A judge rules seven years later on a case of the Colombian State against trade unionists. In the middle of an election race, President Santos will have to publicly apologize for crimes his main rival committed.
The community of El Tamarindo was formed by internally displaced families on empty, untitled land in Colombia. With the expansion of the Barranquilla Free Trade Zone, the community is being forcefully displaced again.
While a subsection of Colombian society enjoys access to education, access to jobs, and racial privilege, the teenaged sons of the majority of the population put their lives on the line to protect what they themselves do not enjoy.
As we approach the end of the year, Red Hot Burning Peace takes the opportunity to report on some overlooked stories from the last couple of months and tie up some loose ends, covering President Santos' apology to the comunidad de Paz de San Jose de Apartado, Drummond's fine, Petro's ongoing battle for reinstatement, and the current FARC ceasefire.
Bogotá has been rocked by indignados protesting the past two weeks due to a possibly unconstitutional removal of the city's Mayor Gustavo Petro. The Procurador Alejandro Ordoñez was behind the move, banning him from holding public office for 15 years. But the institutional force behind Ordoñez, and the consequences the removal will have in the new year, remain to be seen.
The Colombian media is in the midst of a nostalgia fest, sparked by the twentieth anniversary of Pablo Escobar's death. The jefe of the Medellín Cartel, estimated fifteenth richest man in the world, some time Liberal party congressman, some time grave robber, Escobar has been the subject of a number of best selling books in both Colombia and the United States.
The legend of El Dorado stems from a Spaniard, Juan Rodriguez Freyle, watching a High Priest of the Muisca getting covered in gold dust and jumping in Lake Guatavita, near Bogotá, in a religious ceremony that makes the Pope's big hat and incense burning look fairly underwhelming. Naturally, the Spanish decided that they themselves were far better placed to use all the gold responsibly, and set about destroying the complex societies that had flourished in Colombia prior.
As we embark on a new blog here at NACLA, we look at the world of NGOs, how they work best, and how they can offer a window on the complex issues facing Colombia today. As with much in life, the work of human rights organizations can be directly related through a strained metaphor to the preparation of hamburgers.