British academics call for release of Colombian political prisoner, Dr Miguel Angel Beltran

Over a thousand British academics have signed an open letter to the Colombian president calling on him to immediately order the release of Dr Miguel Angel Beltran, a Colombian academic imprisoned since May 2009 without being convicted of any crime.

Coordinated by the University and College Union, the letter‚Äôs signatories include Nobel Prize winner, Professor Sir Richard Roberts, more than 100 senior university professors, and several Latin America experts. According to their letter Dr Beltran ‚Äúhas been jailed for his political beliefs rather than for any crime‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúis being deprived of his liberty in order to silence him‚ÄĚ. The academics go on to accuse the Colombian regime of violating academic freedom and freedom of expression and say that ‚Äúthe large number of political prisoners in Colombia‚Äôs jails.... belies claims that human rights are being respected by the Colombian State.‚ÄĚ

Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union, said ‚ÄúDr Beltran is an innocent man jailed by an intolerant regime that is intent on suppressing criticism. While hundreds are unjustly imprisoned, many other critics of the government have been murdered or tortured by the Colombian security forces with complete impunity. It is time that the international community spoke out about what is happening in Colombia and time for the Colombian authorities to release Dr Beltran and all other political prisoners.‚ÄĚ

Colombia currently holds over 5,000 political prisoners in appalling and often dangerous conditions. Many are legally accused of ‚Äėrebellion‚Äô, which the British Government recently said ‚Äúcertainly does not seem like a law that respects human rights.‚ÄĚ

visit the UCU website to see the full list of signatories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


Open letter in solidarity from the ELN to the FARC-EP

The following is a letter in Spanish from the Orlando Quintero Paez Collective of the guerrilla group Ejército de Liberación Nacional E.L.N. (the National Liberation Army) to their comrades, brothers and sisters of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia FARC-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).

Compa√Īeros presos pol√≠ticos y prisioneros de guerra de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia FARC-EP

Compa√Īeros del Ej√©rcito Popular de Liberaci√≥n E.P.L.

Compa√Īeros y hermanos de presidio, se√Īores presos sociales.

Compa√Īeros presos pol√≠ticos y prisioneros de guerra del Ej√©rcito de Liberaci√≥n Nacional E.L.N.

 

Reciban todos un cordial y revolucionario saludo. 

El colectivo de presos pol√≠ticos y prisioneros de guerra¬† ‚ÄúOrlando Quintero Paez‚ÄĚ del Ejercito de Liberaci√≥n Nacional E.L.N. con profundo dolor se solidariza con los compa√Īeros, camaradas y hermanos de la lucha de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia FARC-EP, por la lamentable desaparici√≥n f√≠sica del comandante V√≠ctor Julio Suarez Rojas m√°s conocido como ‚ÄúJorge Brice√Īo, El Mono Jojoy‚ÄĚ, asesinado cobardemente por la oligarqu√≠a yanqui colombiana, los oficiales gorilas del terror; tecnificados y asesorados por la central de inteligencia gringa con sede en nuestro pa√≠s.¬†

La operaci√≥n que finaliz√≥ con el asesinato del comandante Jorge Brice√Īo fue planeada, dise√Īada y ejecutada dentro de la estrategia que est√° implementando los Estados Unidos en todas las guerras contrainsurgentes que adelanta en el mundo entero.¬†

Esta estrategia no es sustituta de la tradicional de ‚Äúdesgaste y aniquilaci√≥n‚ÄĚ, sino que es complementaria con la guerra medi√°tica y de desinformaci√≥n.

Los medios de comunicación en  este momento son los mayores bombarderos que no dejan un solo minuto de lanzar sus bombas racimo en todos los campos de resistencia popular, con el objetivo de bajar la moral del guerrillero que junto al Mono compartió su trinchera de lucha y de batalla. 

Cu√°n equivocados est√°n, si creen que el pueblo y la revoluci√≥n va a enterrar al Comandante, va a deponer sus armas, va a renunciar a sus sue√Īos, va a enterrar sus ideales. Al contrario, sus sue√Īos cabalgar√°n junto con los de Manuel, el Ch√©, Bol√≠var y muchos m√°s m√°rtires que han entregado sus vidas por la causa de nuestro pueblo.

Para todos los revolucionarios del mundo, el comandante ‚ÄúJorge Brice√Īo‚ÄĚ va a estar presente en ¬†cada uno de sus actos, en cada una de sus tareas; porque siempre lo recordaremos como el hombre revolucionario de la estrategia y la t√°ctica militar que puso en jaque a la oligarqu√≠a y al estado colombiano en su momento.

Compa√Īeros camaradas y amigos, no hay que lamentarnos, no hay que desfallecer, el Camarada no est√° muerto, sus memorias viven en cada uno de nosotros, en el campesino, en el obrero, en el ni√Īo, en el estudiante, en el pueblo y en cada uno de los revolucionarios del mundo; sus semillas crecen y se expanden en cada uno de los rincones de nuestra patria.

El mejor homenaje que podemos rendirle en el d√≠a de hoy y por siempre al Comandante Jorge Brice√Īo, es no renunciar a sus sue√Īos, es persistir en la lucha por construir un pa√≠s en paz, con justicia y equidad social para todos, solo de esta manera mantendremos viva su memoria; porque el revolucionario solo muere cuando uno renuncia a sus sue√Īos.

As√≠ como lo dijo el Comandante ‚ÄúChe Guevara‚ÄĚ en una revoluci√≥n se triunfa o se muere si es verdadera. Con esta consigna el camarada nos demuestra una vez m√°s que esta revoluci√≥n es justa, necesaria¬† y verdadera. As√≠ el Comandante Jorge Brice√Īo le cumpli√≥ a su pueblo y a su Revoluci√≥n.

 

PAZ Y GLORIA EN SU TUMBA…

Ni un paso atrás, liberación o muerte.

Colectivo Orlando Quintero Paez

Ejército de Liberación Nacional E.L.N.

Septiembre 29 de 2010 ‚Äď Combita (Boyac√°) Torre 1.


Fifth "Beyond the Walls" day for the freedom of the Political Prisoners

Poster adverting events for the fifth annual day for the political prisoners to take place in Bogotá and Cali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


INSPP statement in honour of day of solidarity with Colombia's political prisoners

Remembering Colombia's Political Prisoners: We Demand a Humanitarian Exchange of Prisoners of War and Freedom for All Political Prisoners!

The following is a statement by the International Network in Solidarity with Colombia's Political Prisoners (INSPP) in Honor of the Day of Solidarity with the Colombian Political Prisoners (October 15)

Today is a day we remember members of the political opposition deprived of their liberty in Colombia. While the government there denies such prisoners exist, the fact is that more than 7,500 persons are jailed for political reasons. Most of these are incarcerated due to government frame-ups, paid informers, false evidence and a goal of repressing dissent. Sadly, indications are that the Colombian state only intends to increase this number. Over the past ten years, with funding and oversight from the US government, Colombia has increased its prison capacity by 40%. At the same time, there has been an increase by 300% of the number of persons arrested for arbitrary and political reasons. Typically such prisoners serve at least two or three years in prison before having their cases dismissed. However, these are only the prisoners that the state admits were arrested falsely. The actual number of the wrongly arrested is much higher.

According to Traspasa los Muros (Comité Permanente de Solidaridad con Las Detenidas y Los Detenidos Politicos), there are three categories of political prisoners: Prisoners of Conscience, arrested for political and labor activities and for speaking out about human rights; Prisoners due to Set-ups, arrested on the basis of false and fabricated evidence; and Prisoners of War-the smallest segment, including some 500 members of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and an unspecified number from other guerrilla groups, such as the ELN (National Army of Liberation). Most of those arrested have done nothing more than express their opinions and mobilize for social and political change. More often than not, they are jailed for the vague and nebulous charge of "Rebellion". These Prisoners of Conscience and Prisoner due to Set-ups should be released immediately.

Prisoners of War are included as political prisoners because the armed struggle is itself rooted in political, economic and environmental conflict. A majority of guerrilla combatants come from peasant communities that have been threatened with displacement in order to make large tracts of land and resources available to transnational corporations and Colombia's very rich. This is a conflict that cannot be solved through acts of violence, war and repression. Instead, the conflict must be subjected to a legitimate political process of dialogue among all major parties--the only road to a just peace.

Virtually all sectors of Colombian society concerned with reducing violence and building peace have said that the likely first step toward dialogue and resolution will be a humanitarian exchange of Prisoners of War. While the FARC has arbitrarily released a number of its captives, there has so far not been reciprocation by the Colombian government. Nevertheless, both the FARC and the ELN, as well as the administration of Pres. Juan Manuel Santos have released statements recently indicating a willingness to consider a prisoner exchange and the beginning of a process of dialogue. Still, this has also accompanied an increase in war-related offensives. The task that lies before the Colombian people and those who support them is to take advantage of these developments to press for a peace process.

Thus, the INSPP calls upon solidarity activists and human rights defenders to join us in calling for:

*  A humanitarian exchange of prisoners of war and freedom for all political prisoners;
*  An end to foreign funding of the Colombian conflict;
*  The beginning of a peace process based on dialog that brings all major parties to the table.

The conflict in Colombia, which is now in its 46th year, has far-reaching consequences not only for all of Latin America but, indeed for the world peace. Now is the time for world citizen's to come together and demand an end to this war and not only for the sake of Colombia, but as a step toward peace for all Earth's peoples. We call on Colombia's President Santos to open the door to peace, not war in his country.


Letter of support to Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba (in Spanish)

Estimada Piedad,

Reciba usted, nuestro m√°s solidario saludo, total respaldo e irrestricto apoyo a su noble lucha por el intercambio humanitario y el logro de la paz real para Colombia, a nombre de la Red Internacional de Solidaridad con los(as) Prisioneros(as) Pol√≠ticos(as) Colombianos(as) (International Network in Solidarity with Colombia‚Äôs Political Prisoners-INSPP) y con referencia a la obtusa e infundada decisi√≥n pol√≠tica del establecimiento, por intermedio del procuradorgeneral, Alejandro Ord√≥√Īez, el pasado veintisiete de septiembre, 2010.La red internacional de solidaridad con los prisioneros(as) pol√≠ticos(as) colombianos(as)- INSPP es una organizaci√≥n independiente conformada por los presos(as) pol√≠ticos(as) y la red de solidaridad en distintos pa√≠ses de Am√©rica, Europa y Ocean√≠a. En la INSPP confluyen estudiantes, acad√©micos, organizaciones sociales y pol√≠ticas, trabajadores y ciudadanos en general, por la defensa y derechos b√°sicos de los(as) retenidas(os) y por el intercambio humanitario, como un primer paso para la soluci√≥n pol√≠tica negociada, que ponga fin al grave conflicto, pol√≠tico,social, econ√≥mico y armado que vive Colombia desde hace m√°s de cincuenta a√Īos.

La inspp rechaza la destituci√≥n e inhabilitaci√≥n para ejercer cargos p√ļblicos durante dieciocho a√Īos, que se profiriera en su contra, porque usted ha respondido al mandato de sus electores basada en los mas altos principios √©ticos y morales, porque no existe proceso alguno en su contra y porque, incluso el estado aval√≥ en el pasado su papel facilitador.Nos unimos a usted en el clamor por la vida, por la democracia plena, con paz y justicia social, por el derecho a la diferencia y contra el terrorismo de estado, al lado de los m√°s pobres, de los necesitados, de los olvidados, de los desaparecidos, de las victimas de ejecuciones extrajudiciales, de los encarcelados, de los desplazados y de los excluidos que hacen parte de esa Colombia que las clases poderosas y su agenda neoliberal pretenden ignorar.

La inspp hace un llamado a la comunidad nacional e internacional para rechazar la continuidad de la pol√≠tica de la ‚Äúseguridad democr√°tica‚ÄĚ por parte del presidente Juan Manuel Santos, que persiste en la opci√≥n de la guerra y la muerte, la represi√≥n y la criminalizaci√≥n de la protesta social, como respuesta a la crisis pol√≠tica, profundizando as√≠ la grave crisis humanitaria y sin resolver la profunda marginalizaci√≥n, inequidad y las causas de la pobreza.

Como usted lo manifestara con referencia a la paz; ‚Äú‚Ķaunque haya un peque√Īo grupo que, como el doctor Ord√≥√Īez, se empe√Īe en ponerle trabas y trancas. Ojal√° supieran ellos, como lo supieron Bol√≠var y Gait√°n, que la paz y la libertad son fen√≥menos, entes independientes que siempre encontrar√°n rendijas para escurr√≠rseles a la mentira y a la infamia.‚ÄĚ
INTERNATIONAL NETWORK IN SOLIDARITY WITH COLOMBIA’S POLITICAL PRISONERS - INSPP
RED INTERNACIONAL DE SOLIDARIDAD CON LOS PRISIONEROS(as) POLITICOS(as) COLOMBIANOS(as) - INSPP