Published in Semanario Virtual #330, November 23-29, 2012
On Monday, November 19, as delegates of the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas were getting ready to begin negotiations in the Conventions Palace in Havana, Cuba, guerrilla leader Luciano Marín Arango, alias Iván Marquez, gave a surprising public message, entitled “Opening paths towards peace”:
“The FARC Secretariat orders all guerrilla units in the entire national territory to cease all offensive military operations against the armed forces and stop acts of sabotage against public or private infrastructure, beginning midnight on November 20, 2012 until midnight on January 20, 2013.”
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By Gina Spigarelli
On some days in La Unión, the war is a faint pulse in the background — a far-off helicopter heard but not seen, or a military troop walking by on their way to a distant destination. On those days, to an outsider, La Unión is like any small town in the world. Neighbors talk about their days — about the cake being baked down the road or the baby with a cold. They work their fields in the hot sun and convene in the center of town when it sets.
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We have exciting news about the impact of your work on the San José de Apartadó Peace Community.
This year, while celebrating the Peace Community’s 15-year anniversary, we interviewed community members about why the accompaniment you help support is so important. Today, we share their voices with you, as well as good news from our last action alert.
By Susana Pimiento
Sharp contrast with the Petraeus and Allen cases
Recent U.S. news has been flooded with stories of generals David Petraeus and John Allen, both involved in what is perceived as improper conduct. The scandals cost Gen. Petraeus his position as head of theCIA and Allen’s promotion to command U.S. troops in Europe. The speedy strict consequences in both cases contrast with the fate of four Colombian army officers who, despite their involvement in outrageous crimes, have been chosen for promotion. That is the case of Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Espinosa Beltran and Lieutenant Alejandro Jaramillo, who participated in the February 2005 San José de Apartadó Peace Community massacre. Jaramillo was even sentenced to 34 years in prison for murder by an appeals court last June.
Officers chosen for promotionOther officers to be promoted to general include Emiro Barrios Jiménez and Jorge Navarrete Jadeth, who paid a thousand-dollar booty for the extrajudicial killings of two civilians in Manizales (Caldas), one of the cases known as “false positives,” the killing of unarmed civilians to bolster the officers’ body counts.
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