Colombia

Bittersweet. Colombia: Electoral Results of March 12th and Perspectives for the May 28th Presidential Election

Official reports called it a “comfortable” victory for President Alvaro Uribe. Of the 100 contested seats for the Colombian senate, Uribe’s supporters obtained 61 seats while those counted as opposition (Liberals and the leftist Polo Democratico Alternativo) obtained 29 seats, while “Independent” parties obtained the remaining 10 seats. At the Chamber of Representatives, the seats went 91 for Uribe, 45 for opposition and 30 for independents of the total 166 seats. In practical terms, this means that Uribe counts with an absolute majority for the upcoming legislative agenda which includes ratification of the recently signed Free Trade Agreement with the USA and a number of reforms that will facilitate corporate control over wealth, resources and territories, as well as savings, investments and cheap labor.

Regarding Amparo Torres

The Honourable Anne McLellan
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

The Honourable Joe Volpe, P.C., M.P.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Minister@cic.gc.ca

Open Letter from Pueblos En Camino to the Government of Canada regarding Amparo Torres.

We write this letter out of concern for due process and the protection of the rights, freedoms,life, and safety of Amparo Torres, a permanent resident in Canada.

As Canadians and Colombians we are concerned that the alleged evidence gathered in this case has not been made available to the public. While we do not know if the information has been made available to Ms.Torres and her counsel, we believe that Ms.Torres's due process rights are at risk and that she is at risk of being expelled from Canada.

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Unprecedented Indigenous and Popular Victory in Cauca, Colombia

Mother Earth Forces Uribe to Step Back

Today, November 18th 2005, day 37 of the Freedom for Mother Earth struggle from the Japio Hacienda and from the other 15 haciendas in the Cauca Department, we are proud to annnounce our victory on behalf of the Colombian Popular Movement. The Government of President Uribe was forced to recognize the legitimacy and the strength of the indigenous and popular struggle, thanks to the presure of more than 10.000 people who fight for freedom from this corner of the planet called Cauca.

The Government had to take back what it had said about indigenous peoples owning too much land, that we are infiltrated by terrorists, that it would not negotiate under presure (a condition that applies only to unarmed civilians) and aknowledge the justice of our demands not only because of our actions but because of the solidarity expressed in Colombia and the World.

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Violence, Victory, Warning: Freedom for Mother Earth and San Jose de Apartado

VIOLENCE

Here's a translation from the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado:

The Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado asks urgently for national and international solidarity. The Army has today indiscriminately bombed in Arenas Altas and Bajas. Ground troops have thrown grenades against the civilian population in this humanitarian zone. One of the grenades was thrown and hit Arlen Salas David, the coordinator of the humanitarian zone of Arenas Altas, who was working in the field. He is badly injured. A commission from the community left at 2pm to retrieve him. We are unsure if we will be able to save his life as he is very badly wounded. The indiscriminate bombings continue. We ask for urgent actions to guarantee the lives of the commission, 42 families of the humanitarian zone and the other families of Arenas, to avert a massacre.

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Freedom For Mother Earth!

Alfredo Molano
El Espectador

Señor Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Presidencia de la República
Cra. 8 No..7-26, Palacio de Nariño, Santa fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (571) 566-2071
secretaria.privada@presidencia.gov.co

Re: liberar la madre tierra !

Strategic Planning

The kids at National Planning have a view of the country that looks down from the commanding heights of the towers of 26th Street. Their view of the country used to be from the beltway that ringed Bogota. Later, when they opened their business consulting office, they discovered how the country looked from their private helicopters. There are some exceptions: a few come down to Sasaima on Sundays to play golf – of course, they only do so after they’ve called the local Battalion to ensure their security – and the vast majority have laundered their engineering degrees from Colombian universities with PhDs in economics from provincial gringo universities. They don’t understand anything other than figures. Figures, after all, are the only way to measure the value of everything in terms of money, which is in the end what is of interest to them. It is their specialty. They assume the world began on the day they put on their tie and, with their father’s (or their uncle’s) connections, signed their first contract. I say these boys have come to tell us that the land (and the concentration of land ownership) has ceased to make any economic sense.

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The Price of Our Struggle

The Price of Our Struggle: Individuals and Groups, using threats and dirty war, seek to silence us

Action Alert

Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN)

October 29, 2005

The Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN) –CXAB WALA KIWE, announces the following to national and international public opinion.

1. In the past several days, a wave of threats has fallen over various of our community members, leaders, and authorities. To us this translates to a clear message that there are those who seek to destabilize the process of the indigenous communities in the northern zone of the department of Cauca.

Silence the Guns so Words can be Heard

URGENT COMMUNIQUÉ: “SILENCE THE GUNS SO WORDS CAN BE HEARD”

In face of the escalation of the war in our territory, and taking into account the difficult situation in which we are living, we the Nasa Paez communities reiterate before national an international opinion – as has already been expressed in the official communiqués of the ACIN beginning on April 15, 2005 (see www.nasaacin.net) – our call to a:

CEASE FIRE, COMPLETE DEMILITARIZATION OF THE AREA, AND THE BEGINNING OF CONVERSATIONS TO SEARCH FOR A NEGOTIATED SOLUTION TO THE ARMED CONFLICT IN COLOMBIA.

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Open Letter to Colombia Combatants

An Open Letter to the Combatants in the Colombian Conflict, FARC and the Government of Colombia.

Since April 14, 2005, the territories and communities of Northern Cauca have been transformed into battlefields. Only the representatives of armed factions have been heard. Civilians have been displaced, wounded, and killed; their houses, churches, schools, and hospitals have been destroyed. Their voice, the most important voice in the conflict, has been drowned out.

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Call for a citizen's popular consultation Concerning the Free Trade Agreement

WE MUST MAKE OUR WORDS MOVE FORWARD

February 18, 2005

Public declaration of the indigenous and popular congress
Call for a citizen's popular consultation

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Indigenous and Popular Mandate

The First Popular Indigenous Congress

The Indigenous and Popular Mandate of the Minga for Life, Justice, Joy, Freedom, and Autonomy

Cali, September 18, 2004

The Challenge Before Us

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