Colombia

Colombia’s national teachers’ strike marked three weeks on June 1 as tens of thousands of education workers continue to pressure the government to respond to their demands for better working conditions, higher salaries and more investment in public education.

In the latest mass protest, about 300,000 teachers took to the streets on May 31 to call attention to education issues in major cities across the country, including Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla.

A rebellion has been raging in Buenaventura - Colombia’s largest port city - since May 16, when residents decided to embark on massive anti-government marches to demand an end to chronic state neglect and abandonment, corruption, crime and armed conflict.

The government’s inability to attend to protesters’ demands has only spurred an escalation of protests that has not shown signs of calming, even though the mayor’s office issued a decree declaring a curfew and a ban on public demonstrations.

The Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed, for the second time, a peace agreement on November 24 that aims to end the country’s 52-year armed conflict. It comes after a previous peace deal was narrowly rejected in a popular vote in October.

Demonstrators gathered on November 2 in the Colombian capital of Bogata and the US capital, Washington DC, to simultaneously protest outside the International Finance Corporation, the private lending arm of the World Bank, against the shares it holds in Canadian mining company Eco Oro Minerals Corp.

The company’s sole asset is a mining concession in one of Colombia’s high altitude wetlands, known as the paramos, which provides fresh water for millions of Colombians, the Center for International Environmental Law said in a statement.

Hundreds of thousands of Colombians marched in silence in cities across the country holding candles and torches on October 5 in support of a peace deal that only just lost a plebiscite on October 2, Morning Star said.

The huge marches came after the shock victory of the “No” vote in a plebiscite on whether to accept the peace deal negotiated between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).


Peace supporters react to the plebiscite result.

The "No" vote was won by a half of a percentage point in a Colombian plebiscite on October 2 on a peace deal between the government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which aims to end more than five decades of civil war.

At its 10th National Guerrilla Conference from September 17 to 23, 51 delegates representing various Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) factions across Colombia unanimously reaffirmed their support for the nation’s historic peace deal.

The deal negotiated between FARC representatives and the Colombian government is aimed at ending the more than 50 years of violence that has wracked the South American nation.

Photos of forcibly disappeared supporters of the Patriotic Union. Photo: EFE. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos acknowledged the state’s responsibility in the killing of thousands of members of a leftist political party three decades ago, TeleSUR English said on September 15. Santos pledged to prevent such assassinations again.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Ivan Marquez shake hands while Cuban President Raul Castro looks on. After the historic announcement on August 24 that negotiations have concluded in the Colombian peace process between the Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), here are the five key points that have been agreed on. *** 1. End of violence
Colombians in Bogota watch the announcement of the final peace deal in Havana, Cuba, August 24. A groundbreaking peace deal has been signed between the government and left-wing Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels. But while the more than 50-year-long war is finally over, difficult times still lay ahead to fully realise the promise of peace in the South American nation.

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