From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Opposition politician gets public service ban
Tuesday 28 September 2010
Progressive opposition politician Piedad Cordoba was barred from public service for 18 years on Monday by Colombia‘s inspector general for allegedly “promoting and collaborating” with left-wing guerillas.
A flamboyant Afro-Colombian known for her trademark turban, Ms Cordoba has spoken out against the former Uribe administration‘s hard-line military approach to Farc, while consistently supporting legislation designed to tackle gender, sexual orientation and race discrimination.
Ms Cordoba, a senator since 1994 and last year mentioned as a possible Nobel peace prize candidate, has not been charged with any crime.
But Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez is constitutionally empowered to dismiss her – and any other member of Congress – by virtue of his jurisdiction over nearly all public servants save the president and top judges.
He claimed that he had dismissed Ms Cordoba because she had “overstepped her government-authorised role” to facilitate hostage releases.
He claimed that she had also made public declarations “that favoured the interests of Farc.”
In public Ms Cordoba has often endorsed Farc’s goal of more equal wealth distribution in the country.
Ms Cordoba said that Mr Ordonez’s “disciplinary investigation has no legal merit whatsoever.”
See also here.
Behind the death threats against supporters of Afro-Colombians: here.
Colombian trade unionist, Parmenio Poveda Salazar, is touring Australia to denounce human rights violations in his country: here.
More than 1,000 British academics joined forces today to call for the release of a Colombian political prisoner. Academic Dr Miguel Angel Beltran was imprisoned in May last year without being convicted of any crime: here.
A November 4 World Bank and International Finance Corporation report, Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs, ranked Colombia as the 39th most “business friendly environment” in the world. Missing from the report were the more than 500 unionists killed in Colombia over the past eight years, making up 60% of all unionists killed globally: here.
Chilean activist Manuel Olate Cespedes was arrested in Santiago on October 29 after the Colombian government alleged he is linked to left-wing guerilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC): here.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’s recent designation of his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez as his “new best friend” has put Washington’s nose out of joint: here.
In one sense, the major “African American Experience” unfolded not in the United States, but throughout the Caribbean and South America. The most important question that Black In Latin America attempts to explore is this: what does it mean to be “black” in these countries? Here.