Expansion of Colombian Military Criminal Jurisdiction

Get Moving! campaign: Memory is written on your skin

Get Moving! campaign: Memory is written on your skin
Get moving on this March 6 for truth, and participate in the Colombia Victims Movement’s (MOVICE) campaign, “Memory is written on your skin.” Check out our flickr page. You still have time to participate! The photo that you send us will be incorporated into the images for the March 6 mobilization.
Since 2008, MOVICE (Colombian Victims Movement Against State Crimes) proclaimed March 6 as the day of dignity for victims of state crimes in Colombia. On this date, we have facilitated a national and international mobilization as a way to reject crimes perpetrated by the State, to make visible high levels of impunity, to show the mechanisms used to hide the truth and to expose the continuation of paramilitarism, the continual denial of our demands and the persistent stigmatization, persecution, disappearance and assassinations against victims and other social leaders.

Send your photo here.
Click here to see the promotional video.
Follow the campaign here.
More info at MOVICE’s site.

Peace Negotiations Re-open After Expired Cease-fire

By Emily Schmitz

January 31 – Negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas re-opened today, after a week-long recess.

1356Objecting to bilateral agreements before peace negotiations are finalized, the government of Juan Manuel Santos refused to halt fire alongside guerrilla troops, thus ending the FARC’s cease-fire on January 19 at midnight. Without state reciprocation, the unilateral truce ran its sixty-day course as planned, returning FARC forces to guerrilla-style warfare that has typified the group since its beginnings.

Despite significant drops in violence, the cease-fire was widely disputed. Critics claimed FARC attacks continued throughout the country, despite claims to have halted offensive attacks. The New Rainbow Corporation Armed Conflict Observatory documented 41 armed actions involving both guerrilla fighters and armed forces during this period. Of these actions, seven were clear violations of the unilateral truce; another eight ran a thin line somewhere between defensive and offensive; and the remaining 26 were classified as defensive attacks, calculating thatalmost 90% of FARC stopped offensive attacks for the duration of the cease-fire. The outcome places in doubt a previous supposition that internal FARC divisions between units could nullify potential peace accords.

Expansion of Colombian Military Criminal Jurisdiction

Photo: Pablo Serrano

Impunity Guaranteed

By Alejandro Gonzalez

December was marked by an increase of military presence in the San José de Apartadó Peace Community and surrounding veredas (settlements). Helicopters flew constantly, while troops walked by and positioned themselves in strategic points. While peace negotiations are taking place in Cuba, the government insists on an increased military offensive, which seems to be its strategy for 2013.

The might of the Colombian Army and its allies is felt not only in the field but also in the legislature. On December 11, the Colombian Senate approved a constitutional reform that expands significantly the scope of the military criminal jurisdiction. The initiative, supported by Defense Secretary Juan Carlos Pinzón, passed despite strong and numerous criticisms by national and international human rights defenders and organizations.