Join the AFGJ, the National Lawyers Guild, People’s Human Rights Observatory Electoral Observation Mission to Colombia, May 25 through June 1, 2022. For more info write James@AFGJ.org or call 202 540 8336 ext. 503
This year’s elections in Colombia could bring a seismic shift in Colombian politics and rejuvenate a peace process that many had pronounce dead. There is the possibility of a thorough rejection of the far right in the ballot box. People are tired of austerity, poverty, social neglect, and a refusal by the government to honor the 2016 Peace Accord. They are tired of a humanitarian crisis of political violence that has claimed the lives of at 1327 social movement leaders, and 308 signers of the peace agreement, according to Indepaz. The prospect of an election marred by violence and mired in fraud could bring Colombia’s hopes crashing down.
The viability and success of Colombia’s May 29th presidential election could depend on the presence of international electoral observers. The Alliance for Global Justice, National Lawyers Guild, and the People’s Human Rights Observatory are organizing an Election Accompaniment and Observation Team that will be hosted by and accredited through the Permanent Committee for Human Rights (Comite Permanente de Derechos Humanos-CPDH).
If you would like more information, please send an email to James@AFGJ.org
If the congressional and primary elections that occurred last March 13 are any indication, there is cause for concern. Despite widespread irregularities, opposition candidates did exceptionally well, and Gustavo Petro, the candidate for the Center-Left Historic Pact (Pacto Histórico) won more votes in his primary than the combined total for the winners of the other top two primaries. But when initial results were released for congressional races, power remained in the hands of the current governing coalition. Unbelievably, in 26% of the polls, the Pacto Historico received zero votes, a statistical impossibility. After a revision, three more seats were awarded to the Center-Left coalition Party. While it looks like the right wing may have to concede defeat in the presidential vote, they are pulling out all stops to make Colombia ungovernable if they cannot hold power.
Had it not been for the testimonies of foreign election observers and the outcry of Colombian voters, those results might have remained unchallenged. If you would like to be part of our election observation team for the May 29 presidential election, send an email to James@AFGJ.org
Fortunately for you, dear reader, we have the Alliance for Global Justice to keep us informed about the reality in Colombia, where a groundswell of resistance may be forcing a change that not even the empire and all its puppets can stop. One way you can stay informed for the next six weeks is by watching our new Zoom broadcast, available in both English and Spanish:
Watch this video of the play Beyond the Walls, a play based on writings collected (and contributed to) by Liliany Obando while she was a political prisoner at the Buen Pastor Womens Prison in Bogotá. The script was developed by AfGJ’s James Jordan in collaboration with Lazos de Dignidad and the International Network in Solidarity with the Political Prisoners. The play was directed by Frida Espinosa Cárdenas. Versions of the play are available from AfGJ in both English and the original Spanish.
This is a video by Dan Gordon which was put together after our 2013 delegation to Colombia. It deals Colombian political prisoners. We are happy to say that thousands of political prisoners and prisoners of war are being released as a result of the peace accords that went into effect at the end of November, 2016. Nevertheless, many political prisoners that are not covered in the accords continue to languish in US funded, advised and accredited prisons, and we continue to receive reports of yet new politically motivated arrests.