Keep Colombian Ex-President Alvaro Uribe out of Georgetown and send him packing to La Picota prison in Colombia! September 2, 2010Posted by rogerhollander in Colombia, Human Rights, Latin America.
Tags: Alvaro Uribe, Colombia, Colombia Civil War, colombia paramilitaries, Colombian government, Colombian military, georgetown university, human rights, Latin America, roger hollander
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Georgetown University has recently announced that former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe will be named a “distinguished scholar in the practice of global leadership,” and will soon begin giving seminars at the university’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS). Uribe has said it is a “great honor” for him, and that his “greatest wish and happiness is to contribute in the continuous emergence of future leaders.”
Uribe’s 8-year tenure in Colombia was rife with corruption, human rights violations and widespread impunity. In a letter in June to the White House, Human Rights Watch expressed “serious concerns” about the Uribe administration’s record on and commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
For more information on Uribe and human rights violations, click here.
Students, community activists and religious leaders have already spoken out against the university’s decision, and will be planning actions of protest for this fall.
Take action NOW, by signing this letter to Georgetown University President, Mr. John J. DeGioia.
Colombian Government Fires 25 Corrupt Military Officers October 29, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Colombia, Latin America.
Tags: Alvaro Uribe, Catatumbo Colombia, Colombia, Colombia atrocities, Colombia Civil War, Colombia civilian casualties, Colombia common grave, Colombia Human Rights Violations, Colombian disappeared, Colombian generals, Colombian government, Colombian military
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The following is a summary compiled by myself of an Associated Press article that appeared in the Guayaquil (Ecuador) daily, “El Universo,” October 29, 2008:
Twenty five high and middle level military officers have been summarily dismissed by the Colombian government of Álvaro Uribe, including three Infantry Generals: Roberto Pico Hernández, Commander of the VII Infantry Division; José Joaquín Cortes Franco, Commander of the II Division; and Paulino Coronado, Commander of the 30th Infantry Brigade.
The three generals and other officers are accused of collaborating in criminal activities, including homicide. The decision to fire them came as a result into the investigation of the disappearance of eleven men from Bogota’s Soachoa Barrio, whose bodies were subsequently found in a common grave in Colombia’s northeast Catatumbo region, some of whom were dressed uso as to appear to be guerrilla warriors.
Among those who were relieved of their duties was Santiago Herrera Fajardo, Major Chief of State of the V Division and Commander of the 15th Mobile Brigade, which had jurisdiction in the Catatumbo region.
According to Uribe, subsequent criminal charges will be in the hands of the country’s Attorney General. He admitted that the cases were the result of negligence and the lack of care in following procedures, which led to the collaboration between the officers and criminal elements.
According to Armando Borrero, an analyst and former government security advisor in the 1990s, the unprecedented purge of Colombian military leadership represents a serious blow to the Uribe government and Colombia’s military because it demonstrates that civilian deaths where army officers are implicated are not isolated events but rather the result of careful planning.
The fact that many of the twenty five forcibly retired officers held posts in different regions of the country where there were similar cases of civilians murdered with military complicity, suggests that they were not all necessarily implicated in the case of the eleven disappeared. Uribe failed to clarify whether or not this was the case.
For several months Human Rights organizations have been reporting an increase in instances where the Colombian military were complicit with extrajudicial executions in an attempt to show that they were having successes against illegally armed groups. These killings came to be known as “false positives.”
In a telephone interview, Ana Teresa Bernal, director of the NGO Redepaz (Peace Network), said, “This is good, good because it uncovers and punishes, but the seriousness of the crimes is undeniable. I don’t understand why the military involved itself in these acts, which are dishonourable and detestable.”