The grueling, decades long conflict in Colombia between the government, right-wing paramilitary groups, and leftist rebels may be coming to an end in the coming months. Over the last several years, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (also known as FARC) reached an agreement


with the Colombian government


on a peace accord that could end the aging war. The talks have included the topics of the political participation of the FARC, drug-trafficking, the fundamental issue of the distribution and ownership of land in Colombia, the rights of victims and the conditions for insurgents to turn in their weapons.

The FARC, just one of many rebel groups, has been in conflict with both government military forces as well as with paramilitary groups, such as the United Self-Defense Force of Colombia (called AUC, the umbrella name for a collection of paramilitary groups). The AUC, formed in 1997, has garnished a reputation for drug-trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion in their many human rights violations. Although 30,000 members of AUC were supposedly demobilized by the government between 2003 and 2006, many AUC members formed successor paramilitary groups under different titles. Two of the groups most prevalent are the Aguilas Negras and the Rastrojos. Their power has largely stemmed from their misty relationships with Colombian military and political circles. While their paramilitary status is not so prevalent anymore, they still remain active in the drug-trafficking community. As


Thomas Shannon


, Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of State puts it, “I wouldn’t call them paramilitary groups. I would call them drug-trafficking organizations or weapons-trafficking organizations or criminal organizations.”

In addition to FARC and the AUC, groups involved include the National Liberation Army (ELN),


a marxist group spurred in 1965


by the ideologies of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. When peace talks between FARC and the government began in 2012,


the ELN showed interest in some forms of negotiations


, though they were swiftly turned down. Since the progression of the talks with FARC, however, President Juan Manual Santos has reached out, saying that the government is “ready to talk” with the ELN, and hopes to begin peace talks with them as soon as possible.

For the time being though, the peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government are going swimmingly. Many critics of both sides, however, are doubtful, even as the accord comes to some form of conclusion, as the three previous negotiations between FARC and the state have


resulted in failure.


“We’ve never been so close to an agreement before,” said Santos on Twitter. The agreement, formulated after three years of working with the government, the rebels, and some of their victims, creates a truth commission to clarify what happened in the war and promises to search for thousands of missing people, identify their remains and return them.

The agreement sets in place special courts that will try former combatants for their crimes. This includes FARC rebels

and

government soldiers, demonstrating both sides’ willingness to find peace.


The courts would reduce the sentencing of those who admit guilt and aide the peace-seeking process


, but will deny amnesty for anyone found guilty of crimes against humanity. It also attempts to ensure those hurt by the war will not be victimized again. Alan Jara, who was held hostage by FARC for over seven years was shocked, but delighted to see his former captors working peacefully with the state for once. “It is the people who haven’t suffered directly [that are] the ones who are least willing to accept a peace deal,” says Jara. “We who lived it are more accepting.” The victims, although cautiously open to the agreement, have long demanded truth and reparations, rightfully so, and it seems that they may get it


with the involvement of the United Nations Security Council, who was voluntarily brought in by the negotiating parties.


The


tripartite system


will have UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon make recommendations as to the operational details of the mission, which is hoped to reach a final agreement by March 23rd.

With UNSC involvement, FARC cooperation, and government compliance, it seems that the world’s longest-running war may be coming to an end. Until the issue of illegally armed groups is resolved, however, peace will not be possible within the local communities and the violence they face from these  groups. Also, as with many political issues that traverse a number of political, social, and economic demographics, it is critical to involve as many third-party actors not actively siding with either the government or the FARC in the implementation of the peace accords as possible: actors such as Colombian and international NGO’s, and the UN, and religious organizations. A more stabilized peace will not be possible in Colombia without a combined effort from those previously left out of the peace talks.

Written by Luke Burrows (CRLN Intern)
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Carlos Rosero and Javier Marrugo of the Afro-Colombian Peace Council speak in Chicago about the importance of inclusion of African descendants in peace talks and Peace Accord implementation.

(

Versión en Español aquí

)

Last week, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos met with President Obama to discuss a bilateral shift from 15 years of Plan Colombia to what the two heads of state are calling “


Peace Colombia


.” For the past decade and a half, Plan Colombia channeled billions of U.S. dollars to shore up Colombia’s military and police resources, more deeply militarizing the Colombian state’s strategy to fight a nominal war on drugs which displaced violence to the countryside and disproportionately affected

campesinos

, Afro-Colombians and Indigenous peoples.

Santos and Obama also discussed the grueling, decades long conflict in Colombia between the government, right-wing paramilitary groups, and leftist rebels which is likely to end in the coming months due to intense negotiations over the past several years through peace talks in Havana, Cuba. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (also known as FARC) reached an agreement


with the Colombian government


on a peace accord that could end the longest running civil war in the hemisphere. The talks have included the topics of the political participation of the FARC, drug-trafficking, the fundamental issue of the distribution and ownership of land in Colombia, the rights of victims, and the conditions for insurgents to turn in their weapons.

While the peace negotiations have been a crucial part of social movements’ strategy to mitigate the brutal violence (in fact, social movements, many of whom reject electoral politics, actually supported President Santos’ re-election with the goal that he would finalized the negotiations within his second term), Colombian organizers are not under the illusion that the accords nor the new “Peace Colombia” will bring fundamental peace to country, much less to the communities disproportionately affected by the violence (women,

campesinos

, African descendents and Indigenous peoples). We’ve heard over and over again that the peace accords will provide a pathway to peace, but that implementation, inclusion and accountability will be required if peace can ever become a fundamental reality.

Two pathways forward are crucial in this historic moment in Colombia:


First, regarding the implementation of the Peace Accords,

CRLN’s partner organizations in Colombia are pressing the international community to support their demands for (1) the inclusion of African descendant and Indigenous voices in the implementation process of the Peace Accords and (2) accompaniment for rebel groups like the FARC during their reentry into society so as not to reproduce the historic violence wielded against demobilized rebels as happened with the


Unión Patriotica in the 1980s and 1990s


when over 3,500 were assassinated. Stay tuned to CRLN’s website and facebook to stay up-to-date on our work to continue accompanying and supporting marginalized communities in Colombia during a transformational moment in their country’s history. And


sign the petition urging members of the peace negotiations to include Afro-descendant and Indigenous voices in the implementation period of the Peace Process


.


Second, regarding the new version of Plan Colombia now being called “Peace Colombia,”

it is crucial that the U.S. stop using its billions of dollars in aid to continue militarizing a country that is working to implement peace. CRLN partner organization the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), has provided


five sound recommendations


for shifting the policies of Plan Colombia away from militarization and towards the interests of those most directly affected by violence. Meanwhile, the national office of School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) is planning an investigatory delegation to the Panamanian border of Colombia where the U.S. is supporting the construction of yet another military base in an isolated and predominantly Indigenous and Afro-Colombian territory. The Illinois chapter of SOA Watch is


hosting a bowl-a-thon


to help fundraise in support of this delegation’s investigation of the ongoing militarization schemes during the ‘new’ era of “Peace Colombia.”


Click here to join a team and support this international organizing right from here in Chicago!

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March 1, 2016


***Press Release***


Faith Leaders Tell ICE: Stop Immoral Tactics & Stay Away from Sacred Spaces


Sanctuary Movement leaders denounce deceptive tactics targeting man on church grounds


Español aquí

CHICAGO – Following their condemnation of immigration raids earlier this year, religious leaders are indignant at Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s latest display of misconduct and abuse of power. Faith leaders are outraged that ICE

used a ploy to convince congregant

, Reynold Garcia, then praying at the Christian Pentecostal Center in Schaumburg, Illinois, to leave church grounds so they could detain and deport him. Faith leaders claim that Garcia’s case shows the deception and disregard that are the pillars of current immigration enforcement tactics.

According to fellow members of the congregation, ICE impersonated a local police officer, claimed that Garcia’s cousin had been in a car accident and urged him to leave church property to discuss the matter. ICE then convinced Garcia to go with them in an unmarked car, on the pretense of helping his cousin, only to detain and deport him hours later. This tactic was preceded by an ICE raid on his home the day before, resulting in the arrest and detention of his wife and two children.

Speaking on behalf of the pastoral team at the Christian Pentecostal Center, the Rev. Gerson Moreno said, “We are appalled by ICE’s behavior. They lied and used deceiving tactics to convince our brother Reynold to leave the safety of our church. The removal of the Garcia family has caused great emotional distress in our congregation and many fear for their families and friends. We continue to support the Garcia family and we request their case be reopened and that they be allowed back into the country.”

Since 2011, ICE has utilized policy guidance regarding operations at sensitive locations, including churches. In January,

national faith-based organizations issued a letter

reaffirming the importance of

ICE’s sensitive location guidance

and demanding ICE stay away from sacred spaces.

Earlier this year, Chicagoans shut down traffic outside of the Chicago ICE office, the regional ICE office which supervises enforcement operations throughout Illinois and other nearby states. Protesters highlighted the Chicago ICE office’s

consistent pattern of abuse and human and civil rights violations

. Reynold’s case was one of several grievances raised against the Chicago ICE office and its Regional Director, Ricardo Wong.

The Rev. Julian DeShazier, a faith leader with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network and pastor of a Sanctuary-offering congregation in Chicago, responded to the developments in Schaumburg from his church just miles away saying, “We are in solidarity with the Christian Pentecostal Center. Places of worship, as well as immigrant homes and communities, are all sacred spaces that must be off limits for immigration enforcement. As a faith community we are seeking answers from Director Wong for the immoral enforcement tactics stemming from his office. ICE began the year raiding immigrant homes, and now it’s coming into congregations. We must organize to stop the raids and hold ICE accountable.”

Nationally, Sanctuary Movement pastors are also speaking out against tactics that violate the sensitive locations policy. The Rev. Alison Harrington of Southside Presbyterian Church said, “It is not only unthinkable, but morally reprehensible that ICE would come after someone as they pray in their church. Our government has no right to impede on sacred spaces and the freedom to practice one’s religion. We echo demands that Reynold Garcia’s case be reopened and he be paroled in on humanitarian grounds.”

The Rev. Jim Rigby, whose congregation is offering Sanctuary to asylum seekers from Guatemala, Hilda Ramirez and her son, commented, “As congregations open their doors to the most vulnerable, we understand that all God’s children should be welcomed and given hospitality. We have a moral responsibility to do no less. We will continue to offer our halls to those who need them and will refuse to allow ICE to set even one foot on our grounds.”

###

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Español aquí

Click here to demand justice for the assassination of Berta Cáceres!

From Karen Spring, Honduras Solidarity Network Coordinator (see more statements and news stories below):

“March 3, 2016

This evening at approximately midnight, the General Coordinator of COPINH,

Berta Caceres

was assassinated in her hometown of La Esperanza, Intibuca. At least two individuals broke down the door of the house where Berta was staying for the evening in the Residencial La Líbano, shot and killed her. COPINH is urgently responding to this tragic situation.

Berta Caceres is one of the leading Indigenous activists in Honduras. She spent her life fighting in defense of Indigenous rights, particularly to land and natural resources. In 2015, Berta won the Goldman Prize for her outstanding activism and leadership. Her death will have a profound impact on the many Lenca communities that she worked with, COPINH, the Honduran social movement, and all that knew her.

Berta Caceres and COPINH have been accompanying various land struggles throughout western Honduras. In the last few weeks, violence and repression towards Berta, COPINH, and the communities they support, had escalated. In Rio Blanco on February 20th, Berta, COPINH, and the community of Rio Blanco faced threats and repression as they carried out a peaceful action to protect the River Gualcarque against the construction of a hydroelectric dam by the internationally-financed Honduran company DESA. As a result of COPINH’s work supporting the Rio Blanco struggle, Berta had received countless threats against her life and was granted precautionary measures by the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights. On February 25th, another Lenca community supported by COPINH in Guise, Intibuca was violently evicted and destroyed.”

CRLN, the Honduras Solidarity Network, and our partners in Honduras are all urgently demanding a thorough and immediate investigation of the circumstances surrounding Berta’s death.



Click here to demand justice for the assassination of Berta Cáceres!



News and statements about Berta’s Assassination:

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Haz click aquí para exigir justicia para el asesinato de Berta Cáceres!

Escrito por Karen Spring, Coordinadora de la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (Vea abajo para más historias, reflecciones, y artículos sobre la vida y asesinato de Berta):

“3 de marzo, 2016

 

Esta noche del 2 de marzo, aproximadamente a las 11:45 pm, la coordinadora general de COPINH,

Berta Caceres

, fue asesinada en su pueblo natal de la Esperanza, Intibucá. Al menos dos individuos rompieron la puerta de la casa donde Berta se hospedaba en el Residencial La Líbano, le dispararon y la mataron. COPINH está respondiendo de forma urgente a esta situación trágica.

 

Berta Caceras es una de las principales líderes indígenas de Honduras. Paso su vida luchando por la defensa de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, particularmente de su territorio y recursos naturales. En el 2015, Berta ganó el premio Goldman por su lucha y liderazgo incansable como defensora. Su muerte tendrá un impacto profundo en las comunidades Lencas con las que trabajaba, en COPINH, en el movimiento social de Honduras, y en todos quienes la conocieron.

 

Berta Caceres y COPINH han estado acompañando diversas luchas por el territorio en el occidente de Honduras. En estas últimas semanas, la violencia y represión en contra de Berta, el COPINH y las comunidades que apoyan, había escalado. El 20 de febrero en Rio Blanco, Berta, COPINH y la comunidad de Rio Blanco se enfrentaron a amenazas y represión mientras llevaban acabo una actividad pacífica para proteger el Rio Gualcarque de la construcción de una presa hydroeléctrica por parte de la empresa hondureña DESA con financiamiento internacional. Como resultado de el trabajo de COPIHN en apoyo de la lucha de Rio Blanco, Berta recibió múltiples amenazas contra su vida y fue otorgada medidas cautelares de parte de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. El 25 de febrero, otra comunidad Lenca apoyada por COPINH en Guise Intibuca fue desalojada violentamente y destruida.”

 

CRLN, la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras, y todxs nuestrxs compañerxs en Honduras estamos exigiendo urgentemente una investigación exhaustiva e inmediata de los hechos ocurridos.



Haz click aquí para exigir justicia para el asesinato de Berta Cáceres!



Otras historias y declaraciones acerca la vida y asasinato de Berta Cáceres:


Declaración (en facebook) de La Voz de Los de Abajo


Historia en Democracy Now!


Artículo en La Prensa del punto de vista de la madre de Berta

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More than a month after the murder of Honduran indigenous Lenca activist Berta Cáceres, the Honduran investigation into the crime has gone nowhere. CRLN believes that both the Honduran government and the U.S. State Department are blocking attempts by Berta’s family and human rights groups to transfer the investigation to an international team with no conflicts of interest in the case who could ensure justice.

Berta’s family insists it does not trust Honduran officials to investigate her murder and have called for an

independent, international investigation coordinated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

and whose conclusions would lead to a court case to try those responsible.  Honduran law states that the family can have access to the case file and consult with experts of its choosing, but the state prosecutor’s office has refused to share information with them and has ignored their requests for experts to be present at various moments in the investigation. The sole witness to the crime, Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro, says that Honduran investigators modified the crime scene and sought to intimidate him into incriminating members of Berta’s organization, COPINH. Honduras’ 98% impunity rate is also grounds for mistrust.

President Juan Orlando Hernández claimed that Honduran investigators were working with the FBI to solve the crime. CRLN members and staff who called the State Department to ask it to support an IACHR investigation were also told that the FBI was working with Honduran investigators. However,

it turns out that this is not true

. Given the U.S. record of support for the current Honduran administration, in spite of massive government corruption uncovered last year and its abysmal human rights record, FBI help might not be what is needed anyway.

President Hernández also called on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for help, but as the family and human rights groups quickly pointed out, this office does not conduct investigations, just observes. Finally, President Hernández agreed that the Organization of American States (OAS)’s Commission Against Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH, for its Spanish acronym)  could make an investigation. However, that body is only consultative, and the Honduran government has no obligation to enforce its recommendations. The U.S. State Department agrees, however, that MACCIH is the proper channel for the investigation.

It seems clear that both Honduras and the U.S. are primarily engaged in public relations and damage control around Berta’s murder, not interested in finding the material and intellectual authors of her death. Both are interested in at worst destroying, at best keeping the lid on, social movements which disrupt the ability of corporate extractive industries to do their business. That business is protected by both private security guards and the

Honduran military and police, heavily funded by the U.S

., who are deployed against activists, like Berta and many others, in the social movements. COFADEH, the most prominent human rights organization in Honduras, is talking about the

activity of death squads

again.

Berta’s daughters and son have returned from meetings in the DC area, disappointed at not getting official U.S. support for an IACHR investigation. They have returned to Honduras, where they will participate in an International Solidarity event called “Berta Cáceres Vive” [Berta Cáceres lives] April 13-15, organized by COPINH, the organization their mother co-founded. As U.S. citizens, the ball is in our court now. Stay tuned for next steps as CRLN and other organizations concerned about Honduras identify strategies to prompt a credible investigation into Berta’s death.

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Más de un mes después del asesinato de la activista indígena lenca de Honduras Berta Cáceres, la investigación del crimen por el gobierno de Honduras no ha dado ningún resultado. CRLN cree que tanto el gobierno de Honduras y el Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. están bloqueando los intentos de los familiares de Berta y grupos de derechos humanos para transferir la investigación a un equipo internacional con ningún conflicto de intereses en el caso que pudiera garantizar la justicia.

La familia de Berta insiste en que no confía en las autoridades Hondureñas para investigar el asesinato y han pedido una investigación independiente e internacional coordinada por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) y cuyas conclusiones podrían conducir a un caso judicial para juzgar a los responsables. La legislación hondureña establece que la familia puede tener acceso al expediente del caso y a consultar a expertos de su elección, pero la oficina del Fiscal del Estado de Honduras se ha negado a compartir información con ellos y ha ignorado sus peticiones de que expertos estén presentes en diversos momentos de la investigación. El único testigo del crimen, el ecologista mexicano Gustavo Castro, dice que los investigadores hondureños modificaron la escena del crimen y trataron de intimidarlo para que incriminar a miembros de la organización de Berta, COPINH. La tasa de impunidad de Honduras (98%) es también motivo de desconfianza.

El presidente Juan Orlando Hernández afirmó que los investigadores hondureños estaban trabajando con el FBI para resolver el crimen. Los miembros de CRLN y el personal que llamaron al Departamento de Estado para pedir apoyo para una investigación dirigida por CIDH, también se les dijo que el FBI estaba trabajando con los investigadores hondureños. Dado el historial de EE.UU. al dar apoyo a la administración actual de Honduras, a pesar de la corrupción masiva del gobierno descubierta el año pasado, y su pésimo historial de derechos humanos, la ayuda del FBI podría no ser lo que se necesita de todos modos.

El Presidente Hernández también llamó a La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (ACNUDH)  en busca de ayuda, pero como los familiares y grupos de derechos humanos señalaron rápidamente, esta oficina no lleva a cabo investigaciones, simplemente observa. Por último, el presidente Hernández acordó que la Misión de Apoyo Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad en Honduras (MACCIH) de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) pudiera hacer una investigación. Sin embargo, dicho organismo es solamente consultivo, y el gobierno de Honduras no tiene la obligación de hacer cumplir sus recomendaciones. El Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. está de acuerdo, sin embargo, que MACCIH es el canal adecuado para la investigación.

Parece claro que tanto Honduras como los EE.UU. cuyas actividades consisten principalmente en relaciones públicas y control de daños en torno a la muerte de Berta, no están interesados en encontrar a los responsables intelectuales de su muerte. Ambos están interesados en destruir y en mantener la tapa sobre los movimientos sociales, que interrumpen la capacidad de las industrias extractivas corporativas para hacer sus negocios. Ese negocio está protegido por guardias privados de seguridad y los militares hondureños y la policía, en gran medida financiados por los EE.UU., los cuales se despliegan contra los activistas, como Berta y muchos otros, en los movimientos sociales. COFADEH, la organización más prominente de los derechos humanos en Honduras, está hablando otra vez de la actividad de los escuadrones de la muerte.

Las hijas y el hijo de Berta han regresado de reuniones en el área de DC, decepcionados por no conseguir el apoyo oficial de EE.UU. para una investigación dirigida por CIDH. Han regresado a Honduras, donde van a participar en un evento internacional de solidaridad, denominado “Berta Cáceres Vive” del 13 al 15 de abril organizado por el COPINH, la organización que su madre co-fundó.

Como ciudadanos de Estados Unidos, la pelota está en nuestra cancha ahora. Manténgase en sintonía para los próximos pasos  que CRLN y otras organizaciones preocupadas por Honduras toman para impulsar una investigación creíble sobre la muerte de Berta.

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NOTICIA:

Después de unos días cuando comunidades Afro-Colombianas ocuparon la Panamericana en el Norte de Cauca, y después de sostener ataques de gas lacrimógeno y balas de goma por parte de las fuerzas de seguridad, oficiales locales y federales comenzaron a negociar con las comunidades. Afro-Colombianxs organizadxs insisten que sus territorios sean reconocidos y respetados ahora y durante la implementación de los Acuerdos de Paz. Mientras negocian, muchos de los líderes Afro-Colombianos están recibiendo amenazas por actores paramilitares. CRLN y muchos otros demandan que estos paramilitares sean desmobilizados si el Proceso de Paz en realidad llevará paz al país.


Haga click aquí para apoyar la expansión del Proceso de Paz

entre el estado Colombiano y los guerilleros ELN. Estaremos en comunicación continua con más oportunidades de acción y mientras tanto,

haga click aquí para una oportunidad de ir a una delegación

enfocada en lo que está pasando en Colombia en este momento clave de la historia del país.

—————————

De 4/27/2016: La semana pasada, CRLN estuvo en Washington DC, hablando con miembros del Congreso de Illinois pidiendo que apoyen una Comisión Étnica en las negociaciones de paz de Colombia en Havana, Cuba. Ahora,

2,000 Afrocolombianxs están bloqueando la Panamericana en Cauca

exigiendo respeto para sus territorios ancestrales según Ley 70 & que sus comunidades y pueblos Indígenas tengan un lugar en la mesa de negociación para terminar con una guerra que les ha afectado desproporcionadamente mas:

Lxs manifestantes piden diálogos con el estado Colombianx para hacer posible esta Comisión Étnica representando gente Afrocolombiana y pueblos Indígenas.


En vez de diálogos, están atacados con gas lacrimógeno y balas de goma.



¿Qué puedo hacer?




  1. Llame



    su miembro del Congreso


    y pida que: “contacte el Departamento del Estado para urgir un fin inmediato a las agresiones contra las manifestaciones pacíficas de Afrocolombianxs en Cauca. En vez de atacar, el estado Colombiano debe de dialogar con estas comunidades porque diálogo, no violencia, crea paz. Por favor exprese su apoyo para voces Afrocolomianas e Indígenas en la mesa de negociación de paz por una Comisión Étnica.”
  2. Mandar mensajes de Twitter a Presidente Santos: “.

    @JuanManSantos, @carmeninesVicen Nos preocupa mucho: reportes q niños Afrocolombianos están afecatdox por acciones de ESMAD en Cauca!”


  3. Done para apoyar a los esfuerzos de las comunidades Afrocolombianas organizadas


    para exigir respeto a sus territorios y un lugar en la mesa de necociación.




¿Cómo puedo ver noticias de la situación?




Sigue la página de Facebook de CRLN


y vea el


sitio de la Red de Solidaridad con Afrocolombianxs


, de cual CRLN es una organización miembo.



¿Por qué es tan importante esta situación?


Comunidades Afros e Indígenas han sido afectados desproporcionadamente por cinco décadas de guerra civil, desplazadas de sus territorios ancestrales reconocidos legalmente, e invadidos por industrias extractivas y otros intereses privados. Si la gente más afectada por la violencia no tienen voz en decidir como termina la violencia, no somos optimistas de los resultados de las Negociaciones de Paz.



¿Qué ha sido la respuesta del estado Colombiano?


Hasta ahora, la respuesta es gas lacrimógeno (que mandó a tres niños al hospital), bombas de humo, y balas de goma. La gente exigen diálogo, no violencia.

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Make three important phone calls today that will make a difference in these ongoing human rights campaigns!



Click here to find your member


of the House of Representatives. Then call Senator Durbin’s office at 202-224-2152 and Senator Kirk at 202-224-2854.

“Hi. My name is ________. I’m a member of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America and I’m calling to ask that Representative/Senator ______:

(1) contact the State department and express support for Afro and Indigenous voices in the Colombian Peace Process through an Ethnic Commission and a thorough demobilization of paramilitary groups still active in Colombia.

(2) I would also like Representative/Senator _______ to talk to the State department to demand an investigation into the murder of Berta Caceres led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. I would also ask that they support an immediate hold on security funding to Honduras and 100% human rights conditioning for 2017.

(3) Lastly, please support an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba and a lifting of travel restrictions by supporting the following bills:

(Only for Reps in the House)

H.R. 3687, H.R. 3055, H.R. 3238 and HR 664

(Only for Senators)

S. 299 and S. 491


Thank you.”

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Family members of Berta Caceres found out May 2 only through the media that 4 arrests had been made in connection with her murder.  While Honduran law gives victims of crimes the right to participate in investigations and to receive ongoing information as the investigation proceeds, Berta’s relatives have been entirely shut out of the process, even to the extent of not receiving notification of the arrests from the Attorney General’s office.

The family does not trust that the arrests made are the result of thorough evidence gathered and are concerned that there are no particular charges relating to what each suspect actually did and that they all have denied involvement in this crime.  The family also points out that the intellectual authors of the crime have not been arrested or charged. They continue to ask for the participation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and for the right to receive information about Berta’s case from the Attorney General’s office.

You will find below the family’s statement enumerating their concerns.


English:

Findings By the Attorney General’s Office Regarding the Assassination of Berta Cáceres Are Insufficient

Findings By the Attorney General’s Office Regarding the Assassination of Berta Cáceres Are Insufficient



Spanish:

Hallazgos del ministerio público sobre asesinato de Berta Cáceres son insuficientes


http://bertacaceres.org/es/findings-by-the-attorney-generals-office-regarding-the-assassination-of-berta-caceres-are-insufficient

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