad portuaria de Colombia, registró un aumento del 200% en los homicidios, en comparación con el mismo periodo del año anterior. Los asesinatos se atribuyen a problemas profundamente arraigados: el abandono del Estado, el racismo sistémico y la falta de inversiones concertadas en las comunidades afrocolombianas."

Goldman Prize Recipient and Renowned Afro-Colombian Activist Francia Márquez to Vice President Kamala Harris: “Afro-Colombian and Indigenous people are tired of being in the midst of violent confrontations”  1/25/2021 Colombia Peace: "On January 22, Goldman Environmental Prize Recipient and renowned Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez published a statement to the newly sworn-in Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris. In powerful words echoing Afro-Colombian and Indigenous commitment to an inclusive peace in Colombia, the letter underscored how peace has yet to reach ethnic territories and “Afro-Colombian and Indigenous people are tired of being in the midst of violent confrontations”. Márquez expressed profound concerns about structural racism, the ongoing assassinations of community social leaders and former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the operations of illegal armed groups, environmental exploitation, militarized counternarcotic policies, police brutality, and an “indolent government” that has failed to respond to the countless recommendations it has received from ethnic communities."

Join the Story: Con Líderes Hay Paz  1/13/2021 WOLA: "In response and in partnership with social leaders in Colombia, WOLA is launching a digital advocacy campaign, Con Líderes Hay Paz. The campaign aims to protect Colombia’s activists who are building peace in Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities all over the country. In the last few months, WOLA has been working with social leaders—documenting their stories and boosting their voices—in order to raise awareness of the crisis Colombia faces today."

Únete a la historia: Con Líderes Hay Paz  1/13/2021 WOLA: "En asociación con líderes sociales en Colombia, WOLA está lanzando una campaña de promoción digital, Con Líderes Hay Paz. La campaña tiene como objetivo proteger a los activistas de Colombia que están construyendo la paz en las comunidades afrocolombianas e indígenas de todo el país. En los últimos meses, WOLA ha estado trabajando con líderes y lideresas sociales—documentando sus historias y amplificando sus voces—con el fin de crear conciencia sobre la crisis que enfrenta Colombia hoy."

Uribe’s Career Was Funded by Pablo Escobar, Report  12/28/2020 Diaspora Tribune: "Recently declassified documents from the U.S. State Department (linked at bottom of article) reveal that former Colombian president, Álvaro Uribe, received financial support from Pablo Escobar. Local media in Colombia confirm that the narcotrafficking Medellin cartel funded his campaigns for Senate. The papers also reveal that the far-right ex-president received several payments from Ochoa Vásquez, one of the infamous “Ochoa Brothers” and founding member of the Medellin Cartel. Additionally, the documents reveal that Uribe’s relationship with Escobar and the cartel originated as far back as 1991."

Documentos desclasificados en EEUU señalan que Uribe recibió financiamiento del cartel de Medellín  12/26/2020 Mazo Dando: "De acuerdo con los documentos desclasificados del Departamento de Estado, Uribe, quien gobernó en Colombia entre 2002 y 2010, recibió financiamiento "para sus campañas electorales al Senado por parte de la familia Ochoa Vásquez, miembro del cartel de Medellín". En esta información, amplificada este sábado por medios de prensa colombianos, se detalla que la relación de Uribe con el grupo del capo del narcotráfico Pablo Escobar data de 1993. Presuntamente, Escobar exigió a Uribe, a través de "Los Ochoa", que le ayudara a comunicarse con el entonces presidente César Gaviria (1990-1994) "a cambio del favor" de la financiación de su campaña, recalca el medio DW."

Commandos, Corona, and Climate Change: Colombian Neo-colonialism  12/24/2020 Hood Communist: "Native civilizations actually cultivated natural wonders like the Amazon Rainforest to ensure that all people could access food and medicine. This structure has been subject to deadly deforestation at the expense of the physical and spiritual health and wellbeing of Colonized native peoples. This year has also seen near-daily executions of revolutionary socialist leaders representing the interests of poor and working-class colonized peoples of Colombia."

How the U.S. Is Quietly Undermining Colombia's Fragile Peace Process  12/23/2020 In These Times: "The incoming Biden administration has the chance to change this legacy and support a lasting peace in Colombia by withdrawing DEA agents and U.S. military advisors from the country, supporting the implementation of the peace accords, and decriminalizing coca cultivation. Time will tell whether President elect Biden chooses a new direction or repeats the failures of the long history of U.S. intervention in Colombia."

Massacres and Killings of Social Leaders Impede Peace in Colombia: Second Alert  12/23/2020 WOLA: "On December 15, police officers in Cartagena, Bolívar department assaulted Kendrick Sampson—a Black U.S. actor and Black Lives Matter Activist. A video of the incident circulated through social media, which showed a uniformed officer harassing Kendrick, punching him in the face, and pulling a gun on him. The police officers then withheld Kendrick’s documents and detained him at a police station for several hours."

World Economic Forum Tabs Mass Murderers to Promote The Great Reset  12/22/2020 Orinoco Tribune: "Close US ally Duque has presided over this killing spree by Colombia’s paramilitary and military groups working in close conjunction. The US provided $330 million to Colombian police and military in 2020 alone, reported the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Over 2,500 military officials face charges including crimes against humanity before a Colombian war crimes tribunal, postponed by the pandemic."

¿Abuso policial en contra del actor Kendrick Sampson en Cartagena?  12/16/2020 El Espectador: "En un video quedó registrado el momento en el que un uniformado de la Policía le pega en la cara y saca su arma. La actriz Natalia Reyes denunció el hecho que catalogó como exceso de la fuerza policial. Desde la Policía Metropolitana de Cartagena aseguran que fue uso legitimo de la fuerza, luego de que el líder del movimiento Black Lives Matter se opusiera a un procedimiento de registro personal."

Insecure Star Kendrick Sampson Punched and Had Gun Pulled on Him by Colombian Police Officer  12/16/2020 People: "Sampson said that after eight hours of talking to the officers, he was able to leave and eat something before he found three of the captains waiting at his hotel to get his account. "I'm tired as f—," he said. "Hope this will be over soon. They are also asking me to confront and identify the officer tonight! I don't trust this s—.""

Kendrick Sampson punched by Cartagena police in viral video  12/16/2020 The Grio: "He also wrote his fans should hold the Biden administration accountable to a progressive agenda: “Remember WE won. Not Biden. US. They were elected. WE won. Don’t let them forget that. We are coming for what we are owed.”"

‘Insecure’ Actor Kendrick Sampson Punched by Cop in Colombia  12/16/2020 Variety: “Today this happened to him here in Cartagena and everything hurts, not only because he is a friend but because that is the day-to-day of many, because we got used to this and that is NOT okay, it’s not normal, the police have the right to ask for your ID but they don’t have the right to punch you, dig in your underwear (as happened before someone started filming) and pull a gun on a person who is not committing any crime or offering any resistance, taking him to a station, not wanting to return his ID and even trying to admonish him?” Reyes wrote."

Massacres and Killings of Social Leaders Impede Peace in Colombia  12/16/2020 WOLA: "In recent months, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) has received various requests for the protection of social leaders and ethnic minorities, as well as human rights cases requiring intervention. These have surpassed our staff’s ability to act on all of them in our usual, expeditious manner. As such, we are constrained to publishing alerts in a parceled manner. Below are the first set of cases we’ve received. We cannot stress enough that international actions are required to stop the human rights rollbacks occurring as a result of the inadequate implementation of the 2016 peace accord, especially the Ethnic Chapter; resistance to advance a humanitarian dialogue with the National Liberation Army (Ejército Nacional de Liberación, ELN) on the part of the Duque administration; and the lack of effective actions to prevent further massacres, killings, and abuses against social leaders, Afro-descendant and Indigenous peoples, and rural communities from taking place."

Afrocolombia : et Lucas Silva devint « Champeta Man »  12/4/2020 Pan African Music: "Épisode 2. Après son passage à Paris, Lucas Silva revient en Colombie et plonge dans les musiques des communautés afro. Ça tombe bien, un genre encore ignoré est en train d’exploser : la champeta. Il en deviendra l’un des plus ardents promoteurs."

L’Afrocolombia de Lucas Silva : Paris, Porte d’Afrique  11/26/2020 Pan African Music: "Si niveau Cumbia à l’époque il ne se passait pas grand-chose, j’ai en revanche découvert la champeta, grâce à des amis qui m’ont tout de suite dit que c’était une musique du ghetto, une musique de voyous, de bandits et de marginaux. La champeta, c’était alors surtout d’énormes malentendus pour ceux qui n’en avaient qu’une vague idée. Même les gens de la gauche bohème n’y comprenaient rien ! Tout le monde avait peur d’aller dans les sound-systems. Moi, il m’a suffi de rencontrer plusieurs chanteurs pour comprendre qu’il y avait là un sujet inexploré. Ils me parlaient d’artistes congolais en vogue à l’époque : Pepe Kalle et Empire Bakuba, Papa Wemba, Bopol Mansiamina, Nyboma, Dally Kimoko et bien d’autres. Je ne connaissais rien de tout ça et ça n’a pas manqué de les surprendre quand je leur ai dit que j’habitais Paris : car la plupart de ces musiciens habitaient la capitale française, et tous s’y produisaient régulièrement en concert."

URIBE INTERFIRIÓ EN LAS ELECCIONES DE ????. VIDEO MUY GRAVE!  11/10/2020 Beto Coral 

This Democrat Is Vying for a Powerful Foreign Affairs Role. His Ties To Right-Wing Groups in Colombia Could Haunt Him.  11/9/2020 In These Times: "But it is activists working with marginalized groups in Colombia, many of them Afro-Colombians themselves, who hold a special resentment toward Meeks — and fear of the Colombian figures he collaborated with to push through the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a ?“free trade” law passed in 2011, after years of tension between big business and a bloc of labor, environmental and rights organizations. Meeks distinguished himself not only by being one of the Democratic Party’s most gung-ho supporters of this deal, but by collaborating closely with conservative then-President of Colombia Álvaro Uribe, who oversaw surveillance, sabotage and extrajudicial executions of journalists, union leaders and Afro-Colombian rights defenders. Through his work with the Uribe government to pass the Colombia FTA, Meeks formed a relationship with politician Edgar Ulises Torres, who was later jailed for receiving money from Freddy Rendón (known as ?“el Alemán”) — the brutal leader of the Elmer Cárdenas Bloc of the far-right paramilitary group, United Self-Defenses of Colombia (AUC). Some activists who work with social movements in Colombia and have direct knowledge of these Colombian para-politicians were reluctant to speak freely over concerns that they would endanger their own lives or the lives of their associates."

A Guide to Champeta Mainstay Palenque Records  10/29/2020 BandCamp: "To investigate champeta’s origins, Silva traveled to San Basilio de Palenque, a small village in the foothills of the Montes de Maria. Palenque, from which Silva’s record label took its name, holds an invaluable place in Latin America as the first town established by enslaved Africans who fought their way out of Cartagena. In Palenque, Silva met with the musicians of Sexteto Tabalá, a local group of farmers who mixed Palenquero (a language combining African Bantu, Spanish, and Portuguese words) and son Cubano (a Cuban style of music made up of both Spanish and African rhythms.) Despite having no experience in recording or producing, Silva felt compelled to record Sexteto Tabalá. Until that point, the group had only performed for the people in their community. “I wasn’t a music producer, I was just an avid record collector and documentary filmmaker,” recalls Silva. “But I thought if no one was doing this job, I should.” Later on, Silva would record another group from Palenque, the women of Las Alegres Ambulancias, who performed during the funeral traditions of the local religion known as Lumbalú."

Atentado contra senador indígena colombiano destaca la necesidad de implementar el capítulo étnico  10/29/2020 WOLA: "La negativa del gobierno de Duque a avanzar en aspectos clave del acuerdo de paz, diseñado para desmantelar los grupos armados ilegales y proteger los derechos de los líderes sociales y de las minorías étnicas, está generando una crisis para las comunidades indígenas y otras comunidades que experimentan tasas de violencia sin precedentes. La Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca (ACIN) informó en septiembre que en 2020, sólo en el departamento del Cauca, 47 personas indígenas han sido asesinadas. La organización colombiana INDEPAZ informó en octubre que el país ha experimentado 68 masacres en lo que va de año, de las cuales nueve han tenido lugar en el Cauca. “Si esto puede sucederle a alguien que es senador y Duque responde con un tímido pronunciamiento, entonces las personas indígenas comunes no pueden esperar que el gobierno impida que nos maten”, señaló una líderesa indígena a WOLA. “La militarización no abordará la crisis de seguridad a la que se enfrentan los indígenas, sólo poniendo en marcha el acuerdo de paz y el Capítulo Étnico lo hará”, añadió."

Is Colombia’s aviation agency trafficking for Sinaloa Cartel this time?  10/22/2020 Colombia Reports: "The trial against “El Chapo” additionally revealed how Uribe’s in-laws, the Cifuentes family, worked with the Mexican cartel since the 1990’s to secure drug trafficking routes while creating countless money laundering rackets in Colombia. The discovery of drug trafficking labs on the estate of the family of former Aerocivil director Fernando Sanclemente increases concern that the agency is being used for drug trafficking."

El vivir sabroso amenazado: el estatus de los derechos collectivos de las comunidades afrocolombianas  10/15/2020 WOLA: "El 27 de agosto de 2020 se cumplió el 27º aniversario de una de las leyes más importantes de Colombia que protege los derechos de los afrocolombianos, la Ley 70. Tras la nueva constitución política de Colombia de 1991, la Ley 70 reconoció los derechos colectivos e individuales de los afrodescendientes, allanando el camino para su pleno reconocimiento y protegiendo sus territorios colectivos ancestrales. Si bien esta legislación ayudó a algunas comunidades afrocolombianas a formalizar los títulos colectivos de propiedad de la tierra, gran parte de esta ley ha quedado en el papel en lugar de ser llevada a la realidad. En este contexto, los afrocolombianos lucharon por muchos otros mecanismos, incluidas las sentencias de la Corte Constitucional y el Capítulo Étnico del acuerdo de paz de 2016, para reforzar, actualizar y consolidar los reconocimientos iniciales, ganados con tanto esfuerzo, incorporados en la Ley 70."

US & allies ignore Colombia political assassinations  9/23/2020 Gray Zone: "Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with human rights lawyer Santiago Salinas Miranda about a wave of massacres and political assassinations sweeping Colombia."

A versión libre Luigi Echeverri por presunta financiación irregular de campaña Duque  9/7/2020 BluRadio: "En la indagación preliminar que adelanta el Consejo Nacional Electoral contra el presidente de la República por presunta vulneración de las normas electorales sobre financiación de campañas políticas en 2018, el órgano electoral le solicitó a la Fiscalía General de la Nación que certifique si han existido, o existen en la actualidad, investigaciones en contra de alguna de las personas naturales o jurídicas que realizaron aportes o donaciones a la campaña Duque presidente, relacionadas con la financiación, pertenencia o promoción de grupos armados ilegales, narcotráfico, delitos contra la administración pública, contra los mecanismos de participación democrática o de lesa humanidad."

Reitera gobierno de Venezuela acusación contra Iván Duque por actos violentos  9/6/2020 Hoy: "“Rayder Russo Márquez, uno de los capturados en Colombia y presentado como aliado del gobierno venezolano, proporcionó la logística, drones y explosivos para el magnicidio en grado de frustración del 4 de agosto de 2018 y se residencia en Colombia sin ningún tipo de problemas. Todos los testimonios son parte de lo mostrado por nosotros de estos traidores y narcotraficantes, lo hemos denunciado públicamente y hemos enviado a Colombia e Interpol para que esas personas sean investigadas”, explicó."

The resurrected Medellin Cartel has the US government by the balls  9/4/2020 Colombia Reports: "The AGC controls the Pacific coast and, together with their rivals “Los Caparrapos” many of the domestic routes with a little help of the National Army’s 7th Division. La Oficina focuses on the business side, laundering the traffickers’ money in Medellin and Bogota, just in case Washington DC stops chasing ghosts in Venezuela."

Declassified US State Department Cables: “Uribe Almost Certainly Had Dealings With The Paramilitaries”  9/2/2020 Finance Colombia: "But a collection of declassified State Department documents published by the National Security Archive in 2018 (and also featured in the New York Times) show that for years U.S. diplomats harbored serious concerns about Uribe’s links to the narcos—listing him, for example, on a cable identifying suspected Colombian “Narcopols.” In another case, an Uribe ally told the Embassy that the notorious Ochoa Vásquez brothers, co-founders of the Medellín Cartel, had “financed” Uribe’s Senate campaign. In another cable, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Morris Busby, who coordinated U.S. efforts to help Colombia take down Pablo Escobar, said he believed there was “substance to the rumors” that Uribe and other politicians had ties to narcotics interests."

US cables: Colombia’s ex-president suspected of militia ties  8/31/2020 AP: "“Uribe almost certainly had dealings with the paramilitaries (AUC) while governor of Antioquia,” Peter Rodman, then a top Pentagon deputy, wrote Bush-era Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a confidential 2004 dispatch. “It goes with the job.” The missive adds to suspicions – which Uribe has vehemently denied — that the man credited with turning the tide in Colombia’s long war with Marxist combatants himself engaged with violent actors while leading the province that includes Medellin in the 1990s. The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known by their Spanish acronym AUC, were declared a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2001."

Uribe ‘almost certainly’ dealt with paramilitaries: 2004 US cable  8/31/2020 Colombia Reports: "Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was told in 2004 that Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe “almost certainly” had ties to paramilitaries and that a memo on ties to Pablo Escobar was real, according to the National Security Archive. Despite the fact that the AUC was considered a foreign terrorist organization at the time, President George W Bush awarded the former Medellin Cartel associate a Medal of Freedom in 2009 for “confronting terrorism.”"

Colombia’s Supreme Court receives ‘proof’ Uribe was involved in massacres  8/26/2020 Colombia Reports: "The Supreme Court is additionally investigating if Uribe was involved in the 1998 assassination of human rights defender Jesus Maria Valle, who warned the former president of the impending massacres and was assassinated shortly after Uribe left office. The war crimes tribunal is additionally investigating the Hidroituango hydro-electric dam project on suspicion that the paramilitary groups in the region where sowing terror to save Medellin energy company money in buying up land from local farmers."

The Tragic Assassination of Colombia’s Sports Hero Patrón, Lover of Football and his Afro-Colombian Community  8/23/2020 Orinoco Tribune: "On August 11, Patrón went into the hills to chop wood with about two dozen other people from his community. In that region, one of his friends told us, “there is a custom to cut wood at certain times of the year; the wood is cut and sawed and then brought down the Baudó River to Puerto Meluk or Puerto Pizarro.” On that day, Patrón and the others were confronted by armed members of the paramilitary groups that terrorized the area. The armed men interrogated Patrón and his friends, and then released them all except Patrón. “Minutes later,” Patrón’s friend told us, the group Patrón had been with “heard shots, and they knew that they [the men] had assassinated Patrón. They waited for the assassins to leave, went back, and found him dead with his face in the earth.” Patrón’s body was brought back to his community in Alto Baudó, where it was washed and dressed in white sheets; rituals of burial rooted in Afro-Colombian traditions were then performed. When his mother, sisters, cousins, and son tried to come for the ceremony, they were prevented by the same paramilitary groups (who did this within sight of the army and the police). Eventually, only his mother, his son, and one sister were able to get through to attend the ceremony."

Denuncian que militares sabían de menores en campamento bombardeado  8/20/2020 Semana, Colombia: "Se ha comenzado a saber la verdad de uno de los operativos del Ejército más cuestionado en tiempos recientes. Un informe secreto de inteligencia revela que los militares sabían que había niños en el campamento de un GAO residual que fue bombardeado en Caquetá el 29 de agosto de 2019, donde fue abatido alias Gildardo Cucho. En esa operación, también murieron ocho niños."

Colombia: Seek Ex-Paramilitary Commander’s Extradition  8/15/2020 Human Rights Watch 

MASACRE DE LLANO VERDE: RACISMO Y SEGREGACIÓN EN CALI  8/14/2020 Pares: "El caso de la masacre de los jóvenes de Llano Verde en un contexto de racismo estructural previamente descrito, también nos lleva a reflexionar en las manifestaciones subjetivas del racismo expresadas en la indolencia, el desprecio y la desvalorización de las vidas de los/as niños/as y jóvenes negros/as del oriente por parte de la policía (principales sospechosos hasta ahora) y las instituciones del Estado en todos sus niveles, las cuales históricamente no han logrado garantizar el goce efectivo de derechos de la población negra, empezando por el derecho fundamental a la vida."

Duque cree imprescindible extraditar a Saab a EE.UU. para comprometer a Maduro con narcos  8/10/2020 Telam: "Para el mandatario colombiano "es fundamental" la extradición a Estados Unidos del abogado y empresario colombiano detenido en Cabo Verde y señalado como testaferro de Nicolás Maduro."

Solicitan audios de Álvaro Uribe sobre campaña de Uribe  8/9/2020 Diario de Huila: ""La Directora del partido Centro Democra´tico, Nubia Stella Marti´nez en audio, con Mari´a Claudia “cayita” Daza, interceptadas por orden del Honorable Magistrado de la Sala de Instruccio´n de la Corte Suprema, Dr. Misael Rodri´guez, en medio de la investigacio´n que adelanta ese alto tribunal contra el Ex Presidente de la Repu´blica y hoy Senador A´lvaro Uribe Ve´lez por Presunta Manipulación de Testigos", señala uno de los apartes del documento del CNE. El CNE le solicita a la Sociedad de Activos Especiales que certifique si tiene en la actualidad bienes que fueron propiedad del ganadero Jose 'Ñeñe' Hernández quien estaba siendo investigado por presuntas relaciones con el narcotráfico."

The crisis that could follow if Colombia’s Supreme Court jails Uribe  8/4/2020 Colombia Reports: "If Colombia’s Supreme Court decides to jail former President Alvaro Uribe, the government of President Ivan Duque is likely to enter a crisis while the ruling party implodes. Duque’s party, the Democratic Center, is referred to as “the Uribistas” for a reason; they are loyal only to Uribe and expect the same from the president. Within the government, the president is surrounded by Uribe’s most loyal underbosses, who have been able to make sure Duque doesn’t get the wrong idea he’s the boss."

El Congreso estadounidense debe preocuparse por el desmantelamiento de la paz en Colombia  7/31/2020 WOLA: "Los líderes sociales están presionando para que se establezcan programas voluntarios de sustitución de cultivos ilícitos en las regiones controladas por los traficantes de cocaína. Están buscando que se respeten los derechos de tierra, laborales y ambientales en comunidades donde operan industrias extractivas como la minería. Están encontrando justicia para los millones de abusos de los derechos humanos cometidos durante los 52 años de conflicto en Colombia. Cada día, su trabajo desafía directamente el poder de los intereses violentos en Colombia."

Colombia: Duque Rejects Cuban Aid Amidst Pandemic Hardening  7/28/2020 teleSUR: "On July 26, Medellin mayor Daniel Quintero requested from the Cuban ambassador to Colombia Jose Luis Ponce, assistance from Cuban doctors to assist the city’s COVID-19 patients. Colombia’s President Ivan Duque Monday rejected Cuban Medical aid to face COVID-19's impact after local authorities requested the island doctor’s assistance."

La extraña muerte de un voluntario internacional  7/20/2020 El Espectador: "Las circunstancias que rodean el fallecimiento de Mario, un hombre que ha trabajado por los derechos humanos en diferentes lugares del mundo, pero más que todo en Colombia, hacen que todo sea más insoportable, más absurdo. Porque Mario se había quedado en Colombia para ayudar y apoyar a la paz que muchos colombianos anhelan. Después de acompañar a defensores de derechos humanos durante más de dos años, asumió la tarea de ayudar como voluntario en la Misión de Verificación de la ONU para la implementación del acuerdo de paz entre las FARC y el Gobierno colombiano."

Cifras del Dane revelan que poblaciones étnicas son más discriminadas  7/18/2020 La Opinion: "Respecto de los asesinatos selectivos, el 33,8 % de los encuestados que se reconocen como negros, mulatos, afrocolombianos o afrodescendientes manifestaron que su comunidad se vio enfrentada al surgimiento de este riesgo. Paralelamente, el 17,9 % de quienes no se reconocieron como afrodescendientes, se vieron enfrentados a lo mismo."

How Colombia’s former president helped kick-start the Medellin Cartel  6/29/2020 Colombia Reports: "Before that, the Uribe family was already close to the Ochoa crime family, which helped late drug lord Pablo Escobar form the cartel, the former President told newspaper El Tiempo in 2002. But it was during 1978 and 1982, the year that Uribe left civil aviation agency Aerocivil, that the drug trade of Escobar and his partners really started making money, according to late Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara, who was murdered by cartel assassins in 1984."

The narco history of Colombia’s security forces | Part 2: Medellin  6/26/2020 Colombia Reports: "Escobar’s cartel days were counted though as the local elite, the police and the 4th Brigade took sides with one of Galeano’s enforcers, “Don Berna,” who turned the cartel’s local enforcer army into what is now known as the Oficina de Envigado. The legendary drug lord was dead in 18 months and Berna became the new best friend of the local elite and security forces, and a founding member of paramilitary group AUC. Their extreme violence triggered the US to put the AUC on its list of terrorism organizations in 2001. Fortunately for the Medellin mafia, the AUC terrorized Colombia to vote Uribe president, allowing Berna and La Oficina to run Medellin together with then-4th Brigade commander General Mario Montoya and the local Police."

IV jornada de pensamiento social Latinoamericano  6/19/2020 Egresados Sociología U-Externado: Lanzamiento grabado del libro de Agustin Lao-Montes, "Contrapunteos diaspóricos, cartografías políticas de nuestra Afroamérica"

“Odio a esos hijueput*s indígenas” Ministro colombiano olvida apagar micrófono en Zoom  5/22/2020 Libertad Digital: "Luego de que finalizara una reunión virtual entre indígenas del Cauca y funcionares del MinTIC y del MinInterior, la grabación quedó encendida con micrófonos abiertos y se escucharon las opiniones del funcionario. Revelan audio de Ministro del interior insultando a indígenas caucanos. Una grabación muy delicada han hecho circular los indígenas del Cauca en redes sociales, en donde de manera descarada y ruin, funcionarios hablan y despotrican de ellos. En la grabación, en donde se les quedaron abiertos los micrófonos, los funcionarios que deberían velar por la vida de los nativos, ofenden a diestra y siniestra."

Confessions of a Colombian extrajudicial killer commander  5/13/2020 Raw Story: "Thousands of combat dead were in reality civilians killed in cold blood. The public prosecutor has identified 2,248 of those, 60 percent of which were killed between 2006 and 2008, during the administration of Uribe, who is now a senator and who denies any responsibility."

Guardia Cimarrona, entre la pandemia y la violencia sin fin  5/5/2020 El Espectador: "En 106 de los 113 municipios donde la población afrocolombiana es mayor al 20 %, no hay unidades de cuidados intensivos. La Guardia hace controles para evitar la propagación del coronavirus."

Los ritmos de la resistencia en Tumaco  4/24/2020 El Espectador: "Entre el sonido de la marimba y los bombos se escucha un canto contundente que dice sin parar: “Esta es la voz de la resistencia, estamos luchando por nuestra existencia”. A través de la música afrocolombiana del Pacífico sur, Plu con Pla fusiona reggae, rap y hip-hop, para cantar en medio de una guerra sin precedentes, que lleva años cobrando la vida de cientos de personas en Tumaco, Nariño."

Día Internacional de la Eliminación de la Discriminación Racial  3/21/2020 AFRODES Colombia: "Durante siglos, el pueblo afrodescendiente ha sido víctima de la pandemia del racismo, acabemos con este virus y digamos NO a la discriminación racial." [Incluye a Madrazo Luna, del CIR Cuba]

Colombia’s finance minister tied to narco conspiracy to rig Duque’s 2018 election  3/19/2020 Colombia Reports: "Colombia’s finance minister has been linked to a Supreme Court investigation into former President Alvaro Uribe over a mafia conspiracy to rig the 2018 elections in favor of President Ivan Duque. Wiretaps have revealed that the late Jose Guillermo Hernandez, the alleged money launderer of drug trafficker Marquitos Figueroa, sought favors from Alberto Carrasquilla after he took office in 2018. Recently released wiretaps prove Hernandez did not just conspire to rig the elections, but maintained ties with the Uribe’s Democratic Center (CD) party and the Duque administration after the president had taken office."

‘Aguilas Negras’ put half of Colombia on their latest death threat  3/12/2020 Colombia Reports: "The “Aguilas Negras,” which appears to be tied to Colombia’s security forces, sent out a death threat to so many people it barely fits on one paper. The death threat again included Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez, victims organization and countless social leaders, and this time added the country’s ombudsman, all of whom allegedly are “camouflaged guerrillas and militia members doing counterintelligence” that seek to “destabilize and gain power.”"

Colombian Social Leaders at Great Risk in Chocó, Arauca, Cauca and Elsewhere  3/10/2020 WOLA: "On March 4, unknown individuals killed Afro-Colombian Arley Hernan Chala, the bodyguard of prominent human rights defender and Afro-Colombian leader Leyner Palacios Asprilla. Leyner currently serves as the secretary general for the Interethnic Commission for Truth in the Pacific Region (Comision Interétnica de la Verdad de la Region Pacifico, CIVP) and is an active member of the Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA) and Ethnic Commission. In our urgent action dated January 9, we urged U.S. policymakers and others to act to prevent harm from being done to ethnic leaders from the Bojayá region of Chocó Department in Colombia’s Pacific. We highlighted the deteriorating security situation faced by Leyner Palacios Asprilla (see below)."

Afro-Colombian bands keeping deep connection to African roots  3/4/2020 Face to Face Africa: "The airwaves in Palenque are filled with tunes from a sound system operator, whose shuffle includes Afro-punk, Congolese soukolous, reggae, champeta, folkloric hip-hop and then to more indigenous traditional drums and percussion, you name it."

Cita Uribe-Maduro: la versión de Piedad Córdoba sobre un frustrado intento  2/28/2020 Semana, Colombia: "Para Córdoba, en Venezuela no está pasando nada. “Guaidó no existe. No tiene ni cédula” y recalcó que Guaidó no es el líder de la oposición. “Allá hay una oposición que está trabajando, que está llegando a unos acuerdos con el Gobierno y no es precisamente él -dijo-. Hay que estar muy loco para creerse presidente de un país, cuando no tiene ni cédula. Creo que no tiene cerebro", expresó Córdoba."

Piedad Córdoba rompe su silencio. Es el puente entre Duque y Maduro  2/27/2020 Las 2 Orillas: "Estuve la semana pasada en Venezuela y tengo un agradecimiento muy grande con ellos por las liberaciones de secuestrados por las Farc. Es que prestaron los hoteles de Caracas, los mejores, para que llegaran los familiares de los secuestrados por ahí en el 2005 en la Venezuela de Chávez. Cuando lo retiran a él de la negociación yo seguí en la lucha y ellos me ayudaron. Hace poco estuve en Cuba analizando con intelectuales la realidad venezolana y la conclusión es que Venezuela es un país muy rico y lo que hay es una presión para recapturar lo que había antes de Chávez, claro que hay problemas pero no son tan graves como los quiere presentar. Tú vas allá y ya sientes el bloqueo fuerte, como en Cuba, pero igual todavía hay un gobierno que pensiona 4 millones de personas, vivienda gratis, el problema es que nunca le pararon bolas a la comunicación del exterior y esto generó más el caos que exilió a la gente, es que mira que la gente quiere regresar y hay que hablar con la canciller Claudia Blum para armar un plan regreso. Si les fastidia tanto a la gente el gobierno colombiano debería prestarse para que se devuelvan. La situación es muy difícil ya. Ayudemosle a que se devuelvan."

Politicians, Businesses in Deforestation Free-For-All in Guaviare, Colombia  2/21/2020 Insight Crime: "In addition, the TV program Zona Franca recently exposed accelerated deforestation in Guaviare related to illicit crops, palm oil plantations and extensive ranching in territories like the savanna La Fuga. It also revealed Guaviare has the second-highest rate of deforestation in Colombia. “What is happening is an illegal appropriation of the country’s uncultivated lands by individuals that have a lot of capital and are able to cut down 100 or 200 hectares of forest (at a time),” said Rodrigo Botero, an environmental expert that recently visited the zone. Despite 90 percent of the department being protected, the environmental institute Institute for Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales – IDEAM) reported a rise in deforestation of at least 23.071 hectares between 2015 and 2018 with no end in sight."

ChocQuibTown's Goyo Breaks Down Afro-Colombian Cultural References in 'Fresa' Music Video  2/19/2020 Billboard: "I know you were heavily involved in the artistic direction of the video, can you tell me about the Afro-Colombian cultural references in "Fresa"? It's super important for me to represent those cultures because it's what makes ChocQuibTown. We are part of the African diaspora. The music video displays the future of the African diaspora but without leaving the Latino part behind. That's why it looks like we recorded in a village that could either be in Nigeria or Colombia. Our music is also influenced by these cultures and that's why we mix urban beats with cumbia and other sounds."

Overview of Violence Against Social Leaders in Colombia  2/18/2020 Insight Crime 

Peace Accord Implementation from an Afro-Colombian Perspective  2/12/2020 WOLA: "The 2016 Peace Accord includes a hard-fought Ethnic Chapter with the aim of imbuing peace implementation with Afro-Colombian and indigenous considerations, grounding commitments of the accord in ethnic communities. However, out of the Chapter’s 13 stipulations, seven (54%) have not begun implementation, four (31%) have minimum implementation, and two (15%) have intermediate levels of implementation. The lack of political will from the Duque administration to implement the Ethnic Chapter is manifested in the lack of funding being allocated to the Ethnic Chapters verification entity, now unable to fulfill its duty. Afro-Colombian communities have seen the ground gained in representation through the Ethnic Chapter backslide, along with their population being slashed by 31% in the latest national census."

Piedad Cordoba Says Indigenous Tribe in Colombia Risks Extinction  2/3/2020 Radio Havana 

Colombia: 20 Social Leaders Killed in the First 20 days of 2020  1/28/2020 Resumen: "Colombia is not by chance the most dangerous country for indigenous and social leaders. The reality is that at least 20 social leaders were killed in the first 20 days of 2020 which is a clear indication that it is not coincidence but a pattern of purpose-designed by the policy of the US-backed Duque government."

La profesora que enfrentó a guerrilleros y paramilitares  1/22/2020 Justicia Rural: "Maria Inocencia fue abogada y docente sin estudiar dos carreras. Con sus fallos y lecciones salvó la vida de familiares y vecinos del pueblo. Se enfrentó a los guerrilleros y paramilitares que, al querer sancionar a alguien, visitaban la sede de la Junta de Acción Comunal y le preguntaban si debían asesinar o perdonar al «culpable». «¿Con qué autoridad moral les voy a decir que maten a una persona? ¿Qué estaba haciendo ese muchacho para que lo quieran matar?”, les preguntaba María Inocencia. Sin toga y sin martillo, la campesina pronunció sentencias en contra de la muerte."

Águilas Negras: el 'genérico' de las amenazas en Colombia  1/20/2020 El Tiempo, Colombia: "De ellos se supo por primera vez en Norte de Santander, en donde empezaron a circular panfletos con su firma. Desde entonces no han dejado de aparecer ese tipo de amenazas con la misma imagen, aunque no exista detrás de las mismas una organización criminal. Fuentes de la Policía señalan que esos panfletos se usan en muchas ocasiones por la delincuencia común como forma de presión a las personas que están siendo objeto de extorsión."

The people of Colombia are cracking up the walls of war and authoritarianism  1/18/2020 Alternet: "Paramilitary commander Salvatore Mancuso—who had the temerity to talk about the Chiquita banana corporation and who is apparently going to return to Colombia sometime soon—is just the best-known name. Many others have found that being a paramilitary leads to a considerably shortened lifespan. Uribe, mayor of Medellín and governor of Antioquia during the heyday of the cartels, is named in numerous official documents as being close to both the narcotraffickers and the paramilitaries. The evidence keeps coming, as courts, now trying Uribe’s brother, keep getting closer to the man himself."

Former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe linked to international drug trafficking through Sinaloa Cartel  1/16/2020 World Socialists: "According to the Air Cargo Lines security chief, between 2006-2008, while president, Uribe received large bribes from representatives of the Sinaloa Cartel in exchange for helping traffic 10,000 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico. As part of the deal, Uribe authorized the construction of a hangar on the grounds of a Bogotá airport to be used as a logistical hub for the operation, and instructed the country’s aviation authority to allow a privately owned Mexican DC8 aircraft to fly in and out of the country without first passing through customs. The cocaine exported was provided by the Colombian Paísa cartel, which was composed of ex-members of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC, or United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia), accurately described by Latin American crime research organization Insight Crime as “a coalition of right-wing death squads that used the [civil war] to camouflage their illicit economic activities [including] drug trafficking, displacement, kidnapping, and extortion.” The AUC paramilitary group has been exposed by Richard Maok as playing a key role in bringing Uribe to power in 2000."

Duque’s inaction to dismantle Colombia’s paramilitaries  1/10/2020 Colombia Reports: "Duque has been reluctant to formulate policies that would dismantle the paramilitary groups linked to his political and financial patrons, and the military."

URGENT ACTION UPDATE: COMMUNITIES IN BOYAJA, CHOCO (WESTERN COLOMBIA) THREATENED BY ARMED GROUPS  1/6/2020 Amnesty International: "Human Rights Defender Leyner Palacios has been vocal about the presence of these illegal armed groups in the territories of the communities of Bojayá. On December 31, 2019, 300 members of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia placed four communities of Bojayá under forced confinement. On January 3, 2020, the AGC threatened Leyner Palacios and gave him two hours to leave the territory of Bojayá or they would kill him. We urge the Colombian government to take immediate action to guarantee his protection."

The Slow Death of Colombia’s Peace Movement  12/30/2019 Atlantic: "Three years on, however, that peace process is faltering. Criminal gangs and drug traffickers have reemerged, fighting to control Colombia’s lucrative illegal-narcotics and mining industries, and targeting union organizers, indigenous leaders, environmentalists, and community activists—like Velasco—for speaking up and opposing their presence. According to Colombia’s Institute of Studies for Peace and Development, more than 700 community leaders were killed from the beginning of 2016 to June of this year. Most of those murders took place in regions that the FARC had controlled but abandoned when it disarmed."

Los rostros de la Colombia indígena  12/29/2019 Justicia Rural: "El diez de marzo, la carretera Panamericana, que comunica a Pasto con Cali y Popayán, amaneció bloqueada por cientos de indígenas y campesinos. Al principio se creyó que se trataba de una protesta pasajera. No fue así. Las manifestaciones duraron 27 días, durante los cuales los alimentos subieron de precio y la gasolina escaseó en las ciudades afectadas por el bloqueo. A comienzos de abril la ministra del Interior, Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, se sentó a escuchar a la Minga del Cauca, que exigía la defensa del territorio y que se cumplieran las solicitudes que le habían hecho al Gobierno. Finalmente, el 6 de abril se llegó a un acuerdo y los indígenas despejaron la carretera."

Roberto Payán sigue en medio del fuego cruzado  12/9/2019 Diario del Sur: "Sigue la situación de zozobra en el municipio de Roberto Payán ante los combates entre integrantes del frente Oliver Sinisterra que se tomó veredas del consejo comunitario Integración del Telembí, contra un nuevo grupo disidente de las Farc denominado el frente de guerra occidental Alfonso Cano... "No disparen somos civiles. Por favor no nos maten". Con estas palabras uno de los líderes trató de infructuosamente convencer a integrantes de las disidencias de las Farc para que se fueran de su territorio."

Piedad Córdoba: "me sentí utilizada, me puse la cachucha de las Farc y la embarré"  12/3/2019 Semana, Colombia: "La exsenadora Piedad Córdoba aseguró, en diálogo con Vicky en SEMANA, de la periodista Vicky Dávila, que durante su gestión para buscar la libertad de los secuestrados, algunos de los cuales llevaban más de una década en poder de las Farc, se sintió utilizada. "Me sentí utilizada y eso le ha dolido mucho a mis hijos, a mi familia. A mí no porque de todas maneras yo hice las cosas con mucha convicción y de manera muy ardiente. A veces pienso que no haría cosas que hice por la emocionalidad, pero traté de ser muy buena parlamentaria", aseguró la exsenadora."

Indigenous Colombians Escalate Fight to Rescue Ancestral Lands  12/1/2019 Truth Out: "The Nasa are one of 102 Indigenous peoples of Colombia who were pushed up into the mountains by European conquest in the 16th century, and later by massive sugarcane plantations. Since 2015, they have been carrying out direct actions in which they cut down cane fields, plant organic crops in their place, and allow the native vegetation to cover additional areas within the same reclaimed lands. They call this action “the liberation of Mother Earth,” an initiative that has cost them at least eight lives and approximately 600 evictions by Colombian state security forces trained by the U.S. Southern Command, according to people interviewed."

EL CRIMEN DEL DANE: EL GENOCIDIO ESTADÍSTICO DE LA GENTE NEGRA, AFROCOLOMBIANA, RAIZAL Y PALENQUERA EN COLOMBIA  11/15/2019 Renacientes: "El DANE acaba de hacer la publicación tardía de los datos censales (Censo de Población y Vivienda 2018), de la población negra, afrocolombiana, raizal y palenquera en la que de manera incomprensible desaparecen 1.3 millones de personas de nuestro pueblo. Como organizaciones plenamente relacionadas e informadas con las comunidades concluimos que se trata de un error institucional que se traduce en un genocidio estadístico."

Roundtable on Peace, Security, and Venezuelan Migration: The Current Situation Facing Displaced Afro-Colombians  10/30/2019 WOLA: "From October 30 to November 1, Howard University is hosting an event, titled “the International Conference on African/Diaspora Migrations, Displacements and Movements: Histories, Politics and Poetics” in observance of the U.N. Declaration of the Decade for the People of African Descent (2015-2024). The conference will host WOLA partners and experts who will discuss the situation facing internally displaced Afro-Colombians—who make up 30 percent of the 7.7 million internally displaced Colombians—in a roundtable event."

In Colombia’s historic town of San Basilio de Palenque, hip-hop is helping resurrect a local language in danger of dying out.  10/24/2019 BBC: "Rap folklórico palenquero represents the voice of the people, says Andris Padilla Julio, leader of the Colombian hip-hop group Kombilesa Mi. The crew rapidly switches between Spanish and another language – but it is not English, the international language of hip-hop. The other language is Palenquero, one of the two creole languages native to Colombia. There are 68 indigenous languages in the country, and many of them are under threat of going extinct from “pressure to assimilate” or Colombia’s long-running internal conflict with drug cartels and paramilitary forces. Palenquero traces its linguistic roots to the Bantu language family native to sub-Saharan Africa, and includes influence from several romance languages as well. It is centuries old, and hip-hop might help it survive further into the 21st Century."

Francia Márquez, la afrocolombiana más influyente del mundo  10/17/2019 Afroup: "De acuerdo con el medio británico,“una lideresa formidable de la comunidad afrocolombiana. Francia Márquez encabezó una marcha de mujeres de 10 días y 350 millas hacia la capital del país, para recuperar sus tierras ancestrales de los mineros ilegales de oro."

Disidencias matan a indígenas en Cauca por oponerse al narcotráfico  10/16/2019 El Tiempo: "Con el homicidio de Canas Velasco este fin de semana en zona rural de Toribío, norte del Cauca, son 36 los indígenas asesinados en lo corrido de este año en ese departamento –de acuerdo con cifras de la Fiscalía General–. Naciones Unidas señala que durante 2018 fueron asesinados 26 indígenas. Estos crímenes, que afectan en su gran mayoría a líderes o integrantes de la Guardia Indígena, han sido perpetrados por integrantes de las disidencias de las Farc, de según los resultados arrojados en medio de las investigaciones."

Will a Texas attorney’s alleged shakedown of drug lords reveal covert deals between the U.S. and Colombian narcos?  10/13/2019 Dallas Morning News: "When the secret recording made it into the hands of the feds, Balagia and Morgan were arrested for allegedly shaking down the Segura brothers and Ordonez. Morgan pleaded guilty and is in prison. And Balagia is going to trial Tuesday in North Texas. The prison video is a key bit of evidence against Balagia. The Austin attorney has been charged with money laundering for knowingly taking $1.5 million in drug money and obstruction of justice for interfering in cooperation negotiations between the Colombians and U.S. prosecutors. The Colombian drug traffickers are now fraud victims in the eyes of the U.S. government."

In partnership with the U.S., Colombia is on a solid path to stability and prosperity  9/26/2019 Miami Herald: by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart - "President Ivan Duque has continued this progress. Since his inauguration in August 2018, Colombia has eradicated 6,253 hectares — 15,450 acres — of coca fields a month, which is a more than 50 percent increase over the monthly rate during Colombia’s previous administration. Late last year, Colombia interdicted 457 metric tons of cocaine and coca base, which is about half of Colombia’s estimated total cocaine production."

Consulta previa es un derecho fundamental de los pueblos indígenas  9/18/2019 Radio Nacional de Colombia: "La Corte Constitucional resaltó que la consulta siempre se debe activar cuando se involucre la afectación directa de un grupo étnico, "dada la diversidad de estos grupos y su presencia a lo largo del territorio nacional, este derecho fundamental es objeto de reclamación permanente"."

Rastrojos  9/16/2019 Colombia Reports: "The “Rastrojos” is a drug trafficking organization that exports cocaine mainly from Colombia’s Pacific coast and to Venezuela. Unlike the majority of other major Colombian drug trafficking organizations, the Rastrojos is not formed from the demobilized paramilitary organization AUC, but has its origins in the now-extinct Norte del Valle cartel."

Violaciones a los Derechos Humanos en tiempos de Paz.  9/15/2019 Indepaz: "Sin embargo, luego de casi tres años de la firma del Acuerdo de Paz, hoy destacamos que en tiempos de implementación de dicho acuerdo, y pese a que el Estado colombiano pactó una serie de medidas para garantizar la implementación integral del mismo, hemos constatado la persistencia de la violencia sistemática en contra de líderes sociales, defensores de Derechos Humanos y ex guerrilleros de las FARC-EP en proceso de reincorporación a la vida civil, problemática que se hace extensiva a sus familiares, comunidades y organizaciones."

Episode 37: La reina del pelo bueno (The Queen of Good Hair)  9/12/2019 Duolingo: "All her life, Cirle Tatis Arzuza had been taught to think her curly hair was something to hide. But after years of harsh chemical treatments, Cirle learned to love her hair, and taught other women to do the same."

Cirle Pelo Bueno: una revolución desde la raíz  9/11/2019 Garbos: "Esta mujer tiene alas y agallas, una combinación de inteligencia, sensibilidad, temple y carisma que hace falta para «echarse a todo el mundo en un bolsillo», siempre para nobles propósitos. No solo hablo de su público objetivo, las mujeres de cualquier edad que compartimos la dicha de tener cabello afro. No. Pienso, por ejemplo, en una periodista de cabellos castaños y lacios que, tras la experiencia con Cirle en La Habana, se sumó a las muchas fans que ya tenía por estos lares."

The witnesses who will begin testifying in Uribe trial on September 3  8/19/2019 Colombia Reports: "Colombia’s Supreme Court will begin hearing witnesses in a criminal case against former President Alvaro Uribe on September 3. Among the 48 witnesses are 17 former members of paramilitary group AUC, some of whom have changed their testimony in the time the court was investigating witness tampering."

Cómo los planes de privatización de Joe Biden condenaron a Latinoamérica y desataron la crisis migratoria  8/12/2019 Grayzone: "En su campaña, Joe Biden se ha jactado de su papel en la transformación de Colombia y Centroamérica a través de ambiciosos programas económicos y de seguridad. Colombianos y hondureños le cuentan a The Grayzone sobre el daño que sus planes han perpetrado contra sus sociedades."

Rubio, Scott Urge President Trump to Certify Colombia's Commitment to Combating Illegal Drug Trade  8/5/2019 Marco Rubio: "U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) today sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to certify to Congress that Colombia is fully committed to working with the United States government on efforts to combat the illegal drug trade. The Florida Senators believe Colombia, as one of the most proactive nations countering narco-trafficking in the Western Hemisphere, should be certified as a major partner in the fight against illicit drugs In the letter, the Senators note that “[s]uccessive U.S. administrations have worked closely with Colombia’s elected leaders and security forces to build the capacity of the Colombian security forces, stem the flow of illicit trafficking, and interdict narcotics bound for the U.S.” " [All such leaders have been closely tied to narcotics traffickers.]

They Survived Colonization and War. But Venezuela’s Collapse Was Too Much.  7/30/2019 NYT: "Ms. Vangrieken, the 72-year-old leader in Parenstu, recalls the day when a group of Venezuelan Wayuu first came to her land with a small box containing the bones of their relatives. Under Wayuu tradition, two decades after a person dies, the family members return to the cemetery for what’s called the “second wake.” They break open the tomb, clean the bones and rebury them at a site they believe their ancestors came from. But the custom dictates something else as well: Relatives of the deceased may also claim the land where the remains are reburied and build homes nearby."

Mohamed Atta snorted coke; Seized Learjet came from same source as Barry Seal’s  7/27/2019 Daniel Hopsicker: "Though the Justice Department, through the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Orlando, declined to prosecute, the affidavits filed by DEA agents after the heroin trafficking arrests make clear their belief that the pilot of the plane, who worked directly for the Lear’s owner Wally Hilliard, was also involved and should have been charged along with the five Venezuelan and Colombian nationals who eventually pled guilty in the case, called “the largest-ever seizure of heroin in Central Florida” by the Orlando Sentinel."

Colombia: Two Police Officers Linked to 'Aguilas Negras' Arrested As Group Issues New Threats  6/1/2019 teleSUR: "The two officers, Deputy Commissioner Gerardo William Molano Galvis, who has served on the force for 26 years, and patrolman Enrique De Leon Rodriguez, are believed to have ties to the right-wing narco-paramilitary group. They will be charged with crimes they allegedly committed in 2008 and 2009. They were detained in the town of Puerto Wilches and will be tried in the capital of the department of Santander, Bucaramanga, the area from which the group originated."

For Afro-Colombians, the 2016 Peace Treaty Brought No Peace  5/23/2019 The Nation: "November 2016 should have marked a watershed moment in Colombia’s bloody history, as it is the date when the Colombian government signed a final peace accord with the FARC guerrilla group after more than half a century of war. And yet, since that date Colombia has become one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a human-rights worker. Between November 2016 and April 2019, 566 community leaders and human-rights defenders were murdered."

Attacks on Black Social Movements in Northern Cauca Continue  5/21/2019 ACSN: "Cesar Cerón was attacked after leaving a meeting on May 16. He is the Legal Representative of the Afro-Colombian Community Council of Meseta and currently running for mayor of the municipality of Suárez, Cauca. Over the course of the last ten years, Cerón has vehemently defended the rights of black, indigenous, and campesino communities confronting violence and displacement at the hands of paramilitaries and multinational corporations. Over the course of the last two years, he has faced extreme risks and been forced to leave the territory due to threats against his life."

Letter Demands Accountability for Attacks on Afro-Colombian Social Movements  5/15/2019 ACSN: "The 16 persons targeted were members of the Black Communities Process (Proceso de Comunidades Negras, PCN), the Association of Afro-Colombian Community Councils (ACONC), and the Association of Afro-descendant Women of Northern Cauca (ASOM) and the Mobilization of Afro descendant Women for the Care of Life and Ancestral Territories (Mobilizacion de Mujeres Afrodescendientes por el Cuidado de la Vida y los Territorios Ancestrales). Among those present were human rights activists Carlos Rosero, Francia Marquez, Clemencia Carabalí, Victor Hugo Mina, and Sofia Garzon, international accompaniers and two children. Two bodyguards from Colombia’s National Protection Unit (Unidad Nacional de Proteccion UNP) who responded during the assault were injured. All these leaders were instrumental in guaranteeing the inclusion of the Ethnic Chapter in the 2016 peace accord between the Colombian State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)."

No hay otra opción que resistir - No Choice But to Resist  5/15/2019 Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN): "Lideresas de Proceso de Comunidades Negras - Women leaders of Black Communities Process"

U.S. and Colombian Authorities Must Respond Strongly to Brazen Attack on Afro-Colombian Human Rights Groups  5/8/2019 WOLA: "The Colombian government’s overall lack of concern regarding the interests of and the threats to ethnic minorities was previously made evident in the aggressive reaction of authorities towards a national protest movement known as the “minga.” Indeed, since the Duque administration has taken office, there has been a significant rollback in supporting the rights of ethnic minorities and providing them with adequate protection."

Colombian Environmental Activist Woman Survives Armed Attack  5/7/2019 teleSUR: "Francia Marquez, a Colombian woman who was awarded the 2018 Goldman environmental prize, survived an attack with grenades and firearms on May 4 while she was attending a meeting held in Quilichao, a town at the South of Colombia, with the Association of Northern Cauca Community Councils (ACONC), the Association of Afro-Descendant Women (ASOM) and the Black Communities Process (PCN)."

Águilas Negras Threats Haunt Colombia  4/2/2019 Insight Crime: "The name Águilas Negras first emerged in 2006 after the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – AUC), a loose federation of right-wing paramilitary groups. The group’s leadership was ascribed to various former paramilitary commanders in the departments of Antioquia, Magdalena, Norte de Santander, and Bolivar. Among those who used its moniker included Daniel Rendon Herrera, who went on to found and lead the Urabeños, one of the main drug trafficking organizations in Colombia. Groups using the Águilas Negras name have appeared in at least 20 of Colombia’s 32 departments."

Sexteto Tabala - Ofelia Feat Leon Pardo /Cerrero Dub Mix  3/29/2019 Palenque Records 

Colombia: a Paramilitary State  3/18/2019 The Quiet Mancunian: "“My name is Adolfo,” he said, “born with pure German blood in 1946” "

Facing Wrongful Detention and Threats, Afro-Colombian Women Call for Justice  3/17/2019 Truth Out: "It was late February, and around 30 Afro-Colombian human rights defenders from around the country had gathered in the western Colombian city of Cali for a conference. They were taking stock of their efforts toward meaningful peace and security, and toward racial and gender justice in a country still experiencing violence despite being in a post-peace accord context. The conference was organized by the Black Communities’ Process (PCN), a national network that has advocated for protections and rights for Afro-descendant Colombians for more than 20 years, and my organization, MADRE, an international women’s rights organization."

US Diplomats From Venezuela to Continue Mission in DC, Other Locations - Envoy  3/16/2019 Sputnik Intrernational: "“The diplomatic staff from the embassy in Caracas arrived at Dulles airport just after 11 o’clock last night, and they will be meeting the Secretary at 2:30 this afternoon”, Abrams said. “They will, in essence, continue their mission from other locations, from the State Department, for the most part, to try to support the Venezuelan people as they struggle to return Venezuela to democracy”."

Aguilas Negras  2/25/2019 Colombia Reports: "The “Aguilas Negras” (Black Eagles) is a far-right group or collective that emerged in 2006 after the demobilization of paramilitary umbrella organization AUC. Of all illegal armed groups in Colombia, the Aguilas Negras is arguably the most mysterious, the most elusive and the most political. The group is not directly involved in drug trafficking, but has violently defended illegal gold mining and land theft operations." [Land theft nd illegal gold mining are ways of recycling drug profits.]

An Introduction to AFRODES: An Organization for Afro-Columbian Liberation  1/30/2019 Praxis Center: "At the Praxis Center, we occasionally feature profiles of organizations doing movement work across the globe. Erlendy Cuero Bravo and her colleagues Luz Marina Becerra and Paola Rivadeniera from AFRODES joined the Arcus Center family at the With/Out – ¿Borders? global gathering this year. We are very fortunate to have been able to establish a relationship with this Colombian afro-descendent activist group, and are happy to share a profile of their work below. This piece was translated from its original Spanish. "

Violence Displaces 700+ Indigenous, Afro-Colombians in Tumaco  1/26/2019 teleSUR: "The President of the Community Action Group of Aguas Claras, Maritza Ramirez Chaverra, was severely beaten up in Tumaco during the Jan. 14 attacks. She died in the hospital Thursday, after 10 days struggling to survive."

Maritza Quiroz, primera lideresa social asesinada en 2019  1/6/2019 El Espectador: "Maritza Quiroz, lideresa social en Santa Marta, fue asesinada el pasado 5 de enero en la vereda San Isidro en la Sierra Nevada. Los hechos fueron denunciados por su hijo Luis Camilo Bermudez Quiroz quien contó a las autoridades que la mujer fue asesinada en su residencia por varios sujetos que portaban armas de fuego."

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