Disapproval Rating for Colombia's Duque Reaches 70 Percent

The survey highlighted that 79 percent of respondents believe that the situation in the country is getting worse and only 11 percent feel optimistic about the government measures.

The disapproval towards the government of Colombian President, Ivan Duque, has reached 70 percent, a survey from the Invamer group read on Wednesday.

RELATED: Colombians Make Third National Strike in Less Than Two Weeks

The survey, made at the end of November, highlighted that 79 percent of respondents believe that the situation in the country is getting worse and only 11 percent feel optimistic about the way the government has handle the crises inside the South American nation.

The Duque administration is also not saved in terms of handling international relations since 49 percent believe that it is getting worse and only 30 percent believe it is on track.

Against the issues that most concern Colombians, 88 percent pointed to citizen insecurity, followed by corruption with 84 percent and the economy with 78 percent.

The national strike that has been carried out by workers' centrals and various social sectors in the country since November 21, on which an agreement for its termination is not glimpsed for now, had a decisive influence on this study, given the zero governmental capacity to meet the demands popular.

Further adding to the problems in Colombia has been Duque's crackdown against former FARC members, with many being killed by forces loyal to the president. 

While Duque denies playing any role in these kilings, his administration has done little to protect these former FARC personnel, despite the wide-spread attacks against these men and women. 

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Venezuelan president issues warning of attacks on border with Colombia

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, urged the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) on Friday to remain alert for actions promoted by Colombian President Iván Duque on the border between the two nations.

"I have information that the Colombian Government and the U.S. Southern Command are planning provocative actions on the Colombian-Venezuelan border to try to divert attention from the popular uprising against Iván Duque," Maduro said during a meeting with railway workers in Caracas.

The Venezuelan president, turning to Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, said: "We must be prepared to defend the sovereignty of the Venezuelan homeland."  Maduro added: “The Bolivarian National Armed Forces must be alert and vigilant.  As Commander in Chief, I call on you to prepare to defend the peace and sovereignty of Venezuela.”

Nicolas Maduro also stressed the need to be increasingly prepared "to defend the homeland against U.S. imperialism and the Colombian oligarchy" and, in this way, guarantee "peace, production and progress."

The Venezuelan leader authorized handing out 13,000 rifles to the Combat Forces and instructed them to advance the organization of the working class as part of the Bolivarian Militia.

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Colombia's minister of defense resigns after killings

Bogota, November 7 (RHC)-- Colombian Defense Minister Guillermo Botero resigned his position on Wednesday, amid controversy over an Army bombing where eight minors were killed.  The incident was hidden for months and presented as an operation in which FARC-EP dissidents died, who recently returned to arms.

Botero's resignation occurs before he became the first minister of the country's history to be removed by Congress for a motion of censure against him for violence in Cauca, which would have been voted on next week.

On Wednesday, Botero met with President Iván Duque to analyze his situation, after which he presented his resignation letter.  “It is my duty as Minister of Defense to have an adequate reading of the political situation, so I have decided to resign from the position of Minister,” says the text.

Edited by Ed Newman
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Colombians enjoy salsa festival in Bogota with Cuban band Anacaona

Bogota, Nov 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuban band Anacaona got Colombian audiences dancing during the 22nd edition of the Salsa al Parque music festival, which concluded in Bogota yesterday.

Directed by bassist Georgia Aguirre, the all-women band made had festival-goers on their feet and singing along to many of their songs.

Aguirre thanked the festival organizers for the warm welcome received.

'Yo Soy el Punto Cubano' by singer and songwriter Celina Gonzalez, 'Flor Palida' by Polo Montañez; as well as the band's own songs, all featured during the performance.

With 87 years of experience, Anacaona fuses the most traditional Cuban rhythms with contemporary music and is considered one of the main exponents of salsa music.

Cuba was also represented during the Festival by the Orquesta Aragon, a legendary traditional music band with 80 years of artistic life.

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Thousands of students march in Colombia for quality education

Bogota, Nov 1 (Prensa Latina) Thousands of university students marched in Colombia demanding quality public education, against corruption and what they consider repression.

As occurs every Thursday in recent weeks, the people mobilized stage protests in cities such as Cali, Medellin and Bogota.

We are students, we demand solutions that give us repression and privatization, protesters chanted.

Some people mobilized said they demonstrated in rejection of the repression by riot police against student protests.

According to the participants in the protests, the government does not want to comply with the science and technology budget items agreed in the December negotiation.

Marches went in peace most of the route.

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Colombia Formalizes Criminal Charges Against Uribe

One of the serious charges he faces is that he bribed former paramilitaries huge amounts of money to testify that Uribe was not involved in the death squad known as ‘Bloque Metro’.

Colombia’s Supreme Court announced that they are formally filing criminal charges against former right-wing President Alvaro Uribe for bribery and fraud. The court made the decision late Tuesday evening after Uribe had completed his first day in court.

RELATED: Colombia: Uribe Bribed Witness to Testify for Him

The court ruling represents an intensification of Uribes legal troubles, as they are no longer just an ‘investigation’.

The move is supported by more than 78 percent of Colombians according to a new poll, the results of which will be bad news for Uribe’s ally, President Ivan Duque, who has expressed his backing for the controversial ex-president. 

Among the charges he must answer to is that he paid for f,alse testimonies to “politically finish off” left-wing lawmaker Ivan Cepeda, who had been exposing his links to paramilitarizm. Congress threw out the case against Cepeda and pursued an inquiry into Uribe instead.

Another one of the serious charges he faces is that he bribed former paramilitaries huge amounts to testify that Uribe was not involved in the death squad known as ‘Bloque Metro’.

Uribe is one of Colombia’s most divisive figures and a close ally of George W Bush. He has come to represent the far-right paramilitarism of Colombia’s long civil war, whose end with the 2016 peace accords he opposed. This was reflected during the trial as his supporters and counter protests faced off outside the courthouse.

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Colombia’s Uribe appears at Supreme Court on multiple charges

Bogota, October 9 (RHC)-- Colombia’s former right-wing President Alvaro Uribe made an appearance before Colombia’s Supreme court on Tuesday, facing 14 charges, including human rights abuses, fraud and tampering with a witness.

The court will have 10 days to determine whether or not to press on with the investigation.

Investigations into Uribe’s connection to the right-wing death squad Bloque Metro took an unexpected turn against him when it emerged that he was bribing a former member for favourable testimony.

Colombian newspaper El Tiempo confirmed the validity of claims made by former paramilitary ‘Victor’ that Uribe’s lawyers had paid him over half a million dollars, along with other payments, for favorable testimony.

‘Victor’ is a former paramilitary with Bloque Metro, a right-wing death squad that Uribe is alleged to have helped create.  It is reported that Victor was supposed to testify that one Alberto Guerrero had never been part of the group.  This was needed because Guerrero is who first exposed Uribe’s role in the death squad.  In an exclusive interview with teleSUR in 2013, Guerrero outlined in detail Uribe’s links to his former group.

Also among the allegations against him is that he paid for false testimonies to “politically finish off” left-wing lawmaker Ivan Cepeda. Congress threw out the case against Cepeda and pursued an inquiry into Uribe instead.

Uribe is the poster-boy of right-wing paramilitarism in Colombia.  He cooperated closely with the U.S. under ‘Plan Colombia’ to intensify the country’s civil war.  Today, he opposes the 2016 peace accords signed by the state and the FARC.  He recently called on his ally President Ivan Duque to scrap the agreement.

Edited by Ed Newman
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FARC party told world diplomats about problems in peace process

FARC (People's Revolutionary Alternative Force Party) President Rodrigo Londoño (Timochenko), Senators Julián Gallo, Griselda Lobo, Israel Zúñiga, Counselor Rodrigo Granda and Advisor Diego Martínez met with the ambassadors of the European Union, the Apostolic Nuncio, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, United Kingdom, donor countries and the Guarantor countries: Cuba and Norway.

The meeting took place at the headquarters of the Second United Nations Mission in Colombia and FARC executives were able to present their views and concerns about the critical state of the Peace Process and the dangers that loom over it, due to delays in implementation.

Such implementation, said the FARC executives, should have been "integral and harmonious in all the points agreed in Havana: the relative advances in reincorporation of former guerrillas, the short take off of the Land issue, lack of electoral guarantees, the murders of FARC members, as well as social leaders, the non respect of the economic commitments demanded by the implementation."

The FARC accused the government of "having a double discourse as it talks about its commitment to peace, but this talk is not reflected in practical results in the territories, where the presence of the State is Almost exclusively military."

The members of the FARC party answered some concerns and questions, while the diplomats pledged to continue supporting and accompanying the peace process, to make efforts in investment in productive projects in communities and to visit the Territorial Spaces where former guerrillas are living and trying to set up a new life.

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