The Andes

Colombia sliding deeper into internal war

Under pressure to address the ongoing wave of targeted assassinations in Colombia, President Iván Duque for the first time spoke before the National Commission to Guarantee Security, formed by the previous government to address continuing violence in the country—which has only worsened since he took office last year. Duque said 4,000 people are now under the government's protection program for threatened citizens. But his office implied that the narco trade is entirely behind the growing violence. Interior Minister Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez told the meeting: "This great problem is derived from the 200,000 hectares of illicit crops that we have in Colombia." However, it is clear that the narco economy is but part of a greater nexus of forces that fuel the relentless terror—all related to protecting rural land empires and intimidating the peasantry. (Photo via Contagio Radio)

The Andes

Colombia: UN concern over political assassinations

Gilberto Valencia, a young Afro-Colombian cultural worker, became 2019's first casualty of political violence in Colombia, when a gunman opened fire on a New Years party he was attending in his village in Cauca region. As the death toll from around the country mounted over the following weeks, the UN Mission to Colombia  warned President Iván Duque that he must address "the issue of the assassinations of social leaders and human rights defenders." Colombia's official rights watchdog, the Defensoría del Pueblo, acknowledges that there was an assassination on average every two days in the country last year—a total of 172, and a rise of more than 35% over 2017.  (Photo via Caracol Radio)

The Andes

Peasant strikes mobilize again in Colombia

Indigenous protesters blocked the rail line carrying coal from the massive Cerrejón mine in Colombia's La Guajira region, as pressure again mounts on peasant demands.

The Andes

New post-conflict ‘Plan Colombia’ foreseen

President Juan Manuel Santos meets at the White House with Barack Obama to mark 15 years since the initiation of the Plan Colombia—and discuss a "post-conflict" aid package.

The Andes

Colombia: worst drought in recorded history

Colombia is suffering the worst drought and forest fires in its history, partially due to weather phenomenon El Niño, with water rationing instated across the country.

The Andes

Colombia: crime lord falls, para links revealed

The capture of "Marquitos," reigning crime lord of Colombia's La Guajira region, was followed by revelations of his deadly dealings with local paramilitaries and politicians.

The Andes

Colombia: security workers blockade coal mine

Workers from the Sepecol security firm blocked the rail line leading to the mammoth Cerrejón coal mine in northeastern Colombia for seven days over a contract dispute.

The Andes

Colombia: agrarian strike re-mobilizes

Colombian campesinos launched a new national strike, blocking key roads across several regions of the country to press demands including debt relief.