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Mon Jan 25, 2021, 03:10 AM

Colombia's FARC party changes name to Comunes

By Reuters Staff

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia’s FARC political party - which was formed following the demobilization of the guerrilla group with the same acronym - will change its name to Comunes, it said on Sunday.

The decision to change the name was taken at the party’s second national assembly, which ran for three days through Sunday.

“Our new name is COMUNES,” the party said on Twitter. “It’s a real and transformative bet on Colombia’s peace made by the common people.”

The leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group signed a peace deal with Colombia’s government in 2016.

The signing of the pact ended the FARC guerrillas’ role in a more than 50-year conflict that left more than 260,000 dead and millions displaced.


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Right-wing paramilitarism in Colombia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Right-wing paramilitary groups in Colombia (Spanish: paramilitares de derecha) are paramilitary groups acting in opposition to revolutionary Marxist-Leninist guerrilla forces and their allies among the civilian population. These paramilitary groups control a large majority of the illegal drug trade of cocaine and other substances. According to several international human rights and governmental organizations, right-wing paramilitary groups were responsible for at least 70 to 80% of political murders in Colombia per year.[1][2] The remaining political murders are often committed by leftist guerrillas and government forces.

The first paramilitary groups were organized by the Colombian military following recommendations made by U.S. military counterinsurgency advisers who were sent to Colombia during the Cold War to combat leftist political activists and armed guerrilla groups. The development of more modern paramilitary groups has also involved elite landowners, drug traffickers, members of the security forces, politicians and multinational corporations. Paramilitary violence today is principally targeted towards left-wing insurgents and their supporters.

. . .

Human Rights Violations

Right-wing paramilitary groups have been blamed for the vast majority of human rights violations in Colombia.[93] The United Nations has estimated that approximately 80% of all killings in Colombia's civil conflict have been committed by paramilitaries, 12% by leftist guerrillas, and the remaining 8% by government forces.[94] In 2005, Amnesty International stated that "the vast majority of non-combat politically-motivated killings, disappearances, and cases of torture have been carried out by army-backed paramilitaries".[13] In its 1999 report, Human Rights Watch cited estimates from Colombian human rights organizations CINEP and Justice and Peace, which indicated that paramilitary groups were responsible for about 73% of identifiable political murders during the first half of 1998, with guerrillas and state security forces being blamed for 17 and 10 percent respectively.[95] The Colombian Commission of Jurists reported that, in the year 2000, approximately 85% of political murders were committed by the paramilitaries and state forces.[96]

Paramilitary violence is overwhelmingly targeted towards peasants, unionists, teachers, human rights workers, journalists and leftist political activists.[98][99]

Paramilitary abuses in Colombia are often classified as atrocities due to the brutality of their methods, including the torture, rape, incineration, decapitation and mutilation with chainsaws or machetes of dozens of their victims at a time, affecting civilians, women and children.[17][97][98]

Paramilitary forces in Colombia have additionally been charged with the illegal recruitment of children into the armed ranks. Though this is an offense punishable by national law, the prosecution rate for these crimes is less than 2% as of 2008.[100]


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