Thursday, 17 May 2018

Justice for Colombia

E-bulletin May 2018

Dear Supporters,

We hope you are well. If you haven't yet had an opportunity to visit 
our new website, please do so. Follow us regularly for news and information on the peace process, human rights and trade unionism in Colombia.

You can also stay up to date with JFC on 
FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

We also hope you will consider 
supporting our work in Colombia, which you can do through your trade union or as an individual. Your contribution will help us to continue campaigning for human rights, labour rights and peace with social justice in Colombia.

Here is an update of some recent news from Colombia and JFC.

JFC Peace Monitor delegation visits Colombia

During 5-10 April 2018, the Justice for Colombia Peace Monitor staged its inaugural delegation to Colombia to observe the current state of implementation of the peace process and the broader human rights situation in the country.

The delegation was formed of British and Irish MPs and international trade unionists. You can read about the delegates and the various meetings they held with government officials, the FARC, the UN, foreign embassies and civil society groups here.

To read the official statement which announces the findings of the JFC Peace Monitor delegation, 
click here.

The delegation was the first in an ongoing series of JFC-organised visits to Colombia to observe and assist the implementation of the peace agreement.

For more information and to follow the work of the JFC Peace Monitor, visit the and follow our new Twitter page

Jesús Santrich campaign

JFC is extremely concerned about the implications for the peace process of the arrest and ongoing detention of Jesús Santrich, a key architect of the peace process and congress member-elect for the FARC. Jesús also sits on the Implementation Commission responsible for overseeing the implementation of the peace agreement.

Jesús was arrested on 9 April, a few hours after meeting with the JFC Peace Monitor delegation which, in its official statement, said it felt there was 'an absolute and unreserved commitment to the peace process' among the FARC.

Since his arrest, Jesús Santrich has been on hunger strike, causing a severe deterioration in his health and leading to his hospitalisation on 26 April.

The arrest occurred following an arrest request from a US court for Jesús Santrich with the aim of extradition on allegations of conspiracy to traffic drugs. The United Nations, the Colombian Supreme Court and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the transitional justice model which was created as a core element of the peace agreement, have said that his case must be reviewed first in Colombia by the JEP.

To read JFC's statement on the detention of Jesús Santrich, click here.

You can also read statements by Unite the Union and the National Education Union, both of which had representatives on the JFC Peace Monitor delegation who met with Jesús on the day of his arrest. 

Jesús Santrich was also the subject of an Early Day Motion submitted in the British parliament by a cross-party group of MPs. 

Human Rights

High levels of political violence continue to affect many Colombians. According to a recent report by Colombian NGO Somos Defensores (We Are Defenders), 46 social leaders and human rights defenders were murdered in the first three months of 2018. This continues the sharp escalation in killings since the peace agreement was signed in November 2016.

The majority of these killings have taken place in regions formerly under FARC administration, where the subsequent power vacuum has seen armed groups seek to establish a foothold. Many victims had been working on the implementation of the peace process, especially around land reform and voluntary substitution of illicit crops.
In a report published in March 2018, the UN noted that at least 121 activists were murdered in 2017.

Around 50 members of the FARC, as well as some of their close family members, have been killed since the agreement was signed. This is despite their demobilisation and attempts to reintegrate into civil society.

It is imperative for that the Colombian government implement the necessary security measures to address the ongoing targeting of social leaders and former combatants by paramilitaries and other armed groups. 


If you have any questions regarding JFC's work, contact us at: 

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