World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Colombian Army cracks down on protests

Colombian Army cracks down on protests

British trade union-based group »Justice for Colombia« denounces that the Colombian Government is intensifying it’s persecution of union leaders. Leader of agricultural workers is gunned down and the Army is threatening an entire rural community with a nasty ”surprise”.

13.11.2004 [Maria Engqvist, ANNCOL] Jose Joaquin Cubides, General Secretary of the agricultural workers union in Colombia’s eastern department of Arauca and an activist with the Colombian Communist Party, was shot and killed on Sunday morning 7th November in the city of Fortul.

The Colombian army, who had raided his house only three days before, have been accused of being behind the murder of Jose Joaquin Cubides and more specifically members of the 49th ‘Heroes de Taraza’ Counterinsurgency Battalion. The battalion is known to work with a local paramilitary death squad and is part of the 18th Brigade of the Colombian Army.

In an unrelated incident, in the rural region of the municipality of Fortul, troops of the 5th Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army engaged in combat with a guerrilla column whilst using local residents as human shields. At least one local civilian, 58-year-old Cesimo Tovar, was injured as a result, reports say.

The same weekend as the killing in Fortul, troops of the ‘Navas Pardo’ Battalion of the Colombian Army surrounded and occupied the community of Corocito in the municipality of Tame in Arauca department. A recent ambush in the area by leftwing FARC guerrillas led to the deaths of two soldiers from the Battalion and it is thought that the Army is seeking revenge.

The battalion commander, Colonel Alfonso Murillo, told the leader of the community, Nilson Rojas Mendoza, that if the community does not hand over those responsible that they will receive “a surprise”.

The threat is causing huge distress to residents as paramilitaries linked to the battalion recently disappeared eight people in the area.

Through London-based »Justice for Colombia« a number of British trade unions are sending protest letters to the Colombian government. The group has uploaded sample protest letters to it’s website at

»Justice for Colombia« is also protesting a recent police crack-down on demonstrators in Colombia’s southern city of Popayan.

On Monday 8th November students, teachers and parents held a peaceful protest against the privatisation of state education in front of the University of Cauca in Popayan. Police attacked the protest with tear gas and rubber bullets. Various people were hospitalised including regional indigenous leader Maria del Carmen. Three others, including Danilo Chilito and two parents of students, were taken away by the police and it is unclear what has happened to them.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More

Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>