Fri 01 - Three ELN killed in kidnap-rescue; 5 NGO workers retained by an armed group in Atrato.
· The Colombian army reports the rescue of three people kidnapped by the ELN guerrilla group. Officials said that during the rescue effort to free the three civilians in Calima-Darien (Valle), three ELN members were killed and two more injured. The civilians were kidnapped during the Easter holidays and forced by their captors to march through the jungle towards the Choco department, El Pais reports.
· In a public statement, the Colombian NGO Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace reports that five of its members have been retained by an armed group in the Jiguamiando River basin (Choco) while they were accompanying the afro-Colombian communities living in the area. The statement calls upon the armed group to respect their lives and to free them, Colprensa reports.
More than 30 intellectuals, artists and religious leaders of
Peruvian Defence Minister Roberto Chiabra says his government
has detected 37,000 new acres under coca cultivation. He said the growth is
a by-product of the U.S.-backed anti drug efforts in neighbouring
Sat 02 – Spanish government may mediate
with guerrilla groups; Uribe to visit
· Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said during last week’s visit to Colombia that Spain will lend the Colombian army three military planes and may mediate in peace talks with guerrillas. Spain is willing to act as mediator in peace talks between Colombia and guerrilla groups under the condition that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army cease hostilities: “We want to be the best ally Colombia has in the fight to create peace,'' said Zapatero, ‘there is no justification for the use of arms', he said on RCN radio.
President Uribe Velez is travelling to
A White House report shows that
a massive aerial spraying offensive last year failed to dent the area of coca
under cultivation in
· Authorities arrested 18 alleged ELN members last month in the northern province of Norte de Santander on charges of trafficking arms, explosives and drugs, National Police chief Jorge Castro said, El Pais reports.
Mon 04 – Attorney killed in Medellin;
106 people killed this year in Ciudad Bolivar,
Norman Humberto Gomez, a 37 year old member of the Colombian
judicial police (CTI) from the Attorney General’s office in Antioquia is shot
dead by gunmen in the city of
The Colombian Attorney General’s
office reports that 106 people have been killed violently this year in
· A joint operation of the National Police and the Attorney General’s office in the municipalities of Ricaurte, Barbacoas and Mallama (Nariño) detains 26 people for allegedly collaborating with the FARC group. The detainees include Jaime Ariel Garcia, a candidate in the upcoming mayoral elections in Ricaurte on 24 April. The Colombian Permanent Committee for Human Rights defended the detainees as honourable community members, El Tiempo reports.
Pressure from the Army and the FARC group in the Sierra Nevada
Tues 05 – Amnesty demands freedom of retained defenders; OAS alarms re demobilised fighters.
· In reaction to the abduction of five human rights activists working with the Afro-descendant community of Jiguamiando and Curvarado, Amnesty International calls for action to be taken to guarantee their safety and to bring those responsible for their abduction, whether members of guerrilla forces or paramilitary groups, to justice.
Sergio Caramagna, the OAS envoy
to the peace process with the paramilitaries of the AUC (Self-Defence forces
Some 250 Colombians caught in the cross-fire between irregular
armed groups have fled their community in Bojaya, western
· The Antioquia Supreme Court has approved 10-year jail sentences for army soldiers Sandro Fernando Barrero and Humberto de Jesus. Blandon in connection with the killings of two peasants accused of supporting guerrillas in Carmen de Viboral, (western Antioquia) in the year 2000, El Colombiano reports.
Weds 06 – FARC ambush in
The 10th front of the
FARC group ambushes a military convoy, killing 18 soldiers, according to the
army chief. In the latest attack, explosives were detonated as the patrol was
passing between Fortul and Tame, in the oil-rich state of Arauca on the border
UN officials working in
The Colombian Ministry of Defence declares an emergency to
care for more than 2,700 Colombian soldiers affected with leishmaniasis. The
Army intends to buy 303,000 treatment capsules for the soldiers fighting the
FARC in the jungles in south
Thurs 07 – 11 killings daily in
Eleven people are killed daily in
The human rights unit of the Attorney
General’s office sends a petition to investigate Congresswoman from
· The anticorruption policy, a reported priority in the agenda of President Uribe Velez, is having no impact on Colombian institutions. According to Rosa Ines Ospina, from NGO Transparency for Colombia, the government is failing to establish transparent requirements for the so called ‘meritocracy’ and it is using the appointment of relatives in foreign diplomatic posts to pay back favours from some Congressmen who traded their support for the re-election initiative promoted by Uribe’s aides. The NGO commented that this has worsened the situation, calling on the government to change their practices.
· In a public letter the president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Sidiki Kaba ‘profoundly regrets’ the public support expressed by Spanish Primer Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for the security policies implemented by the government of Colombia, suggesting that he take ‘a closer look at the reality of the nature of the violence affecting the people in Colombia’, El Tiempo reports.
Colombia This Week
is a news summary produced and distributed by ABColombia Group. Sources include
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