Archive for the ‘Video’ Category


Al-Jazeera English report on the impact of US military aid & new bases agreement

December 19, 2009

Great English-language news video reports on Colombia are hard to come by. Let alone reports that feature prominently the voices of survivors and human rights defenders, and cast a critical eye on US military aid.

Fortunately, there is Fault Lines.

Part 1

Part 2


War on drugs, war on people

March 27, 2009

My fumigation post has been in the works for a while. In four months, I’ve traveled from the very bottom to the top of the country, Nariño to Bolívar. Aside from extrajudicial executions and impunity, the fumigation of coca, coca substitute cash crops, staple food crops, pasture, water sources and people has been the number one issue raised, from campesinos in Antioquia and indigenous people in Norte de Santander to student and women leaders in Cauca. Fumigations are the cause of ever deeper poverty and misery. I met two campesinos who lost infant children to the effects of chemical spraying.

My post with awful first-hand anecdotes and photos will have to wait. Witness for Peace is pulling together an incredible effort to stop US funding of fumigations in the next month. Click here to sign their petition, which will be delivered to Congress & Obama by a Colombian & US delegation this week. And go here to sign up for WfP action alerts as this effort moves forward.

Here’s a video the great Witness folks in Colombia have put together, released today.

Journey to the heart of coca country where United States tax dollars have financed the aerial fumigation of 2.6 million acres of land in Colombia – the world’s second most biodiverse country.See cropdusters target coca plants, the main ingredient of cocaine, with concentrated herbicide as part of the U.S. war on drugs. Listen to people on the ground, hear about the impacts, and learn new ideas about how to solve this deadly problem.

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Displacement ranchera, “We’re coming here”

March 14, 2009

The unfortunate thing about scheduling blog posts days before they’re published, is that sometimes that means watching Noticias RCN in the jungle, on a community television powered by a generator, and finding out your post about paramilitaries and extradition will be a little dated. (And that your government, the one with a new Attorney General appointed by Obama, is actively sabotaging the reparations process.)

I met Lorenzo Camacho in Puerto Nuevo Ité, Antioquia, known locally as Cooperativa for the longtime artisanal gold miners and lumber harvesters collective store there. Most of the community was driven out and the buildings burned in ’96 by paramilitaries. A community housing project sponsored by the ACVC and funded in part by the EU is now in the process of restoring the village.

He’s from Cundinamarca state, Yacopi municipality, and was forced to flee in’82 after receiving death threats from the army for being an alleged guerrilla sympathizer. Since then, they’ve had to move three other times, displaced by the army or paramilitaries. He wrote this song after coming to Puerto Nuevo a few years ago. I’ve had a few fascinating conversations with campesino and indigenous leaders who talk about the creation of memory and myth, and the use of storytelling and song, which some feel movements here often lack. Just like in El Norte, folks here get submerged in the day-to-day, which in this case includes daily harassment and threats by the army. (More on that soon.) There’s never enough time.

Apologies, the volume is low. Feel free to suggest alternate translations in the comments.

“Por Aqui Vamos Llegando”
by Lorenzo Camacho

Por aqui vamos llegando
A estas tierra de Antioquia
De muchos departamentos
De Caldas hacia el Tolima
Caparrapí y Yacopi
Venimos la gente buena
A estas tierras de aqui
En Puerto Nuevo se vive
Pobre pero vivimos
Querido amigo les digo
Debemos de ser tranquilos
Vamonos para el baldio
Y alli pasamos los dias

“We’re coming here”
by Lorenzo Camacho

We’re coming here
To this land of Antioquia
From many departments (states)
We come, good people
To these lands
From Caldas to Tolima
Caparrapí and Yacopi
In Puerto Nuevo we live
Poor but getting by
I tell you friend
We should stay calm
We’re going to baldio
And there we’ll pass the days


Interview: Former ACVC political prisoner Oscar Duque

February 27, 2009

Here’s an early experiment with no-edit video interviews (thanks to Cecilia from IPO). Shot at the Feb. 17 demonstration in Barranca demanding freedom for ACVC political prisoners.

Thanks to those of you that sent emails and faxes. It was nice to see those click-throughs. This was an important week for that sort of thing – Obama’s budget still has hundreds of millions earmarked for the Colombian military.


Witness for Peace vid on extrajudicial killings

December 31, 2008

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