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Venezuela: Operation Gedeon Organizers Arrested in Colombia

By Ricardo Vaz | Venezuelanalysis | September 5, 2020

Mérida – Colombian security forces announced the arrest of four Venezuelan citizens on Thursday.

Rayder Alexander Russo Marquez, Juvenal Sequea Torres and Juven Jose Sequea Torres were captured in Bogota, while Yacsy Alexandra Alvarez Mirabal was detained in Barranquilla. The operation was jointly carried out by the Colombian attorney general’s office, police, army and migration services, with assistance from the FBI.

Colombian President Ivan Duque held a press conference after the arrests, claiming that the four were “criminals” paid by the Venezuelan government to “destabilize” the country.

The comments drew a sharp rebuke from Caracas, with Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza condemning the “nerve” of the Colombian president.

“What nerve from Ivan Duque. Now it turns out that Venezuelan deserting mercenaries were going to destabilize Colombia,” he wrote ironically on Twitter. “We gave the Colombian government information about these terrorists and it chose to do nothing.”

According to Venezuelan authorities, Russo, the Sequea brothers and Alvarez participated in the “Operation Gedeon” failed paramilitary incursion. On May 3 and 4, two speed boats carrying armed men were intercepted by security forces. Search operations in the following days led to over 40 arrests.

The 60-man Operation Gedeon was orchestrated by former US Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, who was hired by the Juan Guaido-led Venezuelan opposition, and intended to take over strategic locations in the capital and capture several high-ranking figures, including President Nicolas Maduro.

Two other US citizens, fellow former Green Berets Airan Berry and Luke Denman, were arrested in the operation, as was a third Sequea brother, Antonio.

The Venezuelan government sustains that Russo, Juvenal and Juven Sequea took part in the Northern Colombia-based training camps where the coup attempt was prepared. The Sequea brothers took part in the April 30, 2019 failed coup attempt before deserting from the Bolivarian National Guard. Russo, aka “Teniente Pico” is accused of involvement in the August 2018 assassination attempt against Maduro.

For her part, Alvarez is said to have been behind the logistics of the operation as well as functioning as liaison between the Americans and retired Major General Cliver Alcala, another organizer behind Operation Gedeon. Alcala, who had been responsible for previous armed incursion attempts featuring Venezuelan deserters, surrendered to US authorities after being indicted on drug charges.

September 6, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

Drug trafficking militias massacre social leaders in Colombia

By Lucas Leiroz | August 22, 2020

In Colombia, a terrible wave of violence affects the people and especially traditional indigenous communities. According to United Nations data, more than 40 murders of social leaders have occurred this year alone.

Last Tuesday, August 18, three Indians of the Awá people were murdered in the municipality of Ricaurte, department of Nariño, while two young men were tortured and murdered in El Patía, department of Cauca, and a social leader, Jaime Monge, was also murdered in Villacarmelo, a rural area of Cali. These deaths made newspapers’ headlines a few days after others that shocked the country. On Saturday, 15, eight young men were shot in the municipality of Samaniego; on the 11th, five teenagers were murdered in Llano Verde and an Afro-Colombian social leader was murdered in Chocó; and on the 8th, in the municipality of Leiva, Nariño, two students who were attending school were murdered.

Contrary to what was common in other times, there is no public claim of responsibility for the murders. The main reason for this is that currently there is no longer a monopoly on the attacks by the major illegal factions, but the simultaneous action of a wide variety of militias involved in drug trafficking networks. However, the Colombian State denies the existence of widespread paramilitarism in the country. Whenever a massacre occurs in the country, the official versions generally point to drug trafficking as the culprit, without further investigation, which is why the attacks remain unpunished.

Despite the denials of the authorities, the existence of multiple groups is evident and the phenomenon of paramilitarism can no longer be associated strictly with groups such as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army), being, currently, an extremely multifaceted and widespread phenomenon. For example, in three recent massacres in the Santander region, a paramilitary group known as “Los Rastrojos” was denounced as the perpetrator. According to local sources, this group has between 150 and 200 members and is advancing across the country.

This same armed group – “Los Rastrojos” – has an interesting history of links with drug trafficking in the neighboring country, Venezuela. The group was expelled from Venezuela due to the constant and incisive actions of Venezuelan security forces, which forced the migration of militia members to Colombia, where they are now spreading with great speed. However, “los Rastrojos” act not only in drug trafficking, but also in politics, apparently. It was this group that, in February 2019, accompanied Juan Guaidó’s flight to Colombia. Guaidó, moreover, has several records in photos and videos with members of the militia, which raises suspicions of links between the Venezuelan opposition and Colombian drug trafficking.

In fact, the peace agreement signed between the Colombian government and the FARC in 2016 did not end civil conflicts, but it did generate a reconfiguration of the actors in the fighting. Now legalized, the FARC is no longer the main belligerent group and new, lesser-known militias are taking on a greater role in drug trafficking. In practice, the power of these militias far outweighs the ability of state security forces to control and combat them, which spurs the creation of secret networks of cooperation between the state and organized crime to keep illegal activities “restricted” and avoid the liquidation of the social order. In this way, rises what we can call a narco-state – a phenomenon in which people and criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking start to occupy positions of relevance in the government and to influence state policies.

The existence of a Colombian Narco-State is almost undeniable and explains the inertia of state forces to investigate crimes committed by criminal organizations. Massacres occur freely across the country as social movements and communities of traditional peoples become an obstacle to the advancement of trafficking. The State remains silent and even collaborates with the actions of the militias and thus the interests of crime are realized without any impediment.

The situation in Colombia, however, is old and the country has been referred to as a Narco-State on several other occasions. What is really surprising is not the Colombian government’s attitude towards organized crime, but the inertia of international organizations and foreign powers in the case. Still, the role of the US in South America is curious. A few months ago, US President Donald Trump accused Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of being involved in drug trafficking and offered a millionaire reward for his “capture”. However, the main center of US operations against Venezuela is precisely Colombia, from where, on more than one occasion, mercenaries left and crossed the border into Venezuela trying to overthrow Maduro. In addition, Washington-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Guaidó has already demonstrated links to at least one criminal organization active in Colombia and involved in the murders of social leaders.

Why do Washington, the United Nations and all the Western powers that condemn Maduro remain silent in the face of these cases? Why is Colombia not being punished with international sanctions for its inertia in preventing the massacre of its own people? Perhaps drug trafficking is not really an enemy for Washington.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Colombia: Army Kills Two Indigenous People in Cauca Valley

teleSUR | August 14, 2020

Colombia’s Army Thursday killed two Indigenous people and injured two community members during an eviction operation in El Berraco village in the Cauca department.

The victims are the Indigenous journalists Abelardo Liz and Johel Rivera, who were part of the “Liberation of Mother Earth” movement.

The Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (FLIP) regretted the death of both journalists, who were shot while covering the Army’s eviction in Corinto.

The Indigenous City Halls of Cauca Association (ACIN) reported that former Governor Julio Tumbo was seriously wounded. His bullet injuries represent a danger to life.

“Officers of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) and the Army shot at El Berraco community with firearms. The victims were hit in the chest, shoulder, abdomen, and knees,” ACIN explained.

Following a court order, Army troops evicted the people who were in the Quebrada Seca ranch.

“During the operation, members of the Public Force were injured, and the El Berraco’s Indigenous people also tried to kidnap them,” Colombia’s Army stated.

According to Cauca’s indigenous organizations, the officers prevented vehicles and health personnel from entering the ranch to assist and transfer the injured to hospitals.

“The ESMAD attacked the vehicles that were trying to help the wounded. They fired gases at the windows,” ACIN said.

The University of Cauca’s Human Rights Commission and the National Union of Students denounced the events.

“The indigenous communities cannot continue to be victims of Colombia’s systematic violence,” the organizations stated.

August 14, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Colombian Supreme Court Orders House Arrest of Ex-President Alvaro Uribe – Reports

Sputnik – 04.08.2020

The Colombian Supreme Court has ordered the house arrest of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, the country’s media reported on Tuesday.

The former president has been under investigation over allegations that he bribed and pressured witnesses to remain silent over his presumed links to paramilitary groups and organized crime, La FM broadcaster said.

Writing on Twitter after the announcement, Uribe said that his detention will cause a divide among the Colombian nation.

“The deprivation of my freedom causes deep sadness for my family and Colombians, who still believe that I did something positive for my homeland”, the ex-president tweeted.

Uribe was the Colombian president from 2002 to 2010. After leaving office, he has served as a senator. According to domestic media reports, current President Ivan Duque has voiced his support for Uribe, saying that he is assured of his innocence.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

US plans to invade Venezuela through Colombia

By Lucas Leiroz | July 10, 2020

Colombia is under a pro-Washington government. The country’s current president, Iván Duque Márquez, has been noted for a series of policies of alignment with the United States, continuing the legacy of his predecessor, former president Juan Manuel Santos, who has made Colombia a NATO “global partner”, allowing the country to participate in joint military operations of the Western military alliance. In general, the long scenario of crises and tensions in Colombia, marked by drug trafficking and the conflict between criminal factions and rebel parties, has driven its governments towards a policy of alignment with Washington in exchange for security, which has increased in recent years.

However, not all Colombian politicians approve these measures. Recently, the leftist senator Iván Cepeda asked Colombian Congressional President Lidio García to convene a session to investigate and legally control the government in its collaboration with the constant arrival of American soldiers in the country. According to Cepeda, the presence of these military personnel is hostile to Colombia, deeply affecting the maintenance of national sovereignty.

Cepeda claims that the government should consult the National Congress before allowing the American military to arrive. A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Cundinamarca proved Cepeda right. According to the judges of the Court, the unilateral decision to allow the entry of foreign troops violates the Colombian National Constitution, and the Executive Branch must previously submit the matter to the Congress. For this reason, the Court asked the government to send information about the joint operations in progress, with the aim of clarifying the reason for the arrival of American troops. The deadline for sending the report was July 6 and was not met by the government – which claims it will appeal the decision. Due to the non-compliance, Cepeda filed a request for the establishment of a special congressional session.

The exact number of US military personnel in the country is uncertain, which further raises suspicions about the case. Some sources say there are more than 800 Americans, while others say they are between 50 and 60 military personnel. No official note was given by the government to explain the reasons and the exact number of soldiers. On the other hand, the American Embassy in Colombia, under pressure, commented on the case, giving an unsatisfactory answer. According to American diplomats, military personnel are arriving in Colombia to carry out joint operations to combat drug trafficking. Apparently, these operations would aim to carry out a siege against Venezuela and Nicolás Maduro, who, according to Donald Trump, has links with drug trafficking in the region. It is important to remember that Trump’s accusations against Maduro were never substantiated nor has any evidence been provided of such links between the Venezuelan president and drug trafficking.

Recently, Colombian mercenaries invaded Venezuela by sea in American vessels. Venezuelan security forces neutralized the attack, but since then it has become clear that Colombia is willing to collaborate with the US to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro. Apparently, therefore, American troops arriving in the country are preparing for a next step in this old American project to occupy Venezuela.

The justification that the Venezuelan government has links with drug trafficking becomes even more curious when the American ally is precisely Colombia, a state that historically has structural links with organized crime and the illegal drug trade in South America, being considered by experts in the whole world as a true narco-state. Likewise, the United States is not innocent of scandals involving international trafficking. The CIA has repeatedly been accused of collaborating with criminal networks worldwide. The American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 guaranteed to the US the complete control of opium production in the region. In Mexico, in exchange for information and resources, American intelligence has collaborated several times with the activities of the so-called Guadalajara Cartel. Still, for years, American intelligence collaborated with Panamanian general Manuel Noriega, who has been publicly involved in drug trafficking since the 1960s, in exchange for military support against guerrillas in Nicaragua.

In fact, we can see that drug trafficking is a flawed and inconsistent justification for an invasion against Venezuela. Colombia and the United States have much more credible and notorious evidence of drug trafficking and are precisely the countries articulating this operation. We can imagine the real reasons behind this: unable to maintain its global hegemony, Washington desperately tries to guarantee its power in Latin America, and, for that, it tries to overthrow Maduro; Colombia provides support to the US in exchange for a mask for its own criminal activities, carried out in collusion by the government and criminal networks of drug trafficking groups – such activities will be falsely attributed to Maduro.

Anyway, what seems clear now is that the US plans to invade Venezuela through Colombia.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Pattern’ of Abuse by Colombian Soldiers Raises Questions Over US’ Continued Funding for Forces

Sputnik – July 7, 2020

The rapes of two young, Indigenous girls by soldiers in rural Colombia have shed light on the role that the US plays in expanding and training the Colombian military, two activists told Sputnik.

Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist and the editor of Breaking the Chains, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Tuesday that the sexual assaults of the two minors highlight a continued pattern of abuse at the hands of Colombian service members.

“Essentially, these two rapes have raised attention to what is a pattern in Colombia and a pattern associated with the human rights abuses and violations of the Colombian military,” Hrizi told show host Nicole Roussell.

“And so there have been protests … really, the Indengenous community are those that have been organizing.”

One of the assaults involved an 11-year-old girl from Colombia’s Embera tribe and has since seen seven soldiers from an army garrison in western Colombia arrested after admitting to the minor’s abduction and rape.

The second case was revealed in recent weeks by the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, a Colombian think tank, which detailed the September 2019 abduction and repeated rape of a 15-year-old from the country’s Nukak Maku tribe. Both assaults have led to widespread protests across Colombia.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Tuesday, Hrizi explained that the Embera tribe is located in an autonomous territory near a military station.

“That rape has been really, in the eyes of the public, connected to another rape that happened in September to another Indigenous girl in a different area. She’s a 15-year-old girl in the Guaviare area,” Hrizi explained.

“On September 8, soldiers abducted her, and they kept her for five days … they raped her and denied her food and water … that has not really received any real widespread acknowledgment until more recently because of the way the Colombian military is organized,” Hrizi added.

Since 2016, at least 118 members of the Colombian army have been investigated over accusations that they sexually abused minors, Colombian General Eduardo Zapateiro revealed on July 1, Reuters reported. The Colombian army, which has battled for decades against leftist guerilla forces, as well as criminal gangs formed by former members of right-wing paramilitary groups, has long been accused of human rights violations.

It’s important to note “the power of this Indigenous protest movement and the really important ways in which that movement is drawing connections between violence against women and broader abuses of power, whether at the hands of the military, police, rich people or otherwise, and that very much includes the role of the US in expanding and training the Colombian military,” Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, told Sputnik.

According to a report by Defense News, the US military has helped train Colombia’s soldiers for decades, despite widespread condemnation of human rights abuses by the Colombian military.

“In 1999, the US aid to Colombia jumped from $3 billion to $7.5 billion, and civic and human rights organizations in Colombia have been documenting cases of sexual violence against Indigenous women for the past 12 years,” Dickinson explained.

July 7, 2020 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Ottawa’s ties with far right Colombian president undermines human rights rhetoric regarding Venezuela

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By Yves Engler · May 13, 2020

A week ago a former Canadian soldier instigated a harebrained bid to kidnap or kill Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Launched from Colombia, the plot failed spectacularly with most of the men captured or killed.

Still, the leader of the invasion Jordan Goudreau, a veteran of the Canadian military and US special forces, has been remarkably forthright about the involvement of opposition figure Juan Guaidó. A leaked contract between Guaidó’s representative in Florida and Goudreau’s Silvercorp USA describes plans for a multi month occupation force, which after ousting Maduro would “convert to a National Asset Unit that will act under the direction of the [Guaidó] Administration to counter threats to government stability, terror threats and work closely” with other armed forces. Apparently, Goudreau was hoping for a big payday from Venezuela’s opposition. He also had his eyes on the $15 million bounty Washington put up in March for Maduro’s capture as well as tens of millions dollars for other members of the government.

As the plot has unraveled, Ottawa has refused to directly criticize the invasion launched from Colombia. The military has also refused to release information regarding Goudreau’s time in the Canadian forces. What’s more, since the plot began Canada’s foreign affairs minister has reached out to regional opponents of Maduro and reasserted Ottawa’s backing for Guaidó. The PM also discussed Venezuela with his Colombian counterpart.

The Trudeau government’s reaction to recent events suggest the global pandemic has not deterred them from brazenly seeking to overthrow Venezuela’s government. In a bid to elicit “regime change”, over the past couple years Ottawa has worked to isolate Caracas, imposed illegal sanctions, took that government to the International Criminal Court, financed an often-unsavoury opposition and decided a marginal opposition politician was the legitimate president.

The day after the first phase of the invasion was foiled foreign minister François-Philippe Champagne spoke to his Colombian, Peruvian and Brazilian counterparts concerning the “Venezuela crisis and the humanitarian needs of Venezuelans.” Four days later Champagne tweeted, “great call with Venezuela Interim President Juan Guaidó. Canada will always stand with the people of Venezuela in their desire to restore democracy and human rights in their country.”

On Monday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Colombian President Iván Duque Márque. According to the official release, they “discussed the crisis in Venezuela and its humanitarian impact in the region which is heightened by the pandemic. They underscored the need for continued close collaboration and a concerted international effort to address this challenging situation.” Over the past 18 months Trudeau has repeatedly discussed Venezuela with a Colombian president who has offered up his country to armed opponents of Maduro.

The Trudeau government has been chummy with Duque more generally. After he won a close election marred by fraud allegations then Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland “congratulated” Duque and said, “Canada and Colombia share a commitment to democracy and human rights.” In August 2018 Trudeau tweeted, “today, Colombia’s new President, Ivan Duque, took office and joins Swedish PM, Norway PM, Emmanuel Macron, Pedro Sánchez, and others with a gender-equal cabinet. Iván, I look forward to working with you and your entire team.” A month later he added, “thanks to President Ivan Duque for a great first meeting at UNGA this afternoon, focused on growing our economies, addressing the crisis in Venezuela, and strengthening the friendship between Canada & Colombia.”

But, Duque is from the extreme right — “le champion du retour de la droite dure en Colombie”, according to a Le Soleil headline. The Colombian president has undercut the peace accord the previous (right, but not far right) government signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to end Colombia’s 50-year civil war, which left some 220,000 dead. Duque’s policies have increased violence towards the ex-rebels and social activists. Seventy-seven former FARC members were killed in 2019. Even more human rights defenders were murdered. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights found that at least 107 Colombian, mostly Indigenous, rights defenders were killed in 2019.

Through the first part of this year the pace at which social leaders and demobilized FARC members have been killed has increased. According to the UN observer mission in Colombia, 24 demobilized guerrillas have already been assassinated and a recent Patriotic March report on the “The other pandemic lived in Colombia” details 95 social leaders, human rights defenders and former guerrillas killed in the first four months of 2020.

Trudeau’s dalliance with Duque is difficult to align with his stated concern for human rights in Venezuela.

The same can be said for Ottawa’s failure to condemn the recent invasion attempt. The Trudeau government should be questioned on whether it was involved or had foreknowledge of the recent plot to invade Venezuela.

May 14, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Former Farc Combatant Astrid Conde Murdered in Bogota

Former guerrilla member Astrid Conde

teleSUR | March 6, 2020

Astrid Conde, a former guerrilla fighter in Colombia, was shot dead last Thursday in Bogotá.

Conde’s murder occurred at the entrance to her home, located in the El Tintal sector in the southwest of the city.

The Colombian party, the Alternative Revolutionary Force of the Common (FARC), published on its official Twitter profile, that this is one of the first crimes against former members in Bogotá. Still, until now, 191 former combatants have endured violent deaths.

According to the Legal Solidarity Corporation, which protected Astrid Conde, the ex-guerrilla member was complying with her social reintegration process and belonged to the women’s group Defense and Rights.

The murder of Astrid Conde occurred after the FARC denounced the growing violence against its former members who were being reintegrated into society and the lack of guarantees for them. The former guerrillas have said: “We don’t only need who shoots, we also need who gave the order.”

The political group also challenged the irresponsibility of the government of Iván Duque for allowing a lack of protection for its former members and the failure to comply with the Peace Accords, a situation that would endanger the maintenance of peace in Colombia.

Also recently, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst, highlighted the impunity of the murders of social leaders and the lack of preventive administrative measures against the crimes. The UN representative stated that “Colombia is the country with the highest rate of murders of human rights defenders.”

March 7, 2020 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Brazil is adopting Israel’s terror narrative, which is anything but democratic

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 5, 2020

Brazilian federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of right-wing dictatorship fanatic President Jair Bolsonaro, announced recently that the country will be moving to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. “Inside the government, we are debating the ways to stop terrorist groups from coming to Brazil,” Bolsonaro stated. “We are going to follow Argentina, declaring that Hezbollah is a terrorist group.”

Not only Hezbollah is being targeted with this designation. Bolsonaro’s son has also declared that the Brazilian government will be “considering a harsher stance on terrorist groups Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram.” Israel praised Brazil’s decision as part of the fight against “Iranian-sponsored terrorism”. Since the US declared its war on terror following September 11, Israel has appropriated the narrative and used it to gain diplomatic leverage for its murderous colonial policies, while strangling Palestinian resistance in the process. Unsurprisingly, Brazil will be joining other countries supportive of Israel’s security narrative in blurring the distinction between legitimate resistance movements and terrorist groups. That narrative is anything but democratic.

For the right wing Israeli and Brazilian governments, resistance movements such as Hamas and Hezbollah on one hand, and the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) are terrorists, as Bolsonaro declared recently in one of his usual tirades. In defence of Israel’s purported security narrative, Brazil will be employing a designation on Hezbollah and Hamas which has nothing to do with terrorism and everything with how state terror seeks to delegitimise anti-colonial struggle.

As democracy moves even further away from its principles, becoming a label utilised by the right-wing in its quest to annihilate opposition, resistance movements become even more marginalised politically. Needless to say, Brazil’s move will endear it to the US and Washington’s own dissemination of Israel’s security versus terror narrative. Criminalising resistance movements has one main aim, to delegitimise resistance and, as a result, alter the understanding of what constitutes “terrorism”.

Categorising Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, alongside terror groups such as Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram builds upon the US-Israeli narrative of seeking to undermine Iranian influence in Latin America. Paraguay, Colombia and Honduras have already adopted this narrative since last year. It ignores the simple fact that Hamas has never carried the struggle for freedom from Israeli occupation beyond the borders of historical Palestine.

The right-wing surge in the region is not conducive to diplomatic support for Palestine, let alone Palestinian resistance. Hamas is already ostracised politically, but the US-Israeli scheming will continue to seek unanimous support for the narrative which allows the far-right to define terror at the expense of the occupied and oppressed.

Bolsonaro has stated on occasions that he seeks further alignment with the US in terms of policy. The latest decision strikes at the heart of Palestinian resistance at a time when Palestinians are in need of diplomatic support due to Trump’s deal of the century versus the two-state compromise dead ends in terms of opportunity. The more that Palestinians are obscured from the political process, the easier it is to simplify, albeit erroneously, the Palestinian cause into an issue between a “democratic state” and “terror”. This is part of the strategy that the US and Israel are pursuing, which is to have a monopoly over who decides that the definition of state-sponsored terror of the kind practiced by Israel and other right-wing governments is somehow “democratic”. That is far from the truth.

March 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Colombia: Colonel Involves General in Extrajudicial Killings

teleSUR | February 20, 2020

Colombian Colonel Alvaro Amortegui said that General Mario Montoya ordered him to kill 17 civilians captured in an operation and make them appear as if they were guerrilla fighters killed in combat.

“In 2001… I captured 17 guys inside a house. [Montoya] called me on my cell phone and told me, ‘I’ve already sent you the bracelets.’ Then I replied, ‘don’t send me the bracelets… I captured these men alive and they stay alive’,” said Colonel Amortegui during an interview with Caracol Radio in which he also reported the theft of ammunition, uniforms and other Army material.

This senior officer mentioned that all this happened when he returned from Sinai, a peninsula in Egypt where the Colombian troops are part of the peacekeeping mission of the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO).

Given the implications of his claims, the Caracol Radio journalists asked Colonel Amortegui to better explain what happened with General Montoya, who was commander of the Colombian Army between 2006 and 2008, during the Presidency of Alvaro Uribe, a far-right politician who has been investigated by the Supreme Court.

In his response, Amortegui indicated that General Montoya was referring to the bracelets used by the militants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“He sent me FARC bracelets. Because [the 17 captured] were not FARC [fighters],” the colonel said.

The journalists insisted that Amortegui provide more details about what the General was asking for, to which he replied that Montoya “was asking me to kill them. What else do you want?.”

Eight days ago, Retired General Montoya declared for the first time before the Special Justice for Peace (JEP), although his appearance was described by the victims of state terrorism as “a mockery.”

“It was a mockery before the transitional justice mechanism, which has the task of investigating the most serious crimes committed amidst the armed conflict,” said lawyer Jose Alvear Restrepo who represents the victims of state crimes.

Between 1988 and 2014, the “false positives” was a practice whereby the military cheated poor young people, even those with disabilities, with promises of employment and then took them to distant places to execute them.

The bodies of these civilian victims used to be later presented to the authorities as if they had been killed-in-combat guerrilla fighters, which allowed the military to obtain benefits from their superiors.

So far, the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office has investigated about 5,000 cases of extrajudicial killings. At least 1,500 officials and troops were involved in these illegal practices.​​​​​​​

February 20, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

Colombia: Ex-FARC Member and Peace Deal Signatory Assassinated

teleSUR | January 26, 2020

Former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) member and peace agreement signatory John Freddy Vargas was murdered Saturday after attending a meeting in a church in Huila.

Vargas, 42, was shot multiple times while he was on a motorcycle with his girlfriend, after the meeting with officials from the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN).

“The event took place when the victim was riding a motorcycle and two subjects hit him twice with a firearm, dying immediately on the spot,” the Deputy commander of the Huila Police Nestor Florez informed, adding that Vargas “was in the process of being reinstated with the RNA.”

The former combatant, who was accredited by the National Reincorporation Agency, was developing agricultural projects in the rural area of that town.

​​​​​​​For his part, Ramiro Duran, a representative in Huila of the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force party (FARC)​​​​​​​, rejected this crime and indicated that as ex-members of FARC they fear for their safety.

Colombia continues to be one of the most unstable countries in the region due to the insecurity experienced by social leaders and former members of armed groups who signed the peace agreement.

In 2020, more than 20 social activists have been murdered in Colombia, and according to the United Nations, since the peace agreement signing, more than 300 murders of human rights leaders have occurred.

So far, including Vargas, another four ex-FARC members and peace agreement signatories have been murdered in 2020.

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

One More Social Leader Killed In Colombia, 21 So Far in 2020

Social leaders in Colombia are under threat since the peace agreement of 2016.

Social leaders in Colombia are under threat since the peace agreement of 2016. | Photo: EFE
teleSUR | January 19, 2020

The Cordobexia Social Foundation denounced Saturday the assassination of social leader Luis Dario Rodriguez, the second activist killed in the northwestern department of Cordoba this week and the 21st so far in Colombia this year.

According to the statement released by the foundation, the social leader was murdered on Friday afternoon as he was returning home from a fishing trip in the municipality of Tierralta.

“He was shot by men on a motorcycle,” denounced the Cordobexia Social Foundation, as well as calling on the national government to protect and guarantee the exercise of human rights in Colombia.

Rodriguez was a member of the Association of Displaced and Vulnerable Families of Tierralta and of the human rights network of southern Cordoba. Also a father of three children and dedicated himself to fishing and agriculture.

His activism consisted of speeding up land claim processes after the flooding of the Alto Sinúu lands by the URRA 1 hydroelectric plant.

Less than a week ago, social leaders, Jorge Luis Betancourt and Tulio Sandoval were also murdered in their respective municipalities.

Betancourt also from Cordoba was killed in the municipality of Montelibanom and was a farmer’s rights activist.

While, Sandoval, who was participating in the crop substitution program, was killed by armed individuals who broke into his house, dragged him out and shot him repeatedly in front of his family.

In this context, Attorney General Fernando Carrillo recently called for an end to what he described as “the systematic murder of social leaders.”

Since the peace agreement signing, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Peace in Colombia has counted more than 300 murders of human rights leaders.

January 20, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment