During the 50+ year Colombian civil war, over 7 million people were internally displaced from their lands, most by the Colombian military or right-wing paramilitary forces and mostly to turn their land into palm oil plantations. African descended people and members of Indigenous groups have been displaced disproportionately to their percentage of the population. Starting in 2001 and over 15 years, the U.S. government sent $10 billion to Colombia under “Plan Colombia, supposedly to shut down cocaine shipments to the U.S. Instead, much of this money trained and armed the Colombian military and police, which committed human rights abuses and were complicit with paramilitary forces that committed many more. Some also went to aerial fumigation of coca crops, but the herbicide used was a health hazard to people and animals and also destroyed people’s food crops. In the end, Plan Colombia did nothing to stop the flow of drugs. During this time, CRLN worked to challenge U.S. militarized drug eradication policy, to focus attention on the need for humanitarian aid for the displaced, and to stop aerial fumigations.
In November 2016, the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group signed Peace Accords ending the 50+ year civil conflict that were later signed into law by the Colombian Congress. While the FARC demobilized, moved into designated areas, and formed a political party according to the plan, many other parts of the plan have not been implemented. The social conditions that precipitated the war have not been addressed, other armed groups moved into the territory vacated by the FARC, and nearly 300 community organizers and activists were murdered between November 2016 and April 2018. CRLN continues to advocate for the rights of displaced persons to return safely to their lands, for the rights of people to peacefully protest without fear of death, for an end to a militarized U.S. drug policy, and for the Colombian government to dismantle the paramilitary groups.
- Brutal attack on human rights defenders in Colombia by PNC and ESMADCRLN is alarmed by the brutal attacks since April 28 by the PNC (Colombian National Police) and ESMAD (Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squad) against protesters in multiple[…]
- 25 Organizations Call for an End to U.S. Support for Aerial Herbicide Fumigation in Colombia(Leer en español) Colombia’s government is moving closer to reinstating a program, suspended in 2015, that would spray herbicides from aircraft over territories where coca[…]
- McGovern-Pocan Colombia Dear Colleague LetterPlease email your Representative (find your Representative here) and ask them to sign onto a “Dear Colleague” letter initiated by Representatives Jim McGovern and Mark Pocan. You can[…]
- Colombian military intelligence scandalCRLN signed onto a letter to the State Department calling for systemic reform of Colombia’s military intelligence May 22, 2020 Acting Assistant Secretary of State[…]
- Urgent call for Protection for Colombian Human Rights DefendersPhoto by Anton Darius on Unsplash International Civil Society Organizations Call for the Colombian Government to Investigate Killing of Marco Rivadeneira and to Protect Human Rights Defenders[…]
- Colombians Visit Chicago to Promote Peace Accords FulfillmentOn Monday, June 2, 35 people gathered at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago (LSTC) to share lunch and dialogue with Milton Mejía, General[…]
- An Overview of the Path to Peace and Struggles to Maintain itA scope of the Peace Accord along with the policy implications are weighed in the New York Times Article published on May 17, 2019: Colombia’s[…]
- Colombia’s Trade UnionistsLearn about the deteriorating rights for Colombian workers and Trade Unionists through an article published by The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations[…]
- Update: Colombia’s Peace Is Too Precious to AbandonFind an update on Colombia’s Peace Accord from this New York Times article published on May 23, 2019: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/23/opinion/colombia-peace-agreement.html
- UPDATE: Uribe Reverses Resignation DecisionOn Wednesday, August 1, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe again took to Twitter with a political announcement, this time reversing his decision to resign from[…]
- Uribe Resigns from Colombian SenateOn Tuesday, July 24, former Colombian president and influential Senator Álvaro Uribe announced his resignation from the Senate, following the Supreme Court’s announcement that he[…]
- Sign-on Letter for Congregations and Faith-Based Organizations in Support of JUSTAPAZJUSTAPAZ, a peacebuilding organization of the Mennonite Church of Colombia, learned recently that the illegal armed group “Aguilas Negras [Black Eagles]” has included them on[…]
- The Future of Colombia’s Peace Accord under Ivan DuqueAs someone who ran on a platform that was vehemently opposed to the Peace Accord agreed upon between Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC, Ivan[…]
- Profile: Ivan DuqueOverview At 41 years old, Ivan Duque will become the youngest president in Colombian history. Educated as a lawyer and having spent the past decade[…]
- Involvement of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia in the Peace ProcessAs Colombia moves forward with a new administration led by President-elect Ivan Duque, marked by their aversion to the Peace Accord reached by former-president Juan[…]
- Brief Overview of Peace Accord and New ChallengesBackground In 2016, the Colombian government, under then-President Juan Manual Santos, reached an agreement for Peace with the long-standing rebel group FARC, whose acronym in[…]
- A win for social movements in Buenaventura, Colombia!
- Colombia Peace Accords Face Ongoing Challenges
- Peace Accords Ratified in Colombia While Black Women Gather to Build Transnational Vision
- Colombia Voted No: A Complicated Picture & the Path Ahead(Español aquí) Photo: Jesús Abad Colardo / archive SEMANA CRLN, along with many in the international community and our partners in Colombia, is surprised and saddened by this[…]
- Call & Tweet TODAY! Afro & Indigenous Peoples for Peace in Colombia!