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September 5, 2008 Foreign Policy

Free Trade or False Logic?

Exploring the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

August 29, 2008 Labour

Free Trade will not Lift All Boats

Trade deal with Colombia criticized by Canadian labour leaders

August 18, 2008 Weblog:

Colombia: ICC investigates extraditions

The International Criminal Court is sending Argentine attorney Luís Moreno to Colombia to investigate the extradition of paramilitary bosses from Colombia to the US.

The ICC will also investigate the connections between congresspeople and senators with paramilitary groups, a scandal known as parapolitica in Colombia.

The New York Times ran an article on August 15th titled International court may investigate Colombian rebels' backers, which portrays the ICC investigation as primarily related to the FARC and their international funding sources.

Information linking the investigations to the extraditions of paramilitaries and the parapolitica is buried in one sentence at the end of the NYT article. There is no mention of the FARC in the letter to the Colombian government from an ICC representative.

Instead, the letter from Moreno to the Colombian ambassador at The Hague warns the government that if justice can not be done by the Colombian judicial system, the International Criminal Court will intervene.

» continue reading "Colombia: ICC investigates extraditions"

August 12, 2008 Weblog:

Video: Plan of Aggression in Northern Cauca, Colombia

This brand new video may help put into context yesterday's threats on these communities and their leaders.

The five minute short was scripted, filmed and edited by members of the communication network of the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN).

August 12, 2008 Weblog:

Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert

The following was translated to English by La Chiva:


11 August 2008

Earlier this afternoon, the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN) received the text of a threat by email, which we are attaching below for you to read. This letter of terror, signed by the CEC (Campesinos Embejucados del Cauca, or ‘Furious Peasants of Cauca’), announces that “at approximately 00:00 tonight, you will receive information regarding the murders at the hands of peasants of paHECES [1] and the ex-guerrilla heads of the CRIC, which will be confirmed by phone and a consequences of their disrespect.” In this threat, we are referred to as paHECES, or ‘excrement,’ exposing the racism of the author(s).

The 7-page threat states throughout its hateful and false content the decision to defame the indigenous process and the commencement of a campaign of terror and death. The context in which this letter has been sent is that of the parapolítica [2], with the clear collusion of the Colombian government:

The threats against the indigenous movement made by the President of the Republic, who has ordered the payment of rewards for the arrest of indigenous Senator Jesús Piñacué, who is mentioned in the threat;

The recent confession of the paramilitary member Orlando Villa Zapata, involved in the 1991 massacre in El Nilo [Cauca], that said massacre was planned in the Hacienda La Emperatriz in the presence of the landowners;

» continue reading "Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert"

August 5, 2008 Media Analysis

The Media's FARCed

Mainstream coverage of Colombia

June 11, 2008 Weblog:

Canada - Colombia FTA: ¡Viva la Muerte!

On June 7th, Foreign Affairs Canada announced that the negotiations for the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement have been concluded.

The entire negotiation process has been secret and there is no public draft text of the agreement to speak of.

According to FAC, "Before signing the agreements and making them public, Canada and Colombia will undertake a detailed legal review of the texts in English, French and Spanish. In Canada, the treaties will then be tabled in the House of Commons for a period of 21 sitting days. During that time, members of parliament will be able to review, debate, vote on a motion, or send the agreements to committee for further review. Following the 21-day period, the Government plans to introduce draft legislation to implement the agreements."

Both countries are playing up the labour and environmental agreements that accompany the FTA, this at a time when the legitimacy of the Colombian Congress is questionable due to ongoing scandals, and the Canadian Liberal party is charging that the FTA was announced with "no respect for parliament."

While the Democrat controlled congress in the US has managed to block the ratification of the US-Colombia FTA, there is no such mechanism in Canada, and according to NDP MP Peter Julian, "Canada is pushing ahead with a trade agreement simply to satisfy George Bush and that is entirely inappropriate."

» continue reading "Canada - Colombia FTA: ¡Viva la Muerte!"

June 1, 2008 Weblog:

FTA Canada-Colombia: days before the ink dries?


South American news agencies are reporting that the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Colombia could be signed this week in Bogotá.

A Canadian "technical team" is participating in the 5th -and potentially final- round of negotiations in Bogotá from 1-6 June.

Bloomberg quoted U of T political "scientist" John Kirton as saying: "An agreement 'will give aid and comfort to all the liberalizing forces within the United States who are instantly going to notice it and say if the Canadians are doing Colombia, why can't we.'"

An excellent background article, "Building its Ties to Colombia: Canada's Imperial Adventure in the Andes," explains some of the major problems related to a Canada-Colombia FTA.

Photo from No Colombia FTA rally in Toronto in November, 2007.

March 18, 2008 Features

Marmato’s Gold Bonanza

Canadian Mining Firm Involved in ‘Economic Forced Displacement’ in Colombia

January 16, 2008 Month in Review

December in Review

Halted deportations, Lakota secession, and social tension in Latin America

January 12, 2008 Accounts

Fear, Impunity and State Power

Colombia's paramilitary regime and social movements

July 30, 2007 Weblog:

Mining: Drummond & Mongolia...

Drummond cleared of paramilitary links. Stevenson Avila, Sintramienergetica president states "We knew this was becoming a question of state policy, and that America protects its companies, but we held out hope that presenting real, documented evidence of the company's responsibility, that justice would be served."

» continue reading "Mining: Drummond & Mongolia..."

February 9, 2007 Weblog:

Yolanda Izquierdo

The recent murder of Yolanda Izquierdo by paramilitary forces in northeastern Colombia is the second murder of a leader of a land recuperation struggle in the country in less than a week.

In an article in El Diario, Izquierdo is described as "a representative of the victims of the ultra-right in her region."

There is an emergency vigil for Yolanda Izquierdo in Vancouver on Monday, February 12th, at 6pm at the Robson side of the art gallery.

» continue reading "Yolanda Izquierdo"

November 27, 2006 Accounts

Digging Up Canadian Dirt in Colombia

kidsplaying_fp.jpgChris Arsenault travels to Colombia to investigate the impacts Canadian aid agencies and corporations are having there.

Canadian corporations and aid agencies facing controversy and resistance in Colombia

October 18, 2006 Accounts

Canadian Member

canadasuit_fp.jpgChris Arsenault drops by the exclusive Canada Club in Bogata, Colombia, and considers the cost of Canada's elite.

Membership is limited at the Canada Club in Bogata, Colombia

April 17, 2006 Canadian News

Coal Comfort

cerrejon13_fp.jpgChris Arsenault investigates what people are supporting in Colombia when they pay their power bill in New Brunswick.

What are New Brunswickers supporting when they pay their power bill?

June 1, 2005 Environment

Coal Front Comes to the Maritimes

tabaco_fp.jpg Representatives of the Colombian Mineworkers' Union have a message for Maritimers, writes Stuart Neatby: stop buying blood coal.

Are assassinations lighting Atlantic Canadian homes?

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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