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Colombians, Venezuelans at the Mercy of Armed Groups

Who are the armed groups and what are they fighting over?  F: There are three armed groups in Catatumbo. The largest one and most powerful is the Army of National Liberation (ELN), a left-wing guerilla group formed in the 1960s. The second…
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New Book Details the Bloody Rise of Paramilitaries With Government Ties

Why did you write this book? When I finished working in Colombia in 2010, I had a lot of stories that I hadn’t been able to tell. I had met many brave ordinary Colombians who stood up to the paramilitaries and other armed…
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno at a community meeting in Curvaradó, Chocó, 2009
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During a rally on Sunday, March 30, for Malta’s Freedom Day, which marks the country’s independence from British rule, Malta’s prime minister made a significant pledge: he committed to end the detention of migrant children. Malta — a key entrance point…
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Columbia Sportswear, Vestergaard Frandsen React Swiftly to Evidence of Forced Labor

Forced labor is not treatment, and making a profit is not rehabilitation. Over the last three years, Human Rights Watch has researched conditions for people in drug detention centers in Vietnam. We uncovered strong evidence that these facilities force…
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Following intense advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives announced on June 29 that they would oppose a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until Colombia shows evidence of sustained results in addressing…
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In response to our reports, the United States is paying closer attention to human rights concerns in the process of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia. Our work helped to spark interest in the issue by the U.S. Congress, which led to an unprecedented…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should recommend the expansion of the United Nation’s human rights work in Colombia, including an increase in the number of permanent staff of the Office of the High Commissioner in Colombia, renegotiation of…
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In Colombia’s armed conflict, more than 11,000 child combatants fight for guerrilla and paramilitary groups, and account for one-fourth of the groups’ armed forces. The Colombian government took new steps toward ending the use of child combatants on…
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Western media and international observers were barred from the appeals court hearing in August for Vietnamese cyber-dissident Pham Hong Son. But that didn't stop journalists and diplomats from eight countries from gathering outside the courthouse in Hanoi…
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Writers, webmasters, and students who have been jailed by their governments for simply expressing their views via the Internet. Tunisia, China, and Vietnam all promote electronic communication as a vehicle of modernization, yet subject it to draconian…
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Human Rights Watch effectively urged the US Congress to continue to require the State Department to certify Colombia's compliance with human rights conditions twice annually (not the reduction to once proposed by Republicans in the House of…
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Human Rights Watch assisted several threatened human rights prosecutors in Colombia, one of whom became the first Colombian prosecutor involved with human rights cases to receive direct assistance from the United States to gain political asylum and…
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On November 8, in Bogota, Colombia, Human Rights Watch released "A Wrong Turn: The Record of the Colombian Attorney General's Office." The report documented how Colombia's Attorney General, Luis Camilo Osorio, has undermined or derailed key human rights…
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Along with two other leading human rights groups (AI & WOLA), Human Rights Watch issued a document refuting the State Department's certification that Colombia is in compliance with the human rights conditions of U.S.…
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In July 1997, paramilitaries working with the Colombian Army killed more than thirty residents of Mapirip醤, Meta. Army general Jaime Usc醫egui was implicated in the massacre and sentenced by a military tribunal to serve only forty months in prison. In a…
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Human Rights Watch's latest report on Colombia, "'Sixth Division:' Military-Paramilitary Ties and U.S. Policy in Colombia," presents evidence that officers in army brigades and in some police units routinely flout or circumvent orders to break ties to…
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On July 10, Human Rights Watch issued a public letter to Manuel Marulanda, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (known as the FARC), Colombia's main rebel group. Based on a HRW mission to territory in Colombia…
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A Colombian Army officer whose links with abusive paramilitary groups was a focus of our February 2000 report, "The Ties That Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links," is now being prosecuted by civilian courts, in part due to the high profile…