Business owners in northwest Colombia are conspiring with death squads to assassinate social leaders and prevent the restitution of land that was stolen during Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict, according to several Colombian NGOs.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Candlelight vigils were held in Colombia and cities around world on July 6 to demand an end to the political violence that since January has cost the lives of more than 125 social leaders in the South American country.
Political violence against social activists has risen in recent years despite the signing of a peace accord between the government and the leftist guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). According to Colombia’s Ombudsman, more than 311 political murders have been registered since the accords were signed in November 2016.
Colombia’s authorities seem unable or uninterested in curbing the wholesale slaughter of the country’s social leaders that has occurred since a peace process came into force, with nine leaders being murdered in the last week of June alone.
The violence is threatening Colombia’s peace process that not only sought the demobilisation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but also the increased political inclusion of the left and minorities in general.
Amid several controversies in the voting process, Colombians went to the polls on March 11 to elect 166 legislators to the House of Representatives and 102 senators.
Colombia’s Revolutionary Alternative Force for the Commons (FARC) said on March 8 it was cancelling its presidential election bid.
Colombia’s National Police have announced an internal investigation days after the country’s leftist presidential candidate was attacked on his way to a campaign rally on March 2.
In November 2016, as the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) met in Bogota’s Colon Theatre to sign an agreement – for the second time – to bring the country’s long-running armed conflict to an end, it was clear that peace-building in Colombia faced a myriad of challenges and obstacles.
Colombian indigenous leader Aulio Isamara Forastero was assassinated on October 24, close to the Catru Dubaza Ancoso shelter, shortly after armed assassins reportedly forced him out of his home.
Forastero, from the Pacific province of Choco, is among more than 150 activists killed in Colombia since the beginning of the year.
Outraged by government failures to honour a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), rural communities across Colombia have initiated a “national strike” demanding widespread solutions to poverty, violence and drug trafficking.
The strike is the most far-reaching since 2013, when farmers took to the streets decrying abject poverty and negative economic effects of a free trade agreement with the United State
A leader of the community that lost seven members in an alleged police massacre has been assassinated in southwest Colombia, the regional government said on October 17.
Jose Jair Cortes was the spokesperson of the Alta Mira y Frontera community in Tumaco, Narino state, where anti-narcotics officials allegedly murdered seven people on October 5.