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un says 84 rights activists killed in colombia last year


bogota, colombia (ap) — the united nations says 84 human rights activists were killed in colombia last year as the country struggles to contain post conflict violence.a peace deal signed in 2016 with the revolutionary armed forces of colombia has led to an overall decrease in homicides. but a report published friday by the united nations high commissioner for human rights says rights activists and social leaders are still being targeted by drug traffickers and smaller rebel groups that are vying for control of illegal businesses formerly controlled by farc guerrillas.the 16-page report says several of the victims were killed over their support for substituting new crops for illegal coca and for making rural land reforms. the u.n. calls for greater state presence in impoverished areas that






un: deaths of human rights leaders in colombia show pattern


bogota, colombia — a new united nations report is casting a shadow on peace efforts in colombia, drawing attention to the killings of dozens of rights activists and warning that armed groups are occupying drug territories as the nation's largest rebel group starts demobilizing.the report released thursday by the u.n. high commissioner for human rights said 127 activist deaths were counted in 2016, even as colombia moved toward implementing an historic peace accord. half of the deaths were of human rights leaders while others were members of leftist political organizations. many occurred in areas previously occupied by the revolutionary armed forces of colombia."there is a pattern here relative to where the killings are occurring," said u.n. representative todd howland said. "it is a really






bomb explodes near colombia bull ring, injuries reported


bogota, colombia — a homemade bomb has exploded near bogota's bull ring where police and animal rights activists have clashed in recent weeks.media reports said as many as 20 people had to be evacuated to local hospitals with injuries although authorities had yet to provide an official count.the explosion a few hours before sunday's scheduled bullfight shattered glass windows in nearby apartment buildings.police last month fired tear gas and made scores of arrests to control mostly youth demonstrators protesting the return of bullfighting to colombia's capital for the first time in four years.






colombians seek probe of chiquita execs for terror funding


bogota, colombia (ap) — human rights groups in colombia are calling on the international criminal court to investigate executives from chiquita brands for alleged complicity in crimes against humanity as a result of payments made to paramilitary groups more than a decade ago.chiquita in 2007 pleaded guilty in a case brought by the u.s. justice department to making over $1.7 million in payments to the united self defense forces of colombia and paid a $25 million fine.but activists now want to hold accountable those who authorized the payments to the u.s.-designated terrorist group. declassified documents obtained recently by the national security archive through a freedom of information request for the first time name 14 chiquita executives involved in the scandal.






france condemns colombia bombing that killed frenchwoman


paris — the french government has condemned an attack in colombia's capital that killed three people, including a young frenchwoman.in a statement sunday, the french foreign ministry offered support for the frenchwoman's family after saturday's attack and said that france "stands at colombia's side in this painful moment." the french ambassador to colombia, gautier mignot, tweeted his condolences in spanish.the 25-year-old french victim, identified by colombian authorities as julie huynh, had been volunteering at a school in a poor neighborhood, with a french-backed charity helping people displaced by colombia's long conflict gain the skills and expertise needed to rebuild.a homemade bomb placed in a women's bathroom rocked one of the busiest shopping centers in bogota on saturday, the ups






colombia: rebel bomb attack kills soldier, wounds 3 more


bogota, colombia — colombia's army says a soldier has been killed by an explosive device attributed to a dissident wing of the revolutionary armed forces of colombia, or farc.the attack took place late saturday in the southern department of guaviare when soldiers and police were patrolling near a highway.an army statement says three other soldiers were wounded and blames the 1st front of the farc.authorities say the front is heavily involved in drug trafficking and illegal mining and has opposed a peace accord reached last year with the farc.






colombia protests china's execution of 72-year-old drug mule


bogota, colombia — colombia's government is protesting china's execution of a retired journalist who was sentenced to death for smuggling cocaine into the asian country.chinese authorities said tuesday that ismael arciniegas was killed by lethal injection after a last-ditch diplomatic effort by colombia to save his life failed.the 72-year-old is the first colombian to be executed in china but at least 15 more are on death row for drug offenses.arciengas' son said his father entered the criminal underworld in the 1980s while researching an unpublished book on colombia's drug cartels.he was arrested in 2010 trying to smuggle four kilograms of cocaine into china in exchange for $5,000.since november, china has repatriated two convicted colombian drug traffickers for humanitarian reasons so th






vinyl collectors gather in colombia | colombia news


colombia's music scene is usually dominated by pop stars like maluma and shakira.but in the city of cali, thousands of people gather every year to celebrate the old school vinyl record, and revel in the region's unique sounds.alessandro rampietti reports from cali, colombia.






colombia suspends talks with eln rebels over bomb attacks | colombia news


colombia’s government has suspended peace talks with eln rebels, after a string of bombings killed seven police officers over the weekend.president juan manuel santos has blamed the armed group for attacks on police stations in three cities.the year-long talks were aimed at ending nearly 50 years of violence.al jazeera's alessandro rampietti reports from bogota.






2 former guerrillas shot in colombia at campaign event


bogota, colombia (ap) — two ex-combatants with colombia’s once-largest rebel group have been shot to death while participating in a campaign event for the guerrilla’s new political party.wilman asprilla and ansel montoya were killed tuesday night in northwestern colombia while campaigning for a congressional candidate running under the banner of the former guerrillas’ party.the united nations mission in colombia is condemning the deaths and urging the government to ensure the safety of all those participating in the upcoming vote.the former revolutionary armed forces of colombia, or farc, has transformed into a political party as part of the peace accord that ended the region’s longest-running conflict.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.former rebels are guaranteed 1






colombia: ex-rebels' launch of tv network stumbles | colombia news


one year after the colombian government signed its peace deal with the fuerzas armadas revolucionarias de colombia (farc) rebel group, the former fighters are launching a tv network."new colombia news" aims to offer a different post-conflict alternative to traditional media.but its reporters are facing resistance from many colombians.al jazeera's alessandro rampietti reports.






more than 100 killed in colombia landslide


over 100 people have been killed in a landslide following heavy rains in colombia, the nation’s president confirmed saturday. “it has just been reported to me that we have 112 people dead,” president juan manuel santos said after arriving in mocoa and declaring a state of emergency. “we will keep looking.” he warned that the death…






colombia: holdout rebels have freed hostage un contractor


bogota, colombia — colombia's government says a dissident faction of leftist rebels has released a united nations contractor who was taken captive two months ago.the defense ministry said wednesday on social media that the colombian national had notified the u.n. that he had been released.the contractor for the u.n.'s drug agency was taken captive in southern colombia in may by a dissident guerrillas faction opposed to a peace deal signed last year by the revolutionary armed forces of colombia. the incident cast a shadow over a visit by the u.n. security council that was intended to celebrate colombia's efforts to end a half century of hostilities.






colombia tightens borders as venezuela crisis worsens | colombia news


colombia has deployed the military and stepped up border controls, to help combat the number of people trying to cross illegally from venezuela.they are fleeing an economic crisis, which has led to soaring inflation and shortages of food and medicine.al jazeera's alessandro rampietti reports from cucuta, colombia.






4 killed in clashes with colombia coca growers, eradicators


bogota, colombia (ap) — four people were killed and at least 14 injured thursday in a confusing attack on protesting coca farmers that authorities blamed on a dissident faction of a disarmed guerrilla group and local activists attributed to government security forces opening fire.the disputed incident underscores the security challenges colombia faces as it tries to uproot a booming harvest for coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine, a market that is a powerful magnet for dissident rebels and criminal gangs even after last year’s deal to end a half-century conflict with the revolutionary armed forces of colombia.the now-disarmed guerrilla group commonly known by the acronym farc was long a dominant player in the narcotics trade and used it to fund its insurgency.colombia’s defense ministry s






venezuelan women in labor cross to colombia to give birth


cúcuta, colombia—fearful of having a baby in a grim venezuelan hospital, gerlimar pastrán took a nine-hour bus ride to this border city in colombia to give birth earlier this month to a healthy boy in a functioning maternity ward.she is one of hundreds of pregnant venezuelan women who have streamed into colombia in recent months to have their babies, straining colombia’s public-health network and underscoring the fast-deteriorating...






a gang of police officers injured in bogota explosion


at least 26 people were injured in the explosion near a bullring in bogota, colombia. police officers, who were prepping for anti-bullfighting protests in the country’s capital on sunday, made up a majority of the victims. no one was killed, reports reuters.“the national police rejects and condemns these acts of barbarism that affect the integrity of our police and other citizens, as well as the tranquility and coexistence of the country’s capital,” the police said in statement.read: colombia president pledges nobel peace prize money to communities affected by farccitizens have gathered en masse weekly to protest bullfighting in bogota, which resumed last month for the first time in four years when the ban was lifted by the constitutional court—prompting weekly clashes with law enforcement






un: colombia disarmament process for individual arms ends


mesetas, colombia (ap) — the united nations says it has concluded the disarmament process for individual arms as part of a peace deal between colombia’s leftist rebels and the government.at a ceremony in eastern colombia on tuesday u.n. observers closed the final container holding some of the 7,132 assault weapons collected at rebel camps nationwide in recent weeks.president juan manuel santos and top leaders of the revolutionary armed forces of colombia were present for the act.






8 coal miners killed in colombia from underground blast


bogota, colombia — at least eight people have died and five are missing after an underground explosion at a coal mine in central colombia.rescuers are attempting to locate possibly trapped survivors, but as the search drags on, the chances of finding anyone alive seem slim.it's unclear whether the mine has a license. president juan manuel santos has expressed his condolences to families affected by the tragedy.authorities say they believe friday's explosion was triggered by an accumulation of methane gas. an explosion at a mine in the same town of cucunuba caused eight deaths in 2008.mining accidents are frequent in colombia, where many facilities operate illegally with poor safety protocols. through may, 23 miners have died this year compared with 124 in all of 2016.






the latest: death toll rises to 193 in colombia disaster


bogota, colombia — the latest on the deadly river overflow in southern colombia (all times local):8 p.m.the number of people killed in colombia after a surge of mud and water from three overflowing rivers swept through a small city has risen to 193.colombia president juan manuel santos announced the rising death toll early saturday evening as rescuers continued to search for the missing.a ... of debris surged through the city of macoa near colombia's southern border with ecuador around midnight, catching many residents off guard asleep in their homes and leaving little time to escape.many of the city's streets were left an unrecognizable plane of rocks, wooden planks and mud.5:20 p.ma man who escaped with his wife and 7-month-old baby after a river overflowed, killing scores of people in s






a gang of police officers injured in bogota explosion


at least 26 people were injured after an explosion near a bullring in the south american city of bogota, colombia. police officers, who were prepping for anti-bullfighting protests in the country’s capital on sunday (february 19), made up a majority of the victims. no one was killed, reports reuters.“the national police rejects and condemns these acts of barbarism that affect the integrity of our police and other citizens, as well as the tranquility and coexistence of the country’s capital,” the police said in statement.read: colombia president pledges nobel peace prize money to communities affected by farccitizens have gathered en masse weekly to protest bullfighting in bogota, which resumed last month for the first time in four years when the ban was lifted by the constitutional court—pr






bombing in colombia mall kills three, leaves about nine more injured


bogotá, colombia—a strong explosion from a bomb rocked one of the busiest shopping centers in colombia’s capital saturday, killing three people, including a 23-year-old french woman, and injuring nine others, authorities said.shoppers were evacuated from stores and movie theaters after a blast in a second-floor bathroom at the upscale centro...






colombian rebels hand over 30 percent of weapons to un


bogota, colombia — guerrillas in colombia have begun to lay down their weapons as part of last year's historic peace agreement, injecting a much-needed dose of optimism after weeks of feuding over the slow pace of the accord's implementation.the united nations on thursday said that it had collected some 2,300 weapons that were handed over a day earlier by guerrillas belonging to the revolutionary armed forces of colombia. that represents a little more than a third of the farc's declared arsenal of weapons, the u.n. mission in colombia said."this is a major development that bears witness to the parties' will to respond to the hope generated in colombia and the international community by the peace agreement signed last november," the u.n. said.almost since the accord was signed, the farc and






venezuelan women in labor cross to colombia to give birth


cúcuta, colombia—fearful of having a baby in a grim venezuelan hospital, gerlimar pastrán took a nine-hour bus ride to this border city in colombia to give birth earlier this month to a healthy boy in a functioning maternity ward.she is one of hundreds of pregnant venezuelan women who have streamed into colombia in recent months to...






ap exclusive: colombia ‘panic buttons’ expose activists


it is supposed to help protect human-rights activists, labor organizers and journalists working in risky environments, but a gps-enabled “panic button” that colombia’s government has issued to about 400 people could be exposing them to more peril.the pocket-sized devices are designed to notify authorities in the event of an attack or attempted kidnapping. but the associated press, with an independent security audit, uncovered technical flaws that could let hostile parties disable them, eavesdrop on conversations and track users’ movements.there is no evidence the vulnerabilities have been exploited, but security experts are alarmed.“this is negligent in the extreme,” said eva galperin, director of cybersecurity at the nonprofit electronic frontier foundation, calling the finding “a tremend






colombia tightens border control as venezuela migrants surge


bogota, colombia — colombia is tightening control over its porous border with venezuela as a growing tide of migrants flees into the neighboring andean nation.president juan manuel santos announced thursday that more than 2,000 additional officers will be dispatched to police the hundreds of dirt-road crossings migrants are using to enter colombia illegally.colombia will also stop issuing border cards that currently allow 1.5 million venezuelans to temporarily enter the nation to purchase food and medicine.santos says colombia wants to extend its solidarity to needy venezuelans and will open a migrant attention center capable of providing aid to an estimated 2,000 people. but he stressed that migration to colombia also needs to be conducted in a safe and legal manner.most read storiesunlim






ap exclusive: colombia 'panic buttons' expose activists


it is supposed to help protect human-rights activists, labor organizers and journalists working in risky environments, but a gps-enabled "panic button" that colombia's government has issued to about 400 people could be exposing them to more peril.the pocket-sized devices are designed to notify authorities in the event of an attack or attempted kidnapping. but the associated press, with an independent security audit, uncovered technical flaws that could let hostile parties disable them, eavesdrop on conversations and track users' movements.there is no evidence the vulnerabilities have been exploited, but security experts are alarmed."this is negligent in the extreme," said eva galperin, director of cybersecurity at the nonprofit electronic frontier foundation, calling the finding "a tremend






colombia: ex-rebels' launch of tv network stumbles | colombia news


one year after the colombian government signed its peace deal with the farc rebel group, the former fighters are launching a tv network."new colombia news" aims to offer a different post-conflict alternative to traditional media.but its reporters are facing resistance from many colombians. al jazeera's alessandro rampietti reports.






colombia searches for survivors of flood, landslide


mocoa, colombia—in boats, in helicopters and on foot, colombia’s army and emergency response teams continued their search sunday for survivors of a flood and mudslide in remote putumayo state that left more than 200 people dead and more than 200 others missing, officials said. the death toll as of late sunday stood at 248, the forensics unit of colombia’s attorney general’s office said. president juan manuel santos said during his...






24 dead after river overflows, destroying homes in colombia


mocoa, colombia — authorities say 24 people are dead after a river overflowed in colombia, triggering an avalanche of water that destroyed homes and killed people in their sleep.the incident triggered by intense rains left at least 65 people injured in mocoa, a city of 350,000 people located near colombia's border with ecuador.carlos ivan marquez with colombia's national disaster agency says the river flooded around midnight, catching unsuspecting residents off guard in the early saturday hours.emergency response workers were continuing the search for survivors, with the number of reported deaths climbing in the morning hours.images shared by residents online showed vast areas filled with wood planks and other debris.president juan manuel santos is expected to visit the region saturday.






rash report: colombia makes the case for foreign-policy resolve


colombia  — global minnesota’s 2017 focus country — has been the subject of increased international interest in recent months.in october, colombian president juan manuel santos won the nobel peace prize for fostering a peace process that eventually led to an historic accord between the colombian government and the revolutionary armed forces of colombia (farc).the peace prize — usually a reflection of events — may have helped shape them this time. just days before the nobel announcement, colombian voters, in a low-turnout plebiscite, rejected a referendum on the peace deal, seemingly feeling that the terms were too lenient on farc fighters accused of human rights crimes in the course of the 52-year conflict. as a newly minted laureate, santos was able to hammer out a new deal with the farc






jobs, cash and coffins: how colombia’s clans win elections


ovejas, colombia—juliana escalante garcía has a standout resume for a budding politician: she has a master’s degree from a premier french university, speaks multiple languages and was a top aide to colombia’s finance minister.but what’s more likely to secure victory for her and dozens of other candidates in sunday’s congressional election is their membership in rural family clans that have for decades run home districts like fiefs. her family—and others like it in colombia and across latin america—have been mired in corruption...






the latest: venezuela president offers colombia assistance


bogota, colombia — the latest on the deadly river overflow in southern colombia (all times local):3:10 p.m. the tragedy that killed scores of people in a water avalanche in colombia seems to have put to rest at least for the moment the bad blood that has existed between president juan manuel santos and his venezuelan counterpart nicolas maduro. maduro on saturday offered to send rescuers and other disaster relief experts to help colombia dig out from the mudslide that has killed at least 154 people. maduro made an apparent allusion to santo's declarations on friday questioning the state of venezuela's democracy. he said: "we're brotherly people, who are there to be together and show respect for one another in trying times." the scenes of desperation in colombia resonate with supporters of






colombia rebel boss to continue recovery from stroke in cuba


bogota, colombia — the leader of colombia's largest rebel movement is continuing his recovery from a light stroke in cuba.colombia's government tuesday said it had authorized rodrigo londono's travel to the communist-run island.the commander of the revolutionary armed forces of colombia posted on twitter photos of himself leaving a hospital in villavicencio where he sought treatment sunday suffering from slurred speech and a loss of mobility in one arm. doctors diagnosed the symptoms as the result of a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain.the health scare came just days after he oversaw his troops handing in the last of their weapons.cuba hosted multi-year peace talks that resulted in a deal last year to end a half century of fighting between the government and farc.






the latest: colombia president declares state of emergency


bogota, colombia (ap) — the latest on the deadly river overflow in southern colombia (all times local):1:30 p.m.the red cross reports that 127 people are dead, 220 missing and 400 injured when a water avalanche surged through a small city in colombia.a state of emergency has been declared in mocoa, located along colombia’s southern border with ecuador.most read stories3-course dinners for $32 starting april 2.minister of interior juan manuel cristo says in the middle of the night “families, boys, girls, young people, the elderly” were killed when three rivers overflowed. the incident happened around midnight, as many residents were in their homes sleeping. witnesses felt buildings vibrate before an avalanche of water carrying mud and debris swept through, toppling homes and lifting trucks






the latest: colombia president declares state of emergency


bogota, colombia — the latest on the deadly river overflow in southern colombia (all times local):1:30 p.m.the red cross reports that 127 people are dead, 220 missing and 400 injured when a water avalanche surged through a small city in colombia.a state of emergency has been declared in mocoa, located along colombia's southern border with ecuador.minister of interior juan manuel cristo says in the middle of the night "families, boys, girls, young people, the elderly" were killed when three rivers overflowed.the incident happened around midnight, as many residents were in their homes sleeping. witnesses felt buildings vibrate before an avalanche of water carrying mud and debris swept through, toppling homes and lifting trucks downstream.___1 p.m.the president of colombia has declared a stat






112 dead after river overflows, destroying homes in colombia – the denver post


bogota, colombia — president juan manuel santos says 112 people are dead after a river overflowed in colombia, triggering an avalanche of water that destroyed homes and killed people in their sleep.the incident triggered by intense rains left at least 65 people injured in mocoa, a city of 350,000 people located near colombia’s border with ecuador.carlos ivan marquez with colombia’s national disaster agency says the river flooded around midnight, catching unsuspecting residents off guard in the early saturday hours.emergency response workers were continuing the search for survivors, with the number of reported deaths climbing in the morning hours.images shared by residents online showed vast areas filled with wood planks and other debris.president juan manuel santos is expected to visit the