OAS Says Armed Groups Occupying Land Abandoned by FARC

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Nov 18, 2016, 4:42 pm
Roberto Menendez was assigned by the OAS to monitor de accord between the government and FARC (YouTube)
Roberto Menendez was assigned by the OAS to monitor the accord between the government and  the FARC (YouTube)


Roberto Menéndez, head of the OAS Support Mission to the peace process in Colombia, sounded the alarm in an interview given to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, in which he alleges that several armed groups have taken advantage of the displacement of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) soliders, in order to occupy key areas that the guerrillas abandoned.

According to Menéndez, criminal gangs and other armed groups seek to occupy the lands left behind by the FARC, in order to expand drug routes or to seek illegal mines to exploit and profit from them, especially in the plains region of eastern Colombia.

Menéndez said it is difficult to determine whether there was a formal collusion between the FARC guerrillas and the ELN (National Liberation Army) to cede their territories, but the phenomenon of occupation by other armed groups is readily apparent due to citizen complaints and graffiti, as well as other means in which the community is made aware that another illegal group that now has taken control of certain areas.

The official also warned that there have been a series of clashes between armed groups for control of certain areas, that has generated forced displacement of families in some rural areas of the Pacific coast, caused by criminal gangs that are looking for strategic corridors to cultivate and/or transport narcotics.

Finally, Menéndez urged caution as the government proceeds with the demobilization plan for the guerrillas, noting that the Colombian state must make its presence known in the abandoned territories in order to prevent them from being occupied by new illegal armed groups that perpetuate violence.

Source: El Tiempo

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Brazilian Congress to Protect Politicians from Campaign Corruption

By: Karina Martín - Nov 18, 2016, 3:41 pm
If they indict all those who used cash box 2, they will end this entire political generation (urgente24)

EspañolFollowing evidence of massive fraud at the state oil company Petrobras that has involved lawmakers, governors and politicians, the Brazilian Congress has decided to consider legislation to protect its members from various anti-corruption investigations. "The closer the investigations come to those in power, the more reaction there will be. If impunity loses force, those who imagined themselves immune to criminal jurisdiction will seek to create mechanisms that impede the continuity of the investigation, "said Roberto Veloso, president of the Association of Federal Judges of Brazil. Read more: Brazil's Rousseff Makes Legal Case to Remove President Temer over Campaign Bribery Read more: Brazil's Ex-President Rousseff Runs Into Trouble at Uruguay Border The Chamber of Deputies of Brazil will discuss a series of anti-corruption measures issued by prosecutors of Operation Lava Jato, the corruption investigation carried out by the Federal Police of Brazil. The initiative could create a self-amnesty for the so-called "Box 2": undeclared campaign donations that often cover up serious crimes like money laundering corruption. If it were to be implemented as law, the new classification of "Box 2" into a "more robust crime" would exonerate those who are now under investigation. "If they criminalize all who used the 'Box 2', they will end this political generation," admitted an adviser to one of the main parties in Brazil, who asked not to be identified. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The operation known as Lava Jato was made public on March 17, 2014, when more than a hundred summons were issued, implicating some of Brazil's leading political and business figures. The Brazilian court opened investigations into some 50 politicians and other entrepreneurs suspected of overpricing contracts between construction companies and the oil company and subsequently diverting resources for political benefits. The issue dropped the government of former president Dilma Rousseff's Workers Party (PT) to its lowest levels of popularity and resulted in mass protests, such as those convened last Sunday in more than 200 cities across the country. It is estimated that nearly one million Brazilians participated. Source: El Observador.

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