Amnesty: A Win for Colombia’s Peace Process? (The New Internationalist)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Liliany Obiando is finally free – after nine years. For almost a decade, Colombian sociologist, human rights worker and former political prisoner Liliany Obando has been engaged in a long and complex battle with the Colombian state and judicial system. She was charged with ‘rebellion’ in 2008, but this March the state officially …

Colombia’s Cane Industry Efficient but Potentially Damaging (Mongabay)

CALI, COLOMBIA - Colombia’s Pacific coast state of Valle del Cauca, home to at least 80 percent of the country’s booming sugar cane industry, continues to rebound after excessive and damaging rains in 2011-2012. In fact, recent USDA Foreign Agricultural Services report found that the country’s cane industry continues to reach “historical averages.” The rebound isn’t …

Another Blow to Colombia’s Peace Process (The New Internationalist)

QUITO, ECUADOR - The Colombian peace process was dealt another huge blow last week, after the launch of the long anticipated peace talks with the ELN guerrillas was cancelled Thursday. This move left many people feeling even more concerned about the future of the country and its prospects for peace. Last week, the Colombian government and …

The Last Days of War: FARC’s ‘Final Conference’ in Pictures (The New Internationalist)

EL DIAMANTE, COLOMBIA - On 2 October, Colombia has a chance to put an end to a 52-year conflict, as it will hold a referendum on its historic agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). FARC are the largest guerrilla movement involved in the Colombian conflict, having started as a Marxist-Leninist peasant force in …

Inside Colombia’s “Guantanamo Bay”: A Human Rights Nightmare (teleSUR English & Truthout)

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - Ariz Carrillo spent two years and five months locked behind bars at one of Colombia's maximum security prisons, La Tramacua ­-- a place so renown for its human rights abuses that it has been dubbed "the Guantanamo of Colombia". "For no reason, only because I was a political prisoner. They tortured me …

‘Plan Colombia’ Has Been a Nightmare for Women (teleSUR English & Truthout)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Six women were raped every hour in Colombia during the first nine years of Plan Colombia. That figure was taken from a joint survey done by women's rights organizations, which include Oxfam and other Colombian based groups. The study also revealed that some 489,678 women were victims of some type of sexual …

‘You Can’t be Scared of Death There’ Life as a Colombian Refugee (teleSUR English & Truthout)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Keli did not leave Colombia voluntarily. Neither did Luis. And neither one of them grew up thinking they would one day be labelled a refugee. The two of them fled very different situations of violence in Colombia, what together epitomize the complexities of the ongoing war in the country. Keli – which …