Monthly Archives: July 2013

Senior Semana journalist attacked

Published On: Sat, May 11th, 2013

Chief of Investigations at Colombia´s top weekly publication Semana, Ricardo Calderon, survived a gun attack in Tolima last week. Five shots were fired at his car while he had stopped to urinate before approaching a toll near the town of Fusagasuga late on Wednesday, May 1st.

The attack on such a high-profile journalist has reignited the debate about safety for members of the press in the country. Semana’s publisher released a statement saying that it was the first against one of its journalists in its 30 years of publishing. The Associated Press reported: “While provincial journalists are periodically assassinated in Colombia for their work, attacks on prominent journalists such as Calderon are extremely rare in Colombia.”

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Colombia´s May Day protests end in violence

Published On: Fri, May 3rd, 2013

May Day protests in Bogotá ended in violence on Wednesday with police firing tear gas, stun grenades and using water cannon tanks to disperse crowds in the Plaza de Bolivar and along Carrera Septima.

According to police, 65 people were arrested and three have been formally charged. The Unified Command Post of the Mayor announced that the march took place without mishap. However, others such as the Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners, an NGO based in Bogotá, have claimed that there were arbitrary arrests and harassment of peaceful protesters and journalists covering the event. The Ministry of Health has announced that 12 people, three of them policemen, were admitted with minor injuries.

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Colombia: Marcha Patriótica Gains Momentum in the Struggle for Peace with Social Justice

By Peter Bolton and Alejandro Gonzalez

Along Bogotá’s iconic Carerra Septima, a semi-pedestrianized street usually bustling only with local Bogotános buying from the stores and street vendors lining the thoroughfare, a very different sight was seen on April 9. A sea of people from all across Colombia marched with a common desire for an end to the country’s armed conflict. They lined the streets in a lively procession, including dancing, music and performance. Countless people waving flags, holding banners, and wearing symbolic T-shirts marched to the city’s famous Plaza de Bolívar, united by a common desire for peace.

One of the largest mobilizations for peace in recent memory, the march was planned to coincide with and support talks taking place in Havana between the Colombian government and the armed rebel group FARC. The talks, which began last year in Oslo, before moving to Havana, are of huge significance, given the hard-line stance taken by Colombia’s former president Álvaro Uribe, and considering that the current president, Juan Manuel Santos, a former defense minister in Uribe’s government, has committed such a bold about-face by engaging with the FARC. Significant gains have already been made. For example, a chief government negotiator recently announced that an agreement had been reached on the central issue of land.

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Colombia peace marches draw thousands

Rallies held in support of peace talks with the Farc but critics fear movement being used as a front for rebels’ return to politics

Peter Bolton in Bogotá and , Latin America correspondent guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 10 April 2013 02.50 BST

Tens of thousands of Colombians have taken to the streets of Bogotá in support of peace talks aimed at ending Latin America’s longest-running insurgency.

Wearing white, playing music and chanting “We want peace,” the dense crowds marched towards the Plaza Bolivar where they were joined by President Juan Manuel Santos.

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