Colombia

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:01 pm

Seven Days of Protests in Colombia
JORGE MARTIN
DECEMBER 3, 2019
The situation in Colombia is advancing very rapidly after the national strike on November 21. What was a one-day strike became a permanent and daily protest that is already a week old. The protest did not stop, despite the curfew and militarization decreed in the capital Bogotá (and in Cali) by the reactionary Duque government. The death of the young Dilan Cruz, who was shot by a tear gas canister directly in the head by ESMAD (Mobile Anti-Riot Squadron) has shocked the country. In response, the National Strike Committee decided to call for a new national strike on November 27 and to include among its demands the dismantling of ESMAD.

The national strike was again massive, with large marches in all the major cities. Tens of thousands marched in Cali, Medellín, Bucaramanga, Cúcuta and in the capital Bogotá, where they filled the central Plaza Bolívar for hours, as well as in dozens of other cities in the country. After eight o’clock at night there were still 10,000 people in Bogotá on the streets at three different rallying points.

Leer español

We are witnessing the explosive irruption of the masses in politics. Comrade María J. Espinosa describes the mood in Bogotá:

These are not normal days. When you go down the street every conversation has to do with the situation in the country. Nobody cared that a ban on the sale of alcohol was decreed on Friday. The occasional beer was seen out there, but the end of the day is now usually used to discuss the events. Gradually and spontaneously there are initiatives to organize popular assemblies and that they become coordinated nationally.

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The national strike saw tens of thousands march in all the major cities across the entire country.

Although the neighborhood assemblies arose spontaneously from the movement itself, now the Strike Committee, composed of the main unions and organizations, has called for “the holding of union, communal, popular and neighborhood assemblies during the weekend throughout the country, to coordinate mobilization tasks.” A national meeting of strike committees and social organizations is also being called for December 7-8.

In reality, there is a very critical and distrustful environment towards these organizations, combined with the fear that the movement can be taken over and appropriated from above. For example, in the neighborhood assembly of November 26 in Teusaquillo, Bogotá, it was agreed that “national organizations do not necessarily represent the territories, nor the citizen movement that has been manifesting.” It was demanded that “the dialogue with the president must be broadcast live by national channels and/or by social networks via streaming, for the knowledge of all citizens” and finally “to turn the popular assemblies into cabildos abiertos [open councils].”

This is the same trend towards the emergence of forms of self-organization that we saw in the uprising in Ecuador last month and we have now seen in Chile.

Rage of the people
Police repression continues throughout the country. On Tuesday November 26, ESMAD entered the National University, shooting at close range and using armored vehicles against a peaceful student protest. On the same day in Medellin, an individual came out of a car and shot the protesters with a firearm. He was then arrested by the police who treated him very politely, as if they knew who he was. But the fact is that repression, which has not stopped the movement, reflects the weakness of the government.

President Duque has combined the carrot with calls for a “national conversation.” On November 26, he called the Strike Committee to a meeting at 7 in the morning, but when its members realized that this was an attempt by the government to involve them in its “conversation” rather than negotiate the Committee’s 13-point demands list, the Committee members walked out.

The Duque government, which was only elected as recently as June 2018 with 54 percent of the votes, has become extremely unpopular, with a disapproval rate of 69 percent. Even traditional fiefdoms of uribismo [the right-wing paramilitary movement around former president Uribe, of which Duque is a representative], such as Medellín, where Duque took 72 percent of the votes in the second round of the presidential elections have experienced mass demonstrations and cacerolazos (banging of pots and pans in protest).

The movement that has been unleashed in Colombia reflects the enormous discontent accumulated by the economic policies of successive right-wing governments, the killings of social leaders, the enormous inequality in society, the cuts in education, etc. According to the OECD, Colombia is the fourth most-unequal country in the world, and 1 percent of the population accounts for 20 percent of income.

The government may try to calm the movement by making some minor concessions. On the other hand, many in the movement demand an indefinite national strike to increase pressure against the government.

https://socialistrevolution.org/seven-d ... -colombia/

Google Translator

What of FARC?
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:52 pm

The draft of the project that would dissolve Esmad is ready

Dec 16, 2019 - 4:02 PM
-Political Writing ( politicaelespectador@gmail.com )
The initiative, which will take place in March 2020, would repeal the resolutions that gave life to this body of the Police and oblige territorial entities to regulate the guarantee of the development of the peaceful protest.

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In the specifications of the Committee of the Unemployment, the one concerning the dismantling of Esmad was compiled. AFP

After the opposition denounced senior officials of the National Police for attempted homicide to Dilan Cruz, as well as other crimes; I asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to investigate this case and the excesses of the Public Force during the national strike; and will advance two control debates when the authorities act in the recent demonstrations, there is already a draft bill that aims to dissolve the Mobile Riot Squadron, better known as Esmad.


Precisely, on Monday, Senator Antonio Sanguino, author of the project, held a public hearing to share the reasons why this special body of the Police should be dismantled and gather suggestions to nurture the project that will be filed in March 2020.

For context: Dismantle Esmad or not?

The initiative, for the moment, is made up of six articles that dictate the elimination and dismantling of Esmad; the repeal of the resolutions that created this specialized group and all those regulations that gave life to its operation; oblige regional and municipal authorities to guarantee peaceful protest and create mediating mechanisms between citizens and the Public Force; and clarifies that the use of police force only has a place in serious acts of public order alteration or in situations of internal commotion.


For the senator of the Green Alliance, the action of the mobile body has failed to fulfill its mission in that it considers, “the actions of Esmad over the last weeks show that its interventions are neither proportional nor preventive, but executed with the in order to provoke civilians and cause chaos. These are actions that do not guarantee the protection of human rights, but their violation through the physical, moral and emotional damage of protesters and non-protesters. Its procedures do not contribute to restoring the so-called 'public order', but to degrade and thin it. In sum, he has acted outside the law, violates fundamental rights and becomes a perpetrator that deepens the social conflict, ”is explained in the justification of the project.


And along with his analysis, he adds facts with which he ratifies, in his opinion, sufficient arguments for the elimination of this command. The parliamentarian collects a November 2018 report from the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation that reported 18 cases of fatalities in Bogotá in the past few years, including the 15-year-old Nicolás Neira, for the excessive use of force by Esmad .

In addition to the unfortunate deaths, there are cases of human rights violations, arbitrary detentions, harassment, threats and injuries caused by this specialized body.

And there does not end the bulk of the arguments that will seek to convince Congress later on the need, in the voice of the opposition, to demothe Esmad. The project also collects data from a study of the Center for Research and Popular Education (Cinep) during the agricultural strike of 2013. Of 837 people captured, 23% were minors, likewise, of that total, 57% were prosecuted for the crime of obstruction to public roads, a tool, as the document explains, functioned as a repression mechanism.

Also, it is noted that during 2002 and 2012 there were 512 arbitrary detentions, 596 injured and 73 cases of totura. "This shows the imminent need for restructuring, which includes mechanisms for verifying the use of force, and compliance with institutional protocols that really guarantee the enjoyment and enjoyment of the constitutional right to strike," reads in the justification of the project.


There are already some strong discussions on the subject, as the government parties, such as the Democratic Center, are staunch defenders of the Public Force. For their part, voices of independence say that the solution is not the clearing, but the restructuring of Esmad.

https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/p ... ulo-896133

Google Translator

Dismantle a quasi-Gestapo in a Terror State? Good luck. The Colombian ruling class ain't giving an inch, they have proven this numerous times over the decades, expecting otherwise is naive at best. And they are no doubt a model for our bosses when they start feeling the heat of the masses.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:53 pm

“The order was the casualties and the one who denounced died”: Captain (r) Alfonso Romero
Truth
Dec 26, 2019 - 6:00 AM
Natalia Herrera Durán / @ Natal1aH

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Alfonso Romero, captain (r) of the Army, details the links between paramilitaries and members of the Army that allowed the “false positives” in Dabeiba, where the mass grave for this crime was denounced, were committed in total impunity.


Alfonso Romero Buitrago, retired Army captain. / Cristian Garavito - The Spectator
A few days before the news of the inspection ordered by the Special Jurisdiction of Peace (JEP) in the Dabeiba cemetery was known, to exhume and contrast in the field the versions that have delivered military on at least 45 bodies of people buried as “ combat casualties ”, which were really civilians killed in defenselessness (which unleashed great national uproar in that region) a Festival of Memories of the Armed Conflict was held. For four days, in the rural community Life and Work of Balsitas, in the rural area of ​​Dabeiba, displaced by the paramilitary incursion of 1997, ex-combatants gathered willing to listen and give their faces to the victims, who for years have sought answers to the hundreds of forced disappeared,


(Read: In search of the 45 false positives in the cemetery of Dabeiba (Antioquia) )

One of them was Alfonso Romero Buitrago, a retired Army captain, convicted of “false positives” (now released under the legal benefits of the Peace Agreement between the Government and the FARC) when he commanded a company of soldiers in charge of the Mobile Brigade 11, which operated in this strategic area of ​​water and mining resources that have always sought to control the armed actors, because it connects the department of Córdoba, the Urabá Antioqueño and the Bajo Atrato Chocoano, through the Paramillo node. First it was the Farc and after 1997 the paramilitaries and military. In this interview, Captain Romero reaffirms the relationship and the operational links between the paramilitaries and Army commanders that they allowed, especially between 2004 and 2008,

You operated in this region in the toughest years of the armed conflict. How did he live them?

I arrived in the year 93, just unpacked from the military school. My first unit was the Voltígeros Battalion, which belonged to the XVII Brigade. At that time there was still no ill-treatment with the civilian population. Later, when President Álvaro Uribe was governor of Antioquia and the Convivir formed in this area, I asked who they were. And they told me that it was a group for the defense of people with a lot of money who were helping the progress of the region. However, at that time, many people moved. I focused on the fighting with the guerrillas. In 2004 and 2005 I return to these lands. But then I did not agree with things they did in this region, in Dabeiba and its surroundings. Denigrating things.


As which?

It is no secret to anyone that for those years the eldest who was at that time had contact with the self-defense groups, came from the Santa Rita sector (Antioquia). He believed that I was going to work with the paramilitaries and I refused. That's why I was a stone in the shoe.

What is the name of the eldest?

Major David Guzman, but he was promoted to colonel.

Are you still active?

Not really. When I was deprived of liberty I even sent greetings. Then they told me he was discharged. At the time I met him he was older. He stayed with radio coordinating everything with the paramilitaries. He even got drunk with them and brought him drunk to a farm called La Herradura. During that time I came to know that the lieutenant Suarez, who was my junior, who did the things for which they pointed me out, killed him and when I was deprived of liberty a soldier told me that he had sent him to kill Guzman because he knew so much.

Was that the reason for your departure from Dabeiba?

Look, one day I met some soldiers in Dabeiba and there they told me they were already working for the Self-Defense Groups and warned me that they were going to kill me for not collaborating. When I left Dabeiba for Medellín, I had to leave with a soldier, because if they don't kill me on the road, because this area was in control of the Self-Defense Groups and killing like this is easy: they give the order, they wait in the guard and that's it. While in Medellín, they make a call to me and say: "See, boss, take care of yourself because you were good to us, but the order is to send it to bankruptcy." So what I do is denounce in the Brigade. Then they send me to Ituango. There, Colonel Jorge Alberto Amor, wanted to send me to patrol with a company that was not mine two months after I went to school for the elderly. Then I told him in front that he wanted to kill me. The same soldiers had already been ordered to kill the sub-lieutenant by order of Major Guzman to silence him, and after he was with the sub-lieutenant they also killed him in a transfer. Then there was only me. Later I was a victim of the assembly ordered by Guzman and unjustly deprived of liberty.

(Read: Military in the JEP spoke of 72 victims of false positives in Catatumbo )

Why crimes?

Enforced disappearance, homicide in protected person, kidnapping. The worst thing for me was to have arrived at the Mobile Brigade 11. Major Guzman frightened us. And then he put me to be pointed at me.

To make what?

That I had given the order to kill some peasants and present them as guerrillas, seeing that I was not at the scene. That was an order of the major. That was over there in Santa Rita (Antioquia). A lieutenant told me the truth.

Which truth?

That the elder had given him the order, with a special group of him, to kill me. He always had his special group. He was the one who handled the drug thing there also in Santa Rita. He handled what the paramilitaries were. There came the informants. He handled everything, he was called El Tigre, in Santa Rita. It was the terror there. In Dabeiba, he trained the entire battalion and said "Let the guerrillas come to see how it is." But we all knew that that was not going to happen because in that region since 97 there were all the Self-Defense Groups.

Why did the paramilitary expansion take place in alliance with the Army in that area?

Brigade 11 was founded in Tierralta, Córdoba, at a time when paramilitary groups were also being created. When I see that the commanders of these mobile brigades kept the paramilitary commanders talking on the phone. They worked together. And the commanders of us, for example, Major Guzman (in a mobile brigade the boss is the eldest, the captains are pawns, we are given orders and the one who does not want does not comply, but he sticks to the consequences) He is the one who says to set up a special group to do this and that.

You say you did not participate in the crimes, how could you escape those orders?

Because I was not going to pack, except with human lives. The elder believed that I was going to help him and I didn't want to. But he washed everyone's brain. The pod was the casualties. The order was to terminate at any rate The mobile brigades are for casualties and the one who does not serve leaves and the one who denounces dies, that was the slogan of Major Guzman.

How did you experience extrajudicial executions or "false positives"?

Well, the truth is when I started my military life in 1993 I never lived that, because I didn't lend myself. I came to see him here, in Dabeiba, with that older Guzman. He walked with these people (paramilitaries) and left me at the base. The soldiers were the ones who counted.

What did they count?

That they went there, with paramilitaries, they took out people, and even those they called informants, and killed them. They did not leave anyone alive. And the soldier or officer who disagreed was killed. As I told the prosecutor: if I had borrowed for that today I would be a colonel, as are the others. Most of the captains continued their career because they never counterbalanced the colonel. Everyone is pensioned. Even my mother wrote a letter to General Mario Montoya telling him that they were going to kill me. I talked to General Montoya, I talked to a friendly colonel and all he said was: "Brother, take care of yourself."

What happened in Ituango at the time it was?

It is no secret to anyone that during Álvaro Uribe's government he asked for casualties. Then he demanded from Montoya and from there on down to the generals and colonels that he who did not serve for that would take him out. According to the casualties, the positions of the mobile brigades and battalions were measured. Success was measured by casualties, by liters of blood, they said, and he who did not serve outside. Look, for example, when I was in Palmira (Valle del Cauca) I took a live guerrilla and I won madrasses and everything and a penalty because I didn't kill him, seeing that I caught him in a house with horsefly sting. That did many things over there.

(You may be interested: JEP orders to protect cemeteries of San Onofre where they would have disappeared )

What things?

Operations with the paracos.

What were those operations looking for in Ituango?

They said that there was a lot of informants about the guerrillas, for a sector known as Garbage dump, and that they were going to kill those people. Because the self-defense groups wanted to take over that sector.

For what?

Because this is a key mobility broker. What is the canyon of La Llorona, and here for Chocó and here for Montería. It was a strategic point for Vicente Castaño to move, because the Army did know he was there. For that they said they were going to kill the militiamen, with the working people who lived in the middle of that conflict, who were between a rock and a hard place. That was in 2004 and 2005. Then they threw me without justification from the Army and put me in prison for crimes committed by others and in jail I had to be aware that they would not poison me.

Why do you always talk about others and not about what you did in the Army?

What I did in the Army I did well, they turned their backs on me. Not all the military are bad, there are good people, but at that time he who wanted to twist, not only kill innocent people but also be a drug dealer, could do it. I was very disappointed in the people of the Military Forces. When they put me in prison, my wife was left alone and she was very stressed and that made her sick to death. That was very hard. I don't know how I didn't kill myself. But God puts one person and put me a major of the Christian Church to which I belong that helped me. Even the lawyer I had from Fondetec (Specialized Technical Defense Fund for Members of the Public Force) told me to plead guilty and I refused. Later I learned that he also defended Colonel Guzman.

https://www.elespectador.com/colombia20 ... ulo-896742

Google Translator

If this guy is innocent then I'm a duck. Big time CYA. Which is not to say that any of his accusations are untrue.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:24 am

For "family reasons," commander of the Colombian army resigns
DEC 27, 2019 / 08:55 PM / MAKE A COMMENT

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The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, announced Friday that the army commander, Nicacio Martínez, will leave his post and will be replaced by General Eduardo Zapateiro.

The president said in a press conference from the Palacio de Nariño that he had had a conversation with Martinez, where he had informed him that he would leave his post for "family reasons."

Zapateiro, the incoming commander, was born in 1962, graduated in Military Sciences at the Cadet School and ascended to the rank of major general in 2017. In 2008, during the Government of Álvaro Uribe, he was in charge of the «Operation Phoenix», a controversial bombing in Ecuadorian territory where Luis Edgar Devia Silva, known as "Raúl Reyes", a member of the FARC secretariat and 16 guerrillas, died.

Situation in the Armed Forces

The Colombian president highlighted the work of the outgoing Army commander in operations against criminal gangs and the dissent of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

This decision occurs two weeks after the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) opened a new investigation into alleged extrajudicial executions, following the discovery of a mass grave with about 50 bodies buried in the Las Mercedes de Dabeiba Catholic Cemetery in Antioquia , in the northeast of Colombia.

Tensions in the military camp increased in the Duke Administration following the submission of former Defense Minister Guillermo Botero to a motion of censure, which he overcame with the support of the right in Congress. However, in November the owner of that portfolio resigned after the scandal over the massacre that was not reported to the country of at least eight minors in Colombia, after a bombing in an area of ​​San Vicente del Caguán (Caquetá), in the south of the country

Previously, in September, General Oswaldo Peña Bermeo, head of Joint Military Intelligence and Counterintelligence of Colombia, was removed from his post, after Duque presented to the United Nations Organization (UN) a report on the alleged presence of irregular groups in Venezuela where there were at least four fake photos.

The return of false positives

Martínez, who leaves office, was linked in a scandal in the Colombian military dome over the alleged cover-up of the death of civilians at the hands of the military, more than ten years ago, according to an AP newspaper report.

For its part, the New York Times (NYT) conducted an investigation that revealed that generals and colonels of the Army of that country signed an agreement to increase operations and "be effective operationally", with the aim of "kill, capture or force surrender of criminal and rebel groups ».

The Office of the Attorney General of that country reported on that occasion that it had opened an inquiry to the Army commander and other officials for "alleged irregularities in the guidelines given to the military to improve the results of the operations", following the NYT's complaint.

Martinez was the second commander of the Tenth Armored Brigade, between October 2004 and January 2006, where he would have signed irregular payments for the testimony of informants who provided data to carry out military operations. The Colombian Prosecutor's Office opened investigations into 23 executions of that brigade in 2005, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Source: RT

http://www.psuv.org.ve/temas/noticias/c ... gc6N1VKiM9

Google Translator
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:49 pm

Image

Genocide: the New Normal in Duque’s Colombia?
January 3, 2020 orinocotribune Assesination, Colombia, democracy US stye, FARC-EP, genocide, Ivan Duque, US puppets
By Adriaan Alsema – Dec 29, 2019

While Colombia’s government is boasting a 25% reduction in the killing of human rights defenders and community leaders, genocide has become the new normal.

The government of President Ivan Duque has taken the manipulation of statistics to a whole new level in its attempts to make the endless killing disappear and conceal its failure to respond.

Genocide: the New Normal in Duque’s Colombia?

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In an interview with newspaper El Espectador, the presidential adviser on human rights, Francisco Barbosa, claimed on Thursday that 84 social leaders were assassinated between January 1 and December 17.

This was a 25% reduction compared to last year, he said. Where the top official got his numbers from is a mystery.

Government statistics contradict all other statistics
Image

Genocide: the New Normal in Duque’s Colombia?

The United Nations reported 123 assassinations of presumed social leaders in October already.

According to independent conflict monitor Indepaz, 234 social leaders were assassinated between January 1 and December 12.

Nine leaders were assassinated between December 19 and Christmas Day, according to newspaper El Espectador.

Adding the homicides reported by El Espectador to the statistics of Indepaz, 865 community leaders and human rights defenders have been assassinated since 2016.


Genocide has become the new normal in Colombia since the FARC guerrilla group disarmed in August 2017, the Duque administration is simply denying reality.

Assassination of social leaders since 2016
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Source: Indepaz / El Espectador

Everybody contradicts the government
Image

Genocide: the New Normal in Duque’s Colombia?

Inspector General Fernando Carrillo urged the government on Christmas Day to “stop the systematic killing of the social leaders.”

Barbosa responded that “there is neither an extermination policy nor a systematic policy.”

The inspector general, the UN, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) and Indepaz all disagree with Duque’s top human rights official.

The UN and IACHR have stressed the systematic killing of ethnic minority leaders and farmers promoting the peace process. The IACHR additionally highlighted the systematic killing of trade unionists and gay rights activists.

Others have stressed the persistent killing and threatening of farmers reclaiming land that was dispossessed in many cases by Duque’s allies.

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Duque failing to dismantle paramilitaries
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Genocide: the New Normal in Duque’s Colombia?

Carrillo, the IACHR and the UN have also reiterated Duque’s obligation to convoke the National Commission of Security Guarantees that ought to formulate policies to stop the genocide Duque and his minions pretend does not exist.

The UN said in October that “Duque convened, for the first time since January, the National Commission for Security Guarantees. Its mandate, which according to the Peace Agreement is to develop a public policy to dismantle criminal organizations and their support networks, is of critical importance.”

Last week, however, the inspector general again asked the president to “immediately” convoke this commission “and to ensure its functioning.”

Duque is obliged by law to convoke this commission monthly. The problem is that it could end up exposing the alleged involvement of the state and Duque’s allies in the genocide.

Source URL: Colombia Reports

https://orinocotribune.com/genocide-the ... -colombia/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:40 pm

Colombia: A Woman Is the First Social Leader Killed This Year

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Gloria Ocampo, the Secretary of the Estrella Community Action Board, Colombia, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @RndpColombia
Previous

Published 8 January 2020 (19 hours 58 minutes ago)

Hitmen arrived and Gloria Ocampo’s home and made sure of her identity before committing the crime.


Colombia’s first political assassination of this year occurred in the Putumayo Department on Monday night when hitmen murdered Gloria Ocampo, the Estrella Community Action Board (JAC) Secretary.

"Two men arrived at Gloria's house and asked about her. She identified herself and they shot her repeatedly," local outlet El Tiempo reported.

Ocampo stood out in her community because she promoted the voluntary substitution of illicit crops, a proposal that seeks to offer farmers who grow coca other job opportunities.

"All social leaders supporting the coca substitution program began to be threatened with death. She is the first to be killed, which fills us with anxiety," an inhabitant of the area said.

According to the United Nations Integrated Illicit Crops Monitoring System (Simci), 26,408 of coca crops were detected in Putumayo in Dec. 2018.​​​​​​

"United Nations and IACHR: Colombia is the country in the region where social leaders are most murdered. Both agencies warn of threats, harassment, and intimidation that directly impact the work of the country's leaders."

Previously, the last murder of a social leader occurred on Christmas eve when a hitman shot culture manager Lucy Villarreal when she was leaving a workshop with children in Tumaco.

Intimidatory actions against social leaders have also caused tension in Bojaya, in the Department of Choco, where human rights defender Leyner Palacios was threatened with death last week by illegal groups, which gave him 24 hours to leave his town.

Colombia's High Commissioner for Peace Miguel Ceballos said he will meet with President Ivan Duque to expose the serious situation of human rights defenders in the country.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Col ... -0003.html

I simply do not understand this madness of trying to deal with these murderous fascists in any reasonable way when they just keep killing without hesitation . I do not understand.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:38 pm

Asociación Campesina del Catatumbo, persecuted for betting on the Peace Agreement
Territory
19 Jan 2020 - 7:48 PM
Nicolás Sánchez Arévalo / @ANicolasSanchez
There are already 15 murders against members of that organization, the last one occurred on January 10 in Tibú (North of Santander). They have also suffered disappearances and judicial assemblies, among others. Promoting the implementation of the Peace Agreement between the State and the FARC has put them at risk, they say.

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The peasant guard of Catatumbo is one of the proposals that Ascamcat has made as a measure of self-protection of the communities./ Courtesy Ascamcat.

César Tulio Sandoval Chia was at home when three armed men arrived and tried to kill him in the courtroom. After a struggle he left his home together with the murderers. They walked 200 meters and shot him. He died on the spot. He was a social leader of the village of La Silla, rural area of ​​Tibú (North of Santander), who participated in the Integral Program for the Substitution of Crops for Illicit Use, led land occupation by landowners and was the coordinator of the committee Village of the Campesino Association of Catatumbo (Ascamcat). Sandoval became the member of that 15th organization to be killed since 2013. A history of persecution against Ascamcat.

The organization was born in December 2005. Displaced from the village of El Suspiro, in Teorama, they got together and constituted Ascamcat. Account Juan Carlos Quintero, member of the board of directors of the community, who emulated the organizational process of the Campesino Association of the Cimitarra River Valley after having contact with several of its leaders in a forum that took place at the National University of Bogotá. They set out to defend the human rights of the peasantry, rebuild the social fabric that destroyed the paramilitary intervention in the Catatumbo and promote the well-being of the peasants.

Why was it essential to recover the social fabric? The Catatumbo Block of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) demobilized on December 10, 2004, after operating five years. This armed structure generated a humanitarian drama in the area, apart from the murders and disappearances, they also applied collective punishment. The armed group controlled the amount of medicines and equipment that the peasants could have. In the urban centers of Tibú and Convention they exercised the controls: 100 thousand pesos of monthly market was the maximum that they allowed to pass to the families that lived in the paths.

After the demobilization of the paramilitaries, the peasants of the region had a respite. However, it did not last long because the Army entered to take over the sites that left the AUC. For that, the government of former President Álvaro Uribe created brigades 15 (based in Ocaña) and 30 (based in Cúcuta). Fortaleza 1 and Fortaleza 2 operations were launched. Quintero says that this military deployment generated humanitarian problems and that there were hundreds of displaced people, it was at that time that Ascamcat was founded.


The Association has flourished amidst a context of violence, which has directly affected them. The persecution began in 2013, the year in which Ascamcat called a peasant strike in the region. The mobilization lasted 53 days and was lifted after reaching agreements with the State. The protest had its cost in blood: four members of the organization died and the peasants still point to the Public Force as responsible for the murders.

They have also been victims of extrajudicial executions. On December 2, 2013, the farmer Jorge Eliécer Calderón Chiquillo was murdered on a Tibú highway. Police said it was a fight, however, Ascamcat has upset that version. Among the work that the organization has done is the denunciation of 'false positives' that were committed in the region. "We evidenced before the country, together with other organizations, that here they were killing civilians and disguising them as guerrillas, at that time they did not believe us much, but they realized this practice when the bodies of the Soacha youth appeared in Las Chircas, in Ocaña, "says Quintero. The organization provided before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) information on 180 extrajudicial executions that the Public Force had committed in Norte de Santander.

In the last two years, the killings against members of Ascamcat have been committed by armed actors that the organization has not been able to identify and the authorities have not clarified the facts. In addition, kidnappings have occurred. Five months ago Celiar Martínez, peasant leader of the corregimiento of San Pablo (Teorama), is apparently held by the Eln . "It can be a kidnapping or a disappearance, we still don't know," Quintero says with concern. The organization estimates that since 2018 15 leaders have had to move due to threats against their lives. The Ocaña Regional Ombudsman's Office has also recorded victimizing events such as extrajudicial executions, kidnappings and movements against the organization.


The organization has identified the factors that put them at risk. The first is stigmatization. For several years Ascamcat has been indicated as a kind of political arm of the Farc. Without evidence, some columnists have spread those points. In 2015, the opinion-maker Salud Hernández, for example, published a column entitled: 'Human rats?' A question in which he made clear allusion to the members of "Ascanca (sic)" of being "pupils of Timochenko". In May 2016, the former congressman of the Democratic Center Samuel Hoyos pointed to the association of being "(an) organization of the Farc".By similar accusations, the organization has initiated criminal actions against the members of the government party: María Fernanda Cabal, Paloma Valencia, Diego Villamizar and Juan Carlos Capacho. "When someone irresponsibly makes a comment that affects the security and risk situation of these organizations," explains Ocaña regional ombudsman, Diogenes Quintero, who shares that stigmatization has made the persecution worse.

When asking Juan Quintero if this involvement existed at any time, he says that what has existed are "judicial statements and assemblies." He recalled that in 2010 the capture of 17 members of Ascamcat was given and arrest warrants were issued against 68 more. None were convicted, all recovered freedom . "In these 15 years we have suffered judicial assemblies from the Prosecutor's Office in which we have never proven anything that involves us with any illegal armed group. On the contrary that became a very dangerous smear propaganda because then it went to a second stage, which were the threats, and triggered in homicides, "he stressed.


Another important risk factor is that Acamcat fully bets on the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed between the State and the Farc. That has generated problems with the insurgencies that persist in the region: the Eln, the Epl and a dissent from the Farc front 33. "They consider it a maneuver of traitors or people who can be subservient to the class enemy," explains Juan Quintero.

The regional defender complements that "(betting on implementation) has also generated a political cost in the sense that communities do not see the progress of the implementation of the Agreement". An example of this is the National Integral Program for the Substitution of Crops for Illicit Use (Pnis), says Juan Quintero :. Ascamcat urged coca growers to take advantage of the program and today that same organization denounces noncompliance. "What happens when the government fails to comply is that there are actors who say: 'you are the ones who go around with the Government cheating people, then we threaten or peel it'," emphasizes the leader, who denounces that the Government has modified "unilaterally the times raised in the execution of the Pnis timeline and there is also a Duke refusal to include the other municipalities of the country, especially those of Catatumbo, in the program ". Only the municipalities of Tibú and Sardinata are included in that region.

The Government, for its part, defends its actions against Pnis. "At the beginning of the Government of President Duque we received a program without planning, without administrative strength and without a budget to meet the commitments made," said Emilio Archila, presidential adviser for stabilization and consolidation. "There was no operational structure or information management model. We had to review, adjust and establish times, processes, procedures and operation of the different components of the Pnis, determining the minimum realistic route of intervention, which could never have been less than 29 months, "he complemented. In addition, he assured that 11,836 million pesos have been invested for registered Catalan families.


Other risk factors mentioned by Juan Quintero is the opposition that the organization has made to the mining projects. They also associate some threats with the complaints they have made for human rights violations committed by irregular armed groups operating in the region.

The solutions

Juan Quintero asks for substantive solutions: "the tool is in the Peace Agreement in all matters". He said that the implementation of the agreement would have a positive impact on the security situation of Ascamcat. He also asked for progress in the dialogues with the Eln because as long as that conflict is not resolved, the public order situation in the Catatumbo will remain critical.

We tried to contact the governor of Norte de Santander, Silvano Serrano, to learn about his plans for the protection of social organizations in Catatumbo, but at the time of publication of this article we did not get an answer. His press officer, Heider Logatto, sent us an audio of a press conference given by the president last Friday in which he promised to advance a security council for next January 20.

Diogenes Quintero said that "communities through self-management have taken measures of protection, self-protection, which are communal, some within the framework of collective protection measures. It is important that these measures be strengthened from the State to be more effective in the territory. "


Meanwhile, the leaders of this organization will continue to resist. For them, Ascamcat is very important for a region that remains at war and a civil society tired of confronting the humanitarian costs it generates. "In regions such as Catatumbo where there is a lack of institutionality, it is important that there are such organizations that defend human rights, which strengthen communities, and community action boards," said Diogenes Quintero. The members of that organization hope that the State will provide guarantees and that the armed groups will not stigmatize them for fighting for the implementation of agreements that would improve the quality of life of the farmers in the region.

https://www.elespectador.com/colombia20 ... ulo-900546

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Betting with the heart and not the head will get you in trouble
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:18 pm

THE SECRET FINANCING OF COMPANIES TO THE AUC IN COLOMBIA DURING THE URIBE ERA
20 Jan 2020 , 10:56 am .

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In 2016, the controversy over the apparent financing of one of the largest soda companies in Colombia, the renowned Postobón, was uncovered by the paramilitary organization known as Autodefensas Unidos de Colombia (AUC).

In the case of Postobón, for example, it was the statement of the former commander of the front "Héctor Julio Peinado Becerra" (HJPB) of the AUC, Armando Madariaga, who assured that the paramilitaries obtained money from the sale of boxes of soft drinks that delivered the company.

However, it was not only the sale of these drinks, but the paramilitaries exerted pressure on merchants to force them to sell Postobón products in the city of Aguachica, in the department of Cesar in northern Colombia.

These practices began when Álvaro Uribe Vélez became president, initiating the Democratic Security Policy (PSD). In addition, being governor of Antioquia, Uribe was the main promoter of the self-defense groups that later mutated in the AUC.

In addition to this "integration" of companies and paramilitaries, a research group from the Javeriana University in Colombia carried out data collection from 40 sentences on paramilitarism. These are some of the most important keys:

According to testimonies, Postobón delivered 595 million pesos annually to the AUC, being the most representative company in financing in the "Catatumbo block".
In 2007, former paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso declared that Postobón executives were aware of the payments, even paying $ 7,000 per month for each department in which he distributed his products.
In 2013, under a sentence , paramilitaries said that RCN, as a means of communication, had been pleased with the actions of the AUC. This is also followed by the reputation of this channel, when at the end of 2019 the Commune 13 of Medellín rejected the presence of its presence with the slogan "That channel is paramilitary" .
In the North department of Santander, illicit oil activities are known and the most prominent is fuel theft. According to the list of sentences collated by the aforementioned university, Ecopetrol (state energy company) voluntarily delivered money in exchange for security and also covered the harassment of civilians, in the places where they installed headquarters, during the Uribe era.
The transport company Cotrasur collaborated economically with more than 20 thousand dollars with paramilitaries in Antioquia.
The trade company Maderas del Darién also financed these irregular groups with more than 50 thousand dollars.
These companies were the most relevant but the list is broad: in accounting books managed by the financial chief of the AUC, Jacinto Toro Soto, the name of the companies and transactions in their own bank accounts is recognized, which includes companies such as Leonisa, Codensa, Transport Botero Soto and Various Companies of Medellín (capital of Antioquia, center of irradiation of uribismo).

In Colombia there are economic and political power groups that move in these spheres of financing to irregular groups.

The paramilitaries abrogated the right to arrest and detain people without a real cause. Many peasant, social and political organizations, and even civilians in general, were labeled "subversive" by the Colombian State, becoming a military target of the AUC. It was, and still is, the perfect smoke screen to deploy systems of repression not only politically but economically.

http://misionverdad.com/TENDENCIAS/empr ... ismo-uribe

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"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:51 pm

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Darío Herrera, fifth ex-combatant of the Farc killed this year
The man was moving towards the ETCR Román Ruiz, located in a nearby path, when he was attacked. It is unknown if he had threats against him.

Darío Herrera, ex-combatant of the Farc, was killed in Ituango Darío Herrera, fifth ex-combatant of the Farc killed this year Photo: Association of Farmers of Toledo (ASCAT-NA)
César Darío Herrera Gómez became the fifth ex-guerrilla of the Farc killed in the first month of 2020. According to the first versions delivered by members of the Farc party, he was heading from Ituango (Antioquia) to the Román Ruiz reincorpation space, on the sidewalk Saint Lucia, when he was attacked.

The Farc is fragmented
The murder occurred on Tuesday night, but there are no more details of the crime. Omar Restrepo, party congressman, wrote on his Twitter account that this fact is "a clear affront to the process, since the leaders of the reinstatement are currently in space."

Another member of the Farc, such as Sergio Marín, asked the government for explanations in its task of guaranteeing the safety of the ex-guerrillas who are making the process of returning to civilian life. "Iván Duque, begin to govern, fulfill his constitutional duty and protect the life of the signatories of peace," he said in a trill.
SERGIO MARÍN

@Sergio_FARC
⚠️🔴#Atención🔴⚠️ Lamentamos informar que Darío Herrera, firmante de Paz, fue asesinado en el municipio de Ituango a pocos Kms del ETCR Roman Ruiz, vereda Santa Lucía. @IvanDuque empiece a gobernar, cumpla con su deber constitucional y proteja la vida de los firmantes de paz.

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Senator Griselda Lobo, better known as Sandra Ramírez, resumed the words of Minister Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, who said on Tuesday afternoon (During the Great Forum Colombia 2020 of WEEK) that the peace agreement with the Farc had been "semi-faulted" "because the guerrillas had not fulfilled those who believed in their will to change.

For the senator "it is true that the Agreement is failed" but thanks to " breaches and lack of guarantees of this Government . "

https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/ ... ngo/649837

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The measures announced by Duke to protect ex-combatants
The president declared that 23 actions will be launched that seek to guarantee the life of the exintegrated FARC in the process of reintegration. There will be an elite police force to deal with threats and an integrated information center to articulate activities.

President Duque announced measures for the protection of ex-combatants The measures announced by Duke to protect ex-combatants Photo: Presidency
From Bello (Antioquia), President Iván Duque announced on Thursday 23 actions that seek to protect the life of former FARC combatants, who are in the process of reinstatement. The head of state warned that "all the criminals who are behind the murder of social leaders and ex-combatants, and of any Colombian, we will face them, because this government has a commitment to legality"

Duque said that the concern for the safety of ex-combatants is "legitimate" and reiterated that his Government has priority in making the reintegration process a successful process.

“I have been very clear that this Government has a priority in which the reincorporation process is a successful process, a process that allows people who have left the path of violence to enter through a legality path to a methodology of life, to a life scheme where they can have their income sustainability and consolidate as a family nucleus, ”he said.

The measures announced by the president include from an elite body of the Police that will deal with the cases of threats, to the strengthening of the early warning processes and a decree of control of security risks that will be exercised when they conclude in August, measures related to Territorial Reintegration and Training Spaces (ETCR).

Likewise there is the realization of self-protection days and the distribution of manuals on self-security for ex-combatants that have a protection scheme and the assignment of 25 Dijin investigators for criminal investigation in the field on the effects against ex-combatants of the Farc.

The measures also contemplate that the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation reallocates itinerant prosecutors to focus efforts in the departments with the highest incidence of effects on former combatants.

According to the reincorporation figures, of the people who left arms during the peace agreements with the Farc 13,068 were registered by the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (OACP), of these, 11,922 are in the process of reinstatement Active with the ARN, most of them are receiving psychosocial support for reinstatement and a temporary basic income, except those that have already been linked to labor or productive activities.

According to the figures presented by the Duke administration, until June 18, 2019, the Prosecutor's Office recorded 115 homicides of former FARC combatants, 16 attempted homicides and 11 enforced disappearances.

Of the victims, two are block ex-commanders and 97 base ex-combatants, and the others are militiamen. The majority of homicides of ex-combatants have been registered in Cauca, Nariño, Antioquia, Caquetá and Norte de Santander.

Regarding the state protection system of former FARC combatants, it is known that this links to the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Stabilization, the National Protection Unit, the Prosecutor's Office, the Dijin Elite Corps, the ARN, the Carpa Azul program, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, the Presidential Council for National Security and the Ombudsman's Office.

The National Protection Unit acts with 1,193 public servants, of which 1,129 are Corps of Protection, 915 of them ex-combatants of the Farc.

To date, protection services are provided to 330 people in the process of reinstatement. Of these, 222 have protection schemes with 466 vehicles (between armored and conventional) and 908 men and women of protection.

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Mebbe I'm missing something but ain't it nuts to expect the people who are killing you to protect you from murder?

1st time I actually 'looked' at a picture of Dookie. Straight from the Chamber of Commerce, anywhere.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Colombia

Post by blindpig » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:59 pm

'Government betrayed the peasants who left their coca crops': peasant leader

28 Jan 2020 - 7:00 AM
Sebastián Forero Rueda / @SebastianForerr

Arnobis Zapata, national spokesman for the National Coordinator of Cultivators of Coca, Amapola and Marihuana (Coccam) responded to the statements of the director of the crop substitution program, Hernando Londoño, who said no replacement leaders have been killed. According to Zapata, this Government has no will with the program.

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Arnobis Zapata is the national spokesperson for Coccam, one of the platforms that follow the implementation of the PNIS. In this interview he launches strong criticism of Hernando Londoño, who is in charge of implementing that program. Video capture - José Vargas

Indignation and rejection generated among the peasant communities the statements of the director of the National Integral Program of Crop Substitution (PNIS), Hernando Londoño, who, in an interview with Colombia2020, said that crop substitution leaders have not been killed. Likewise, the official said in that interview that the Government has fulfilled the program, but that it is the farmers who have coca crops who have not followed their commitments.

Given these statements, from the National Coordinator of Cultivators of Coca, Amapola and Marihuana (Coccam), a platform that groups various peasant organizations throughout the country, issued a public statement in which they rejected what was said by Hernando Londoño and demanded his departure from the program address

In dialogue with this newspaper, Arnobis Zapata, national spokesman for the Coccam and president of the National Association of Peasant Reserve Areas (Anzorc), reiterated that in these organizations they have documented at least 56 cases of assassinated replacement leaders and explained why They are clearly aware that the Government, contrary to what Londoño said, has no will with the PNIS.

What is the perception that Coccam has about the implementation of the PNIS during the Duke government?

This Government came to end the replacement program. We say this for several reasons: the first, because since it arrived it has not convened the national instances that the program establishes for its follow-up. That we have knowledge only convened once the strategic management board and has not convened the permanent board of directors. The second is that they have only dedicated themselves to turning resources for food assistance to families and hiring technical assistance, but at the moment there is no productive project in the country after three years of starting the program. Still the farmers who voluntarily eradicated their coca do not have the first productive project in their territory, which was what was going to change their economic activity.

The director said that in payments to families they go in 89%. What are your records about that?

Indeed, in some territories, even 100% of the payments have been fulfilled, only those payments were for one year and in the course of that year a food security project and a $ 19 million project should have been implemented. What the Government has done is turn the payments, but no progress has been made in the productive projects. They may have turned $ 12 million during the first year, but they have been hungry for two years for the farmers who took coca cultivation.

Has this delay in productive projects caused some of the farmers who signed up to the PNIS to plant coca again?

What we have now is a great pressure on the part of the peasants for the Government to comply with the replacement program, or they will look for what to do. But so far, according to the latest United Nations report on the PNIS, the re-planting of peasants who are in the replacement program is 0.4%. That means that our farmers have not planted coca again.

The director denied that they were killing leaders of the crop substitution program. You have talked about 56 murders. Do these cases refer to Coccam affiliates or leaders who promoted crop substitution in their territories?

Indeed, they are not 'PNIS leaders', because the program has no leaders, the leader is the Government. These people were leaders of their communities that promoted voluntary crop substitution. Not only people who are in the instances are the only leaders who promote crop substitution in the territories. The program stipulates that it must be one leader per nucleus and in those nuclei there are up to 10 or 20 paths. In each of those 20 paths there are outstanding leaders and here they have killed presidents of community action boards in areas where there are coca crops, they have killed treasurers of community action board of those areas and they are in the replacement program. The program says that the Government must design a security policy for people who are linked to the replacement program, regardless of whether they are leaders or not. He does not recognize other leaderships outside those in the instances of the PNIS. To deny that is to say that they will not take measures so that leaders do not continue to be killed and that is irresponsible on the part of the institution.

Londoño said that peasants who registered for the PNIS reported half a hectare of coca, but that "behind the mountain" they have two other crops. Do you have registered cases like that?

That is totally false. What director Londoño wants is to benefit the policy of forced eradication and that of glyphosate fumigation. The director follows that path because his job there is not to support the replacement program, but to finish it. That is false because the United Nations has certified that there has been no reseeding. The UN is in the territories verifying that. Londoño has not left his desk and behind a desk you cannot run a replacement program that is in territory where you have to run.

The official also said that the PNIS becomes an incentive for farmers to grow coca since they give coca to $ 36 million. How do they get that statement?

That can only be understood from the point of view of a repressive policy that continues to see farmers as drug traffickers. He does not see it from an inclusive policy, which allows the farmer to have opportunities to get out of the economy in which he is at the moment. And that repressive policy has already been proven. Everything that has been spent on forced eradication programs that have not had results. Our position is that this is totally contrary to what the replacement program promotes because this is what the transformation of the territories and change the economy is intended. A farmer who enters a well-implemented substitution program never replaces coca. But a farmer who eradicates his coca bush again sow it and sow twice.

With what has happened with the PNIS, what has been raised in point 4 of the Havana Agreement on illicit drugs?

We believe that voluntary substitution is the way out to end coca crops. The PNIS, as designed, would help to reduce the scourge of coca crops to the maximum. But well implemented. As they are implementing it, we do believe that the Government is betraying the farmers who confidently joined the program. This Government has betrayed the farmers who voluntarily left their coca crops, by not implementing a full program and with guarantees, because it is no guarantee that one will be given $ 12 million for one year and left hungry for two years. As they are implementing the PNIS, what they are looking for is that it does not work to have arguments to say that a replacement program does not work/

Why is it expressed by Hernando Londoño enough to leave the direction of the PNIS, as requested in his public statement?

His statements and how he is implementing the replacement program show that he is a person who does not want the program to continue, but is a person that the Government put there to end the program and say it will not work. That is why we believe that it is not a valid interlocutor for the communities. A person who wants the program to fail cannot be in charge of the program.

How did you receive in the communities the draft decree that seeks to resume spraying with glyphosate for illegal crops, presented by the Government in the last days of 2019?

The announcement of glyphosate is one of the themes that has broken the glass in the communities. They are even going to fumigate territories where the replacement program is waiting to implement productive projects. That for the communities has been like a cold water bucket, because we thought we were going to look for the way. Because of that, several assemblies have already been made in the territories, especially in Nariño, Cauca and Catatumbo, which are already preparing to join the national strike. We believe that in February they can go out to join. We are making the last consultations to see if the mobilizations are made at the regional level or if we are really going to join the mass marches in Bogotá, but that is in preparation. We will be at the January 30 and 31 meetings of the Unemployment Committee, seeing how we can join there.

In other words, in the face of spraying and forced eradication, the response of the communities will be mobilization?

Yes, we have even been mobilizing in the territories. For example, in December, in San José de Uré (Córdoba) they tried to eradicate coca crops and the farmers removed the eradicators from the territories. The Association of Farmers of the South of Córdoba issued a statement because the Army shot the peasants who were there.

If the forced eradication days continue, do you fear that there will be more clashes between the communities and the Public Force?

Effectively. We have been clear that we do not agree with forced eradication. If there is forced eradication in the territories, the communities will respond with mobilization and will remove the Army from the territories. We hope that the Government arrives with substitution proposals that are built in conjunction with the communities, not leaving the desks in Bogotá.

https://www.elespectador.com/colombia20 ... cpTmTUl_G4

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Asociación Campesina del Catatumbo, persecuted for betting on the Peace Agreement

19 Jan 2020 - 7:48 PM
Nicolás Sánchez Arévalo / @ANicolasSanchez

There are already 15 murders against members of that organization, the last one occurred on January 10 in Tibú (North of Santander). They have also suffered disappearances and judicial assemblies, among others. Promoting the implementation of the Peace Agreement between the State and the FARC has put them at risk, they say.

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The peasant guard of Catatumbo is one of the proposals that Ascamcat has made as a measure of self-protection of the communities./ Courtesy Ascamcat.

César Tulio Sandoval Chia was at home when three armed men arrived and tried to kill him in the courtroom. After a struggle he left his home together with the murderers. They walked 200 meters and shot him. He died on the spot. He was a social leader of the village of La Silla, rural area of ​​Tibú (North of Santander), who participated in the Integral Program for the Substitution of Crops for Illicit Use, led land occupation by landowners and was the coordinator of the committee Village of the Campesino Association of Catatumbo (Ascamcat). Sandoval became the member of that 15th organization to be killed since 2013. A history of persecution against Ascamcat.

The organization was born in December 2005. Displaced from the village of El Suspiro, in Teorama, they got together and constituted Ascamcat. Account Juan Carlos Quintero, member of the board of directors of the community, who emulated the organizational process of the Campesino Association of the Cimitarra River Valley after having contact with several of its leaders in a forum that took place at the National University of Bogotá. They set out to defend the human rights of the peasantry, rebuild the social fabric that destroyed the paramilitary intervention in the Catatumbo and promote the well-being of the peasants.

Why was it essential to recover the social fabric? The Catatumbo Block of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) demobilized on December 10, 2004, after operating five years. This armed structure generated a humanitarian drama in the area, apart from the murders and disappearances, they also applied collective punishment. The armed group controlled the amount of medicines and equipment that the peasants could have. In the urban centers of Tibú and Convention they exercised the controls: 100 thousand pesos of monthly market was the maximum that they allowed to pass to the families that lived in the paths.

After the demobilization of the paramilitaries, the farmers of the region had a respite. However, it did not last long because the Army entered to take over the sites that left the AUC. For that, the government of former President Álvaro Uribe created brigades 15 (based in Ocaña) and 30 (based in Cúcuta). Fortaleza 1 and Fortaleza 2 operations were launched. Quintero says that this military deployment generated humanitarian problems and that there were hundreds of displaced people, it was at that time that Ascamcat was founded.

The Association has flourished amidst a context of violence, which has directly affected them. The persecution began in 2013, the year in which Ascamcat called a peasant strike in the region. The mobilization lasted 53 days and was lifted after reaching agreements with the State. The protest had its cost in blood: four members of the organization died and the peasants still point to the Public Force as responsible for the murders.

They have also been victims of extrajudicial executions. On December 2, 2013, the farmer Jorge Eliécer Calderón Chiquillo was murdered on a Tibú highway, apparently by members of the Army. Police said it was a fight, however, Ascamcat has upset that version. Among the work that the organization has done is the denunciation of 'false positives' that were committed in the region. "We evidenced before the country, together with other organizations, that here they were killing civilians and disguising them as guerrillas, at that time they did not believe us much, but they realized this practice when the bodies of the Soacha youth appeared in Las Chircas, in Ocaña, "says Quintero. The organization contributed to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) information on 180 extrajudicial executions that the Public Force had committed in Norte de Santander.

In the last two years, the killings against the members of Ascamcat have been committed by armed actors that the organization has not been able to identify and the authorities have not clarified the facts. In addition, kidnappings have occurred. Five months ago Celiar Martínez, peasant leader of the corregimiento of San Pablo (Teorama), is apparently held by the Eln . "It can be a kidnapping or a disappearance, we still don't know," Quintero says with concern. The organization estimates that since 2018 15 leaders have had to move due to threats against their lives. The Ocaña Regional Ombudsman's Office has also recorded victimizing acts such as extrajudicial executions, kidnappings and displacements against the organization.

The organization has identified the factors that put them at risk. The first is stigmatization. For several years Ascamcat has been indicated as a kind of political arm of the Farc. Without evidence, some columnists have spread those points. In 2015, the opinion-maker Salud Hernández, for example, published a column entitled: 'Human rats?' A question in which he made clear allusion to the members of "Ascanca (sic)" of being "pupils of Timochenko". In May 2016, the former congressman of the Democratic Center Samuel Hoyos pointed to the association of being "(an) organization of the Farc".By similar accusations, the organization has initiated criminal actions against the members of the government party: María Fernanda Cabal, Paloma Valencia, Diego Villamizar and Juan Carlos Capacho. "When someone irresponsibly makes a comment that affects the security and risk situation of these organizations," explains Ocaña regional ombudsman, Diógenes Quintero, who shares that stigmatization has worsened the persecution.

When asking Juan Quintero if this involvement existed at any time, he says that what has existed are "judicial statements and assemblies." He recalled that in 2010 the capture of 17 members of Ascamcat was given and arrest warrants were issued against 68 more. None were convicted, all recovered freedom . "In these 15 years we have suffered judicial assemblies from the Prosecutor's Office in which we have never verified anything that involves us with any illegal armed group. On the contrary that became a very dangerous smear propaganda because then it went to a second stage, which were the threats, and triggered in homicides, "he stressed.

Another important risk factor is that Acamcat fully bets on the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed between the State and the Farc. That has generated problems with the insurgencies that persist in the region: the Eln, the Epl and a dissent from the Farc front 33. "They consider it a maneuver of traitors or people who can be servile to the class enemy," explains Juan Quintero.

The regional defender complements that "(betting on implementation) has also generated a political cost in the sense that communities do not see the progress of the implementation of the Agreement". An example of this is the National Integral Program for the Substitution of Crops for Illicit Use (Pnis), says Juan Quintero :. Ascamcat urged coca growers to take advantage of the program and today that same organization denounces noncompliance. "What happens when the government fails to comply is that there are actors who say: 'you are the ones who go around with the Government cheating people, then we threaten or peel it'," emphasizes the leader, who denounces that the Government has modified "unilaterally the times raised in the execution of the Pnis timeline and there is also a Duke refusal to include the other municipalities of the country, especially those of Catatumbo, in the program ". Only the municipalities of Tibú and Sardinata are included in that region.

The Government, for its part, defends its actions against Pnis. "At the beginning of the Government of President Duque we received a program without planning, without administrative strength and without a budget to meet the commitments made," said Emilio Archila, presidential adviser for stabilization and consolidation. "There was no operational structure or information management model. We had to review, adjust and establish times, processes, procedures and operation of the different components of the Pnis, determining the minimum realistic route of intervention, which could never have been less than 29 months, "he complemented. In addition, he assured that 11,836 million pesos have been invested for registered Catalan families.

Other risk factors mentioned by Juan Quintero is the opposition that the organization has made to the mining projects. They also associate some threats with the allegations they have made for human rights violations committed by irregular armed groups operating in the region.

The solutions

Juan Quintero asks for substantive solutions: "the tool is in the Peace Agreement in all matters". He said that the implementation of the agreement would have a positive impact on the security situation of Ascamcat. He also asked for progress in the dialogues with the Eln because as long as that conflict is not resolved, the public order situation in the Catatumbo will remain critical.

We tried to contact the governor of Norte de Santander, Silvano Serrano, to learn about his plans for the protection of social organizations in Catatumbo, but at the time of publication of this article we did not get an answer. His press officer, Heider Logatto, sent us an audio of a press conference given by the president last Friday in which he promised to advance a security council for next January 20.

Diogenes Quintero said that "communities through self-management have taken measures of protection, self-protection, which are communal, some within the framework of collective protection measures. It is important that these measures be strengthened from the State so that they are more effective in the territory. "

Meanwhile, the leaders of this organization will continue to resist. For them, Ascamcat is very important for a region that remains at war and a civil society tired of confronting the humanitarian costs it generates. "In regions such as Catatumbo where there is a lack of institutionality, it is important that there are such organizations that defend human rights, which strengthen communities, and community action boards," said Diogenes Quintero. The members of that organization hope that the State will provide guarantees and that the armed groups will not stigmatize them for fighting for the implementation of agreements that would improve the quality of life of the farmers in the region.

https://www.elespectador.com/colombia20 ... ulo-900546

Google Translator
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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