As Europe closes borders, Ecuador says 'no one is illegal'

Day care centre for Colombian refugees in Ecuador.

Governments across the world are erecting walls and tightening laws to keep refugees out, but one country is taking a radically different approach based on the simple premise that “no one is illegal”.

The Andean nation of Ecuador, with a population of 15.7 million people, is no stranger to the challenges of dealing with refugee crises.

Colombia: Land reform 'essential for peace'

Land reforms are essential to achieving a long-standing peace after half a century of conflict, said Colombian academic Alejandro Reyes on September 10 during a forum on agrarian issues in Bogota.

Venezuela-Colombia dispute grows as ambassadors recalled, more borders closed

Colombian right-wing paramilitaries.

Venezuela and Colombia recalled their ambassadors for consultations on August 26. The move came after a meeting between the two nations’ foreign ministers failed to calm diplomatic tensions over Venezuelan border closures and Colombian smuggling activities.

The recall was followed the next day by further border closures announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Colombia: Top generals implicated in 'false positive' killings

President Juan Manuel Santos and General Juan Pablo Rodriguez, one of the generals singled out by the report. Photo: Presidency of Colombia via TeleSUR.

Top generals in the Colombian army have been implicated in the long-running “false positives” military scandal, according to a new report Human Rights Watch (HRW) published on June 24.

Latin America briefs: Chile students; Colombia peace talks; Dominican Republic threat to Haitians; Guatemalan anti-gov't protests

Chilean teachers strike against education bill

Thousands of Chilean teachers took to the streets of Santiago once again on June‭ ‬17,‭ ‬TeleSUR English said that day‭‬.‭

The protest was part of the indefinite national strike to protest against an education reform bill proposed by the government of President Michelle Bachelet.‭ ‬There were marches in at least five other cities across the country.‭

FARC recommits to unilateral ceasefire

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will continue its unilateral cease-fire, as long as the Colombian armed forces suspends all military operations against it, TeleSUR English said on April 20.

FARC representatives made the commitment at peace talks in Havana with the Colombian state, which aim to end the decades-long civil war that has wracked the South American nation.

Briefs: Greece-Venezuela pledge cooperation, FARC extend ceasefire, Mexico teachers protest

Greece, Venezuela discuss cooperation

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has invited the newly-elected Greek prime minister to Caracas, TeleSUR English said on February 9.

“I have invited Alexis Tsipras, comrade Alexis, to visit us as soon as he can, here in Venezuela,” Maduro told Venezuelan public TV.

“He plans to come to Latin America. He mentioned all the pressures that he is under. Because of a savage, savage neoliberal system that has been applied in Greece.”

Tsipras expressed an interest in touring Latin America, starting with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Colombia: Right-wing groups threaten victims, undermine peace talks

Representatives of victims of Colombia's decades-long civil war, who are taking part in the peace talks in Cuba, issued a statement on November 2 requesting more protection from the Colombian government. They were responding to death threats and warnings from right-wing paramilitary groups.

The talks are taking place between the Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Venezuela: Thousands commemorate slain revolutionaries, Uribe banned from country

The Venezuelan National Assembly swore in grassroots leader Juan Contreras to assume the vacant post of the late deputy Robert Serra on October 7. Serra, a 27-year-old socialist deputy, was stabbed to death alongside his partner Maria Herrera in their Caracas home on October 1.

Legislators also voted to ban former right-wing Colombian president Alvaro Uribe from entering Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused Uribe of being linked to the killings.

Colombia: Right wins amid high abstention, disillusionment

With right-wing parties gaining footholds throughout the world, Colombia followed suit with the far-right party, Democratic Centre (CD) winning with a narrow lead in the first round of the presidential elections on May 25. CD won just under 30% of the vote.

The election presented Colombians with a five-party choice, ranging from the leftist Alternative Democratic Pole (Polo) with Clara Lopez to the CD's Oscar Ivan Zuluaga and his major rival, incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos from the Social Party of National Unity.

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