Colombian Solidarity Collective formed

October 24, 2001


MELBOURNE — Latin American solidarity activists have agreed to establish a Colombian Solidarity Collective after hearing first-hand tales about the impact of the US-imposed Plan Colombia by two visiting human rights advocates.

Colombian lawyer Pedro Mahecha Avila, from the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers' Collective, and Jesus Gonzalez, representing the Colombia trade union association CUT, are visiting Australia to raise awareness of the gross human rights violations in their country.

They told an October 17 meeting that in the last 10 years more than 300,000 people have been killed, with an average of 10 political murders a day, all with total impunity. Some one million people are internally displaced because of political violence.

As a result of this state-run terror, the foremost resistance to such repression and to the government's neo-liberal economic agenda has come from the growing armed insurgencies waged by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army.

Both speakers raised the likelihood of increasing US military intervention in Colombia following the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington DC, now with "terrorism" along with "drugs" as the pretext.

Representatives of the Colombian Solidarity Collective, formed at the meeting, say the group will raise awareness in Australia and lend support to the popular struggle in Colombia.

For further details contact Juana on (03) 9455 1836 or Lucho on (03) 9481 2273.

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