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.

Stop the Deadly Rumours

by Justin Podur

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An Architect of the Left and what is Left to be done in Colombia

Two pieces are attached to help understand and mobilize support for the democratic left in Colombia regarding the upcoming Congressional and Presidential elections; the initial one by Manuel Rozental is inspired by the one circulated by Senator Jorge Robledo. These pieces are simultaneously intended to be analytical and an invitation to supporters of democracy within and beyond Colombia to speak up and act to help mobilize a collective conviction from Colombian people towards a much needed popular transformation of that country.

In the Name of Democracy workshop Invitation

In the Name of Democracy
US Political Intervention in Latin America, 2006
January 28, 3-6pm, AC-12 La Carlota

This is a final draft of the In the Name of Democracy Workshop at the WSF. We reiterate our invitation to all of you. The three hours will be dividen in three parts: Initially, the topic will be presented by the guest speakers and facilitators. This will be followed by discussion and clarifications in order to move on to a final stage where objectives, strategies and mechanisms for collective action will be proposed. We hope to weave conscoussness into action facing this year of multiple elections and imperial interference.

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Freedom for Mother Earth!

The Struggle for Land in Colombia
by Hector Mondragon

En Espanol:

If there had been justice and reparation for the victims of hundreds of massacres committed in the last twenty years in the Colombian countryside, as well as those committed between 1946 and 1958 and in previous waves of violence, the prin­cipal measure would be to return their land to the campesinos, indigenous people and afro-colombians who have time and again been thrown off Mother Earth by blood and fire.

As dawn came on 2 September 2005, two hundred comuneros - commu­nity activists - from the Indigenous Reserve of Nasa de Huellas dared to implement the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Court established that the Colombian state should hand back their land as part of an integral reparation to victims of a massacre committed by paramili­taries on 19 September 1991 in the Nilo hacienda - large farmstead - that the indigenous people had occupied. Twenty of them, children included, were assassinated.

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The Year of Living Democratically

Competing definitions of democracy go head-to-head in Latin America in 2006

By: Jonah Gindin—In the Name of Democracy, a project of Pueblos En Camino

Late on the night of December 18, Evo Morales became South America's first indigenous President. No less frightening for his detractors in the United States,, he is an open admirer of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez. Evo is the most recent in a long line of left-leaning Presidents to be elected in Latin America, and with ten Presidential elections scheduled for 2006 there may be more to come. In Latin America the “dominoes” seem to be falling again. By this time next year, the political landscape could look very different.

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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

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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Our Stance in Support of CPT

En Camino’s Stance in support of Christian Peacemakers Team: Iraq and Beyond

We were shocked and saddened by the news of the kidnappings of the 4 companieros in Iraq. We must reiterate our absolute admiration and support for the committed work all CPTers carry out throughout the world. We in Colombia have been beneficiaries of your extraordinary convictions turned into action. We know you don't stay under cover to act on behalf of justice, peace and freedom. Yes, this involves consciously taking enormous risks. Yes, this is a decision based on an ethical stance that many more people in the north would benefit from following: you do not accept as a matter of fact that war, terror, misery, exclusion, deprivation and persecution are to be exerted against "them", while "we" remain under cover expressing, at most, our distant and heartfelt compassion. You get in there. You do not accept "we" and "them". We respect you profoundly for this and believe that those, intolerant to peace with justice, be them from the dominant established right or from any other group or position, are against life, justice, peace and humanity even if they all act (or state they act) for peace, justice, democracy or freedom. We will do what we can to promote the right to freedom and respect for the 4 kidnapped team mates and companieros. We offer our solidarity and share our own commitment: And

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En Camino Series on Indigenous Struggle in Cauca, Colombia: Invitation

Pueblos En Camino invites you to the first presentation of the series:

‘Caminando la Palabra: The Popular and Indigenous Struggles of Colombia and the Indigenous of Cauca” on December 15th at Tinto, 89 Rocesvalles in Toronto, 6 pm.

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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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