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Armed groups operating in the eastern Colombian state of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure control people’s everyday lives through threats, kidnappings, forced labor, child recruitment, murder, and extortion. In Venezuela, they…
People disembark in Colombia after fleeing Venezuela's Apure state due to a Venezuelan military operation against armed groups in the region, as well as egregious abuses by Venezuelan security forces.
News
Even before her 15-month-old daughter, Yamilet, died of malnutrition, María Clara Palmar Fernandez would sometimes have days when she could not provide any food for her children. “I’d hug them and cry because I could only give them water,” she told us…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
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A case pending before Colombia’s Constitutional Court, brought by Causa Justa, creates a landmark opportunity to end an approach to abortion that violates the rights of women and health workers by decriminalizing this critically important health care…
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It happened again on Sunday: Six young Colombians killed on a sidewalk in broad daylight, in an attack that reportedly involved rifles and grenades, in the troubled department of Cauca. There have been dozens of such mass killing nationwide this year…
A member of the security forces aims during a demonstration against police brutality in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 13, 2020.
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Colombia is facing the most critical stress test for its rule of law in the last decade. The international community should pay attention. On August 4, the country’s Supreme Court announced that it had ordered the pretrial house arrest of Senator…
Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe arrives at the Supreme Court for questioning in a case about his alleged involvement in witness tampering in Bogotá, Colombia, Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
News
On June 17, the Canadian Partnership for International Justice submitted a letter to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) urging her to investigate the former Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, and senior officials from his…
A Congolese victim of ethnic violence rests inside a ward at the General Hospital in Bunia, Ituri province in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo June 25, 2019.
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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, celebrations for the 60th anniversary of independence on June 30 were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of the usual festivities, the government called for a day of “reflection.” The Belgian king,…
Demonstrators stand on the statue of Leopold II as one of them holds a national flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo during a protest for the end of racial injustice in Brussels, Belgium, June 7, 2020.
News

Vulnerable, Poor Communities at Risk of Further Abuse

  In parts of Colombia, armed groups exercise a frightening amount of control over the population. Now, some groups are threatening to brutally enforce measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Armed groups have issued threatening…
Colombia ELN soldiers
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Venezuelans fleeing crisis at home have now become victims of armed conflict in Colombia

ARAUCA, Colombia – Colombia has opened its doors to Venezuelans fleeing the government-created human rights and humanitarian crisis next door. But as tens of thousands cross the border in search of relief, many have instead found themselves in the…
201908americas_colombia_photo3
News

A reported 30% drop in killings under Duque may be a mirage

The murder of human rights defenders and community leaders in Colombia continues unabated – despite government spin otherwise. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has confirmed 285 cases of human rights…
José Jair Cortes, a community leader from the southwestern municipality of Tumaco who was murdered on October 17, 2017.
News
A group of men showed up at Natalia’s house in rural Tumaco one day in July 2017. The men forced Natalia and her husband out of their home. One of the men took Natalia to a hill, where he raped her. When he left her, she staggered back…
Colombian Marines patrol the waters around Tumaco municipality, Nariño Department, in the Pacific coast of Colombia, on April 14, 2018 as Ecuador and Colombia launched a military operation against renegade Colombian rebels who kidnapped and killed two
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A key issue arising out of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas is the definition of “command responsibility” that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace —the judicial system…
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The commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have often tried to whitewash the guerrillas’ role in recruiting children and other serious human rights abuses, including sexual violence and forced abortion. But Colombia now has a…
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The commanders of the National Liberation Army (ELN) like to run off at the mouth about peace, even as their fighters inflict serious suffering. On January 17, a car bomb exploded at a police academy in Bogota, killing 21 people—many of…
Colombia car bomb
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This article is the fourth in a series by Human Rights Watch to mark the 10 years since the Soacha cases. General Mario Montoya Uribe, who commanded the Colombian army between 2006 and 2008, seems to have memory issues. In what came…
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This article is the third in a series by Human Rights Watch to mark the 10 years since the Soacha cases. Many in Colombia associate General Mario Montoya Uribe with the “false positive” killings committed when he was the head of the army.…