Colombia Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Colombia. According to Countryaah.com, Colombia Independence Day is July 20. The government had allocated $ 9 million for a re-alignment program for the country’s rebels, a total of about 30,000, promising amnesty, protection and financial support if they surrendered to the authorities. The first to come into question were the paramilitary militias, whose representatives on January 22 met government negotiators for the first time for secret deliberations.

In July, an agreement was signed under which paramilitary soldiers, about 13,000, will be demobilized in special security zones until 2005, of which over half are already in 2003. The first militia groups to disarm were assembled in the department of Urabá, where they had been formed in the 1980s. to fight the left guerrillas.

The disarmament of the militia groups is one of the left-wing guerrillas FARC’s old demands that they in turn lay down their weapons. However, the issue of extradition to the United States by Carlos Castaño, leader of the paramilitary groups’ umbrella organization, was not resolved, and human rights organizations objected to the generous conditions for the rebels.

In April, a decision was made to extradite FARC leader Nelson Vargas Rueda to the United States, where he will face trial for the murder of three US citizens in 1999. President Álvaro Uribe, elected for an uncompromising attitude to the country’s insurgents, stepped up the war against left guerrillas, and the violence did not decrease.

On February 7, 32 people were killed and 162 injured outside an exclusive club in Bogotá in the worst car bomb attack in ten years, according to the government conducted by the FARC. An American force failed with an attack on a FARC camp in the Urdu jungle in the Department of Antioquia where ten kidnapped people, including Antioquia’s governor and a former defense minister, were held hostage; everyone was killed. But Uribe’s line was still supported by a majority of voters.

At the so-called Rio Group meeting in Cuzco in Peru in May, Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutiérrez Borbúa accepted the UN mediation proposal in the Colombian conflict. However, both Uribe and FARC rejected the proposal.

On October 26, a referendum was held on an economic austerity program and political reform, which, however, was considered a failure for President Uribe. Only five out of fifteen points in the program were approved by voters. At the same time, municipal and regional elections were held, which became a great success for the left. In Bogotá, union leader Lucho Garzón was elected mayor, and in two departments (Nariño and Cauca) as well as the largest cities won the left.

In December 2012, Congress passed a law giving military courts control over human rights violations investigations. A move sharply criticized by international human rights organizations. It is now clearly the fox guarding geese in Colombia. The UN has found that impunity is a structural problem in Colombia.

In 2012, the country’s statistical office reported that 32.7% of the population lives below the poverty line, while 10.4% live in extreme poverty. In contrast, previous years’ economic growth had led to a drastic increase in the number of millionaires and billionaires. There are now 5 Colombians on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest men.

Despite peace talks, human rights violations remain unchanged. In 2012 alone, 40 human rights activists and local leaders were killed; 20 professional leaders were killed; more than 10,000 driven on the run and hundreds of civilians executed. In 2011, the EU signed a free trade agreement with Colombia, which entered into force in August 2013. In 2012, the United States provided 482 million euros. US $ in aid to the country’s military and police, followed by $ 473 million US $ the following year.

More than 70 human rights activists and over 27 union activists were killed by the military, police and death patrols during 2013. Hundreds of peasants and Indians were also killed, and an additional 220,000 escaped as internally driven.

Colombian police announced in May 2013 that its inventories had 3,866 active members of the right-wing death patrols, and they were active in 167 municipalities. In August, the Supreme Court ordered Luis Alfredo Ramos arrested for his cooperation with the death patrols. He chaired the Senate in 2002-03, governor of Antioquia in 2008-11 and otherwise planned to run for presidential election in 2014. During 2013, further investigations into the Uribe administration’s relations with the death patrols were initiated. In October, the Prosecutor’s Office identified Uribe’s security chief (during his time as president), police general Mauricio Santoyo as a suspect in the case. the disappearances of two human rights activists in 2000. In 2012, Santoyo had pleaded guilty before a federal court in the United States for his cooperation with the death patrols in 2001-08.

The country’s great author and Nobel laureate, Gabriel García Márquez, died April 17, 2014 in Mexico City. Mexico had been his second home country for many years, and that is also where he received the Nobel Prize in 1982. In Colombia, as a journalist and intellectual, he would have fallen victim to the death squads of the military or the right wing.

In June 2014, Santos was re-elected president with 51% of the votes in the second round of elections, against 45% for Óscar Iván Zuluaga. In the first round of elections, Santos had to settle for 25.7% of the vote, while Zuluaga got 29.3%. Voting was limited: 40% in the 1st round and 47.9% in the 2nd round. More than half of the voters stayed home. It was attributed to Santos’ peace process that he succeeded in reversing the trend from the 1st to the 2nd round and thus winning the election.

In December 2014, the death patrol Águilas Negras published a death list of 80 human rights activists in Bogota. The threats came after the release of similar death lists in October and September.

Colombia Border Map