Colombia - A Nation Torn

Q&A: “When the String of the Inequality Gap Snaps, You Have Political Crisis”

"There is no development without peace. It should be understood that, for there to be development in a country, there must be an internal peace process,” says Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Santos Says Colombia Doesn’t Need U.N. Human Rights Office

The Colombian army killed Marta Díaz’s son Douglas in 2006, dressed him in combat fatigues and reported him as a FARC guerrilla killed in a shootout. Díaz searched for him everywhere, in prisons, hospitals and morgues, until she finally managed to track down his remains in 2008.

COLOMBIA: Saving the River Basin, One Schoolchild at a Time

"Out of love for the river, we reforest, recycle, and make this place beautiful," says a sign welcoming visitors to the Floragaita school, where a balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) tree with enormous white flowers guards the entrance to the lush green grounds on a hill in the heart of Colombia’s Andes mountains.

The fate of Romeo Langlois, a French reporter who has worked in Colombia for 12 years, is unknown.  Credit: Courtesy Simone Bruno

COLOMBIA: Missing French Reporter’s Journalistic Mission

Romeo Langlois, a French reporter in Colombia, removed his helmet and bullet-proof vest and ran towards the guerrillas during fighting between them and Colombian army troops on Saturday, Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón reported.

The Fifth People

Last Summit of the Americas Without Cuba

"What matters at this summit is not what is on the official agenda," said Uruguayan analyst Laura Gil, echoing the conventional wisdom in this Colombian port city, where the Sixth Summit of the Americas ended Sunday without a final declaration.

Abya Yala Speaks

During the closing session of the Social Forum of the Sixth Summit of the Americas, the broadcast signal was cut off, triggering protests from participating indigenous leaders. But that did not stop the voice of Abya Yala - the ancestral name of the continent - from being heard.

Socorro Ramírez is the coordinator of the Social Forum of the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.  Credit: Constanza Vieira/IPS

At Summit of Americas, Governments “Are Listening” to the People

In preparation for the Sixth Summit of the Americas, the gathering’s Social Forum has held 25 meetings since September, as well as dozens of online working sessions, with the participation of some 7,000 people.

Messages of Peace in Colombia

Analysts in Colombia have varied in their degree of optimism, but they generally agree that the release of the last 10 police and military hostages held by the FARC guerrillas, some since 1998, was a peace signal.

Emerald Energy oil well in Colombia.  Credit: Elias Cabrera

Emerald Energy Exploits Colombian Andes

A thick fog flows over the eastern range of the Colombian Andes. Here and there, the constant wind lifts the clouds to reveal lagoons, cloud forests, and páramo, an Andean alpine ecosystem known as a "mountaintop sponge" for its massive water-holding capacity.

Juan Carlos Monge and Todd Howland presenting the report. Credit: OHCHR Colombia

Illegal Wiretapping Continues in Colombia, U.N. Says

Illegal spying on human rights activists and journalists is still happening in Colombia, according to a new report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Colombia Finds Swiss Hostage Mediator Innocent

The dismissal of charges in Colombia against Swiss mediator Jean-Pierre Gontard, who helped negotiate the release of numerous hostages held by guerrillas in this country between 1998 and 2008, is "magnificent news, for bilateral relations as well as at a purely human level," Colombia’s ambassador to Switzerland, Claudia Turbay, told IPS.

Mines Test Colombia’s Commitment to Sustainable Development

"In the Andes, and all over the world, mining on mountains should be banned. Distinguished scientists and papers in the most prestigious journals are saying this," a regional planning expert in Colombia told IPS.