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Colombian Armed Conflict Rages on Despite FARC Peace Deal

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Mar 22, 2017, 3:58 pm
Despite the FARC peace deal, armed conflict remains a persistent problem in Colombia (
Despite the FARC peace deal, armed conflict remains a persistent problem in Colombia (YouTube).

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Through a press release, the NGO Amnesty International said that the Colombian armed conflict is raging on in several parts of the country despite the agreement signed between the government and the FARC guerrilla group in 2016. According to this organization, hundreds of people are still impacted by the longstanding conflict, even after the beginning of the implementation of the peace deal agreed in Havana.

This phenomenon has occurred because, despite the fact that the FARC have begun to mobilize towards controlled camps known as concentration zones, other armed groups have begun fill the vacuum in those places where before the FARC maintained a strong presence.

For example, Amnesty Internacional reports in the El Espectador newspaper, that the community of San José de Apartadó, in the department of Antioquia in the northeast of the country, has suffered more than 300 murders or displacements perpetrated by the Self-Defense Groups Gaitanistas de Colombia. Many of their members were formerly associated with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a group which has been linked to other criminal activities.

Similarly, there have been attacks by the Gulf Clan, a criminal gang that claims to have a political ideology, but which has been described by many as simply a group dedicated to drug trafficking and illegal mining. For this reason, Amnesty International has strongly criticized the Colombian government failure to acknowledge the existence of paramilitarism by asserting that these criminal actions are not systematic, as they did yesterday before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Amnesty International’s statements come days after the start of the FARC‘s disarmament and in the midst of the commencement of the government’s talks with the ELN guerrilla group. Long considered more radical than their FARC counterparts, the ELN has remained a thorn in Colombia’s side, as it has carried out nearly constant attacks on the country’s infrastructure, police, and civil society.

Source: El Espectador

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.

Venezuelan Regime Annuls Passport of Opposition Congressman

By: David Unsworth - @LatinAmerUpdate - Mar 22, 2017, 3:01 pm
The Maduro regime has begun to annul the passports of politicians and officials affiliated with the opposition (

Español Once again the regime of Nicolas Maduro has blocked the passport of a Venezuelan opposition deputy; this time the individual impacted was Eudoro González, head of the Venezuelan delegation to Mercosur. José Gregorio Correa, chairman of the Mercosur Parliament's internal affairs, security, and defense committee, rejected the measure taken by the Maduro government, which has also blocked the passports of deputies Luis Florido and William Dávila. Read More: Venezuela Scrambles to Sell Off Oil Assets and Avoid Default Read More: Maduro Accuses US Embassies in Latin America of Plotting to Intervene in Venezuela The parliamentarian also criticized the Chavez government for denying visas to representatives of the World Inter-Parliamentary Union, an organization that brings together parliaments of the world. The special mission was planning to arrive in Venezuela, to verify the situation in the country; especially with regard to illegal measures taken against the National Assembly and the arbitrary detention of deputy Gilber Caro. It should be noted that the cancellation of passports of Venezuelan dissidents is becoming a habit for the government of the South American country. The regime has canceled the passports of three other Venezuelan government opponents who have tried to leave the country. These officials argue that the pretext for the cancellations has been trumped up criminal charges. Such was the case for deputy Luis Florido who tried to leave the country and was unable to. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Florido was held at the Simón Bolívar International Airport last Friday. In addition, they canceled his passport for an alleged complaint of theft made by SAIME, Venezuela's Administrative Service of Identification and Migration. In early January, Venezuelan journalist Thábata Molina denounced that at the airport her passport was canceled and she was allegedly alleged to have been implicated in a robbery by SAIME. The same happened on February 7, when the opposition deputy William Davila denounced that when he was completing the immigration procedures to leave the country, he was notified that he could not travel. He was initially told that his passport presented a "technical error", and then at the Saime's office he was informed that his passport had been canceled due to being reported lost. "Only in a dictatorship are passports annulled in such a fasion," said Davila. "With these actions the autocratic character of this regime is evident. They respects nothing. They permanently violate the Constitution and show that the only ones who are in contempt of the rule of law are those who follow the orders of Nicolás Maduro," he said. Source: Diario Las Américas

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