Stories written by Constanza Vieira
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Documenting Invasive Species on Colombia’s Plains

Along the unpaved road between the town of Orocué and the Wisirare private reserve in the eastern Colombian department of Casanare, biologist Juliana Cárdenas asks the driver to stop the bus so she can collect a specimen of West Indian foxtail, a kind of grass growing along the road.

When the Train Passes, But Never Arrives

José "Goyo" Hernández has never been given a mask to keep him from breathing in the coal dust blowing off the 13 trains that pass daily through this village in the municipality of Zona Bananera in the northern Colombian department of Magdalena, during his 12-hour shift at the railway crossing.

Key Land Reform Accord in Colombia’s Peace Talks

Colombian government and guerrilla delegates have announced an agreement on the question of land reform – an important step in the peace talks that began six months ago in Havana.

Displaced by Gold Mining in Colombia

"I was displaced here by mining a month ago. Illegal miners forced me out of my municipality. No, don't write down where I'm from, let alone my name," said a 40-year-old black man frightened for his safety. IPS agreed to say only that he is from Colombia’s southern Pacific coast region.

Waste Pickers in Colombia Earn Formal Recognition

Nora Padilla, one of the six winners of this year’s Goldman environmental prize, dedicates her days to organising informal recyclers in the Colombian capital, where the city’s eight million inhabitants are just now reluctantly starting to classify their garbage at source.

Colombia’s Peace Process Sans Chávez

Late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez played a key role in the current attempt to negotiate peace in Colombia. Along with Cuban President Raúl Castro, he confidentially urged the FARC guerrillas to agree to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’s secret proposal for peace talks.

Victims Want Voice and Vote in Colombia’s Peace Talks

Victims of crimes of the state want their recommendations to be taken into consideration by the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas that are seeking to end half a century of armed conflict.

Open Pit Miners Strike in Colombia

Two weeks into an indefinite strike called by workers at Cerrejón, one of the largest open-pit coal mines in the world, the company has agreed to sit down again and negotiate with Colombia's National Union of Coal Industry Workers (Sintracarbón).

Hugo Chavez and Colombia’s Peace

Colombia has suffered an internal armed conflict for so many decades that it almost amounts to a "forgotten crisis" for external donors. But the president of neighbouring Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is well aware of the conflict, and understands that it destabilises Latin America, where centre-left governments proliferate.

Colombian Landowners, Peasants Listen to Each Other

Colombia's large-scale agricultural producers and peasant farmers managed to listen to each other for the first time about the core cause of the decades-long armed conflict: the concentration of rural land ownership and the social and economic development of the countryside.

Off the Blacklist Doesn’t Imply Improvement in Human Rights in Colombia

Colombia will be removed from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights “blacklist” next year. In exchange, the government of Juan Manuel Santos facilitated a visit to the country by a delegation from the Commission.

An Empty Chair in Colombia’s Peace Talks in Oslo

Closed-door talks between members of the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government began in Oslo Wednesday, after the delegates were taken from the airport to an undisclosed location.

The Press in Colombia “Rediscovers” Peace

What are the obstacles to peace in war-torn Colombia? When government and rebel negotiators asked themselves this question, they concluded that one problem was that the media in this country had turned “peace” itself into a dirty word.

Colombia’s Rebels Insist Peace Is Only Possible with Reforms

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are taking a pragmatic, reformist stance in the new attempt to negotiate a peace agreement with the Colombian government, to put an end to nearly half a century of civil war.

Colombia to Seek Its Own Oslo Accord

The Colombian government and FARC rebels will start formal peace talks in Oslo on Oct. 5, in an attempt to put an end to an armed conflict that has gone through different stages since 1946, with brief lulls.

Colombian President Meets with Nasa Indians

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos travelled to a native reserve in the southwest of the country Wednesday to meet with thousands of indigenous people who had gathered there for nearly a week, demanding an end to fighting in their territory.

Colombian Informant Exposes Destabilisation Plot

The same week that a bomb attack targeted Colombia's former interior and justice minister, Fernando Londoño, a Colombian national came forward and confessed that similar attacks were being planned against former senator Piedad Córdoba and current Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro.

COLOMBIA Langlois Case Raises Questions About Status of Journalists in War

French reporter Romeo Langlois is returning home today with an injured arm, after surviving a firefight and spending a month in the hands of the FARC guerrillas in Colombia’s southern Amazon jungle region.

In the video broadcast Monday by Telesur, French reporter Romeo Langlois appears to be in good health.  Credit:Courtesy Simone Bruno

French Journalist to Be Released by Colombian Rebels

If all goes well, French journalist Romeo Langlois will return home on Wednesday May 30, after spending just over a month in the hands of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Colombia and Venezuela – Joining Forces

When 12 Colombian soldiers were killed by FARC insurgents a stone's throw away from the northern border with Venezuela, the consequences included military cooperation that reinforces the political, diplomatic and trade-related links that have developed over the past two years between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

COLOMBIA: Amnesty Denounces Impunity for Human Rights Crimes

There have been "few tangible improvements" in human rights in Colombia, says Amnesty International’s new report, which also points to legal loopholes that ensure impunity, as well as government attacks on court rulings.

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