Colombia is in a state of humanitarian crisis with murders of human rights defenders, social movement leaders, and ex-insurgents happening at a rate of one victim per day. Police repression of demonstrations has been brutal, especially that committed by the U.S.-armed ESMAD riot squad. In the Department of La Guajira, one of the most militarized regions of Colombia and a major source of profits for foreign coal mining companies, every year Wayuú indigenous children die from malnutrition. Forced displacement has grown, especially affecting rural, indigenous, and Afro-Colombian communities, such as the current massive displacement from the majority-Black city of Buenaventura.
We do not hear about the humanitarian crisis in Colombia because it is a country that has become an essential regional and global partner to the U.S./NATO military machine and the Empire of the Rich. What we hear is the myth that Colombia is an example of capitalist and democratic success. Instead, we are told almost daily about the suffering of the Venezuelan people who are enduring and surviving and resisting the devastating blockade and sanctions imposed by the U.S. government. Again, why? Because Venezuela, unlike Colombia, is slated for the overthrow of its elected government, while Colombia’s resources are being privatised and the nation is used as a base for threats and interventions against Venezuela and for all of Latin America.
The Alliance for Global Justice wages and participates in Colombia solidarity campaigns and projects on a variety of fronts, including our support of the new Centro Pazifico (Pacific Center for Human Rights) in Cali, that provides shelter for forcibly displaced persons, office and meeting space for popular movements, and lodging for short- and medium- term human rights accompaniment.
For more information, please send an email to James@AFGJ.org or call us at 202-540-8336, extension 503.
COLOMBIA-RELATED VIDEOS AND AUDIO FILES
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.