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USA/Colombia – Secretary Blinken’s Call with Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Ramirez (US Deparment of State)

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez.  The Secretary reaffirmed the enduring partnership between our two countries.  He emphasized the importance of defending and advancing democracy in the region, particularly in Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba.  He reiterated our gratitude to the Government of Colombia for its model outreach to the Venezuelan migrant population.  He expressed U.S. support for Colombia’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery, as underscored by our recent donation of 2.5 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and 3.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Colombia.  He emphasized our shared commitment to expanding citizen security in the region, meeting our joint counter-narcotics goals, and listening to citizens’ concerns and addressing the root causes of recent protests.  He affirmed our support for lasting peace in Colombia and inclusive economic growth as our hemisphere recovers.

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(Colombia) At least 70 arrested in latest round of Colombia protests (Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera writes: At least 70 people have been arrested in the latest round of anti-government protests in Colombia, according to police. Authorities announced on Wednesday, a day after Colombians again took to the street in demonstrations that first began in April in opposition to a since-abandoned tax hike. The protests have shifted into a wider movement against the right-wing administration of President Ivan Duque.

go to Al Jazeera website: At least 70 arrested in latest round of Colombia protests | Protests News | Al Jazeera

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(Colombia) Colombia presents new tax reform to Congress amid more protests (Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera writes: Colombia’s government formally presented a $3.95bn tax reform bill to Congress on Tuesday, as unions and student groups sought to revive the street protests that helped scupper the reform’s original iteration. The law would raise significantly less than the $6.3bn package that was sought by the government in an April proposal that was later withdrawn amid mass demonstrations and lawmaker opposition.

go to Al Jazeera website: Colombia presents new tax reform to Congress amid more protests | Protests News | Al Jazeera

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Colombia – Colombia used ‘excessive’ force against protesters: IACHR (Megan Janetsky, Al Jazeera)

The Colombian government used “excessive and disproportionate” force during mass protests earlier this year, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) said in a long-awaited report released on Wednesday.

The IACHR, an autonomous body in the Organization of American States, called on the South American nation to make structural changes to its militarised police force, which has been accused of committing “egregious” abuses against protesters.

Colombia used ‘excessive’ force against protesters: IACHR | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera

Demonstrators clash with police during anti-government protests in Medellin on June 28, 2021 [File: Santiago Mesa/Reuters]

Demonstrators clash with police during anti-government protests in Medellin on June 28, 2021 [File: Santiago Mesa/Reuters]

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Colombia – Colombia court accuses soldiers of killing 120 civilians (Al Jazeera)

A Colombian court has accused 10 members of the military and a civilian of forcibly disappearing 24 people and murdering at least 120 civilians and falsely presenting them as fighters who had been killed in combat.

It is the first time that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) tribunal in Bogota accused members of the army of being involved in the so-called “false positive” scandal.

Colombia court accuses soldiers of killing 120 civilians | Conflict News | Al Jazeera

A transitional peace court has concluded that more than 6,400 civilians were extrajudicially killed by the Colombian military between 2002 and 2008 [File: Christina Noriega/Al Jazeera]

A transitional peace court has concluded that more than 6,400 civilians were extrajudicially killed by the Colombian military between 2002 and 2008 [File: Christina Noriega/Al Jazeera]

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Colombia – The Pandemic Strikes: Responding to Colombia’s Mass Protests (Crisis Group)

What’s new? Colombia has seen a wave of unrest triggered by an unpopular tax reform, fuelled by massive inequality and police brutality, and inflamed in large part by the health and economic effects of the pandemic. Protests are likely to simmer at least until the May 2022 presidential election.

The Pandemic Strikes: Responding to Colombia’s Mass Protests | Crisis Group

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Colombia – Colombia’s Triple Crisis (Mauricio Cárdenas, Project-Syndicate)

Colombians need political leadership that responds to the current anger in the streets with effective strategies to tackle the country’s social and fiscal crises, while relying on increased vaccination to defeat the pandemic. But with the radical right and populist left on the rise, expecting this anytime soon is wishful thinking.

Colombia’s Triple Crisis by Mauricio Cárdenas – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

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USA/Colombia – Biden expresses support for Colombia’s Duque after attack (Al Jazeera)

United States President Joe Biden has expressed support for his Colombian counterpart, Ivan Duque, after a helicopter carrying the Colombian president and other government officials was fired upon late last week near the border with Venezuela.

In a statement on Monday, the White House said Biden called Duque “to express U.S. support following the attack”.

Biden expresses support for Colombia’s Duque after attack | Conflict News | Al Jazeera

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Colombia – Nine dead in separate attacks amid escalating violence (Al Jazeera)

At least nine people, including four police officers, have died in three separate attacks across Colombia, which has seen a recent surge in violence and instability in several parts of the country.

Three off-duty police officers died in an attack by armed men in the northeastern town of Pailitias, a police statement said on Sunday. One of the officers’ pregnant wife was also injured.

Colombia: Nine dead in separate attacks amid escalating violence | Latin America News | Al Jazeera

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