The Humanion Arkive Year Delta 2018-19
September 24: 2018-September 23:2019
 
The Arkives
First Published: September 24: 2015
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South America

South America Arkive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNHCR staffers hold Ivan, three months old, at the Chami Ruru settlement, Colombia, which houses around 35 families displaced by armed groups in 2005. The families are indigenous Embera Chami. Image: UNHCR:Sebastian Rich. ‽: 070816

 

South America is made of countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela

 

 

Universidad Kennedy Argentina

 

 

 

Images: Universidad Kennedy Argentina

Outotec to Deliver Lithium Technology to South America



|| July 11: 2017 || ά. Outotec has been awarded an order for the delivery of technology and process equipment for a lithium carbonate plant in South America. The order, in the value of some €20 million, has been booked in Outotec's 2017 second quarter order intake.

Salt lake brine and spodumene ore are the primary sources for lithium. Outotec offers sustainable solutions both for processing lithium from brines and for the entire value chain of processing spodumene ore to lithium carbonate, including ore beneficiation, calcination and both acid and alkaline hydrometallurgical refining.

Outotec's scope in this order includes technology to remove impurities from salt lake brine, detail engineering, project management, delivery of proprietary process equipment such as filters, clarifier and reactors, as well as other equipment and technical assistance.

"This order reflects the increased demand of lithium processing solutions due to rapidly expanding markets for lithium salts. With our broad expertise and in-house R and D and raw material testing facilities we are well positioned in this growth market.", says Mr Kalle Härkki, head of Outotec's Metals, Energy & Water business.
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For further information contact: Outotec Oyj: Kalle Härkki, President: Metals, Energy and Water business unit: tel. +358 20 529 211
Eila Paatela, Vice President: Corporate Communications: tel. +358 20 529 2004, +358 400 817198: e-mails firstname.lastname at outotec.com

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Colombia: UN Mission Collects Nearly All Remaining Weapons From FARC-EP: And When You Have No Gun Held in Your Arms You Have Pens and Ploughs to Write and Farm Peace

 Observers from the United Nations mission in Colombia registering weapons from the FARC-EP. Image: UN Mission in Colombia

 

|| June 28: 2017 || ά. The peace effort in Colombia today reached a milestone, with nearly all of the remaining number of weapons held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia:FARC-EP turned over to the United Nations for registering and storing. The UN political mission in the country today confirmed that on June 20  the third phase of the laying down of individual weapons of the FARC-EP combatants was initiated.

The Mission has now stored 7,132 arms, which constitutes all the weapons, that were registered from FARC-EP. The only exclusions from the list are the weapons used to provide security in the 26 FARC-EP camps until August 01, 2017. “To date, the Mission has verified 77 arms caches from which weapons have been extracted and munitions, explosives and unstable armaments destroyed.” the UN political mission said.

The lay down is in compliance with the timeline agreed to between the Government and FARC-EP on May 29, part of the historic deal that ended the half-century long conflict.

The arms laydown process, a major component in the peace agreement, includes five distinct steps including: registration and identification of weapons, monitoring and verification of the holding of weapons, reception and storage of arms, neutralisation of arms, to ensure that they will never again be used as firearms and extraction of arms from camps.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Blessed are the Peace Makers: Colombian Delegation Involved in the Peace Process Visit Irish School of Ecumenics

 

|| May 21: 2017: Trinity College Dublin News || ά. A delegation of figures from the political, private and academic sectors involved in the Colombia peace process visited the Irish School of Ecumenics:ISE campuses in Trinity College Dublin and Belfast last week as part of a study trip designed to explore the Irish experience of peace-making. The ISE, which is Trinity’s only cross-border department, teaches postgraduate courses in peace, conflict and inter-religious studies.

During the visit the delegation met with Mr Eamon Gilmore, former Tánaiste and current EU Special Envoy to the Colombian peace process. The ISE, also, arranged a programme of expert contributors including Lord Alderdice, former leader of the Alliance Party and member of the Independent Monitoring Commission.  Assistant Professor in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation and co-ordinator of the Trinity programme Dr David Mitchell, said, “We were delighted to welcome this group and play a role in facilitating understanding of the Irish experience.

In the Irish peace process, contact with actors in other contexts helped stimulate new thinking at key junctures. Colombia is a very different arena. But given that the negotiated settlement of conflicts is relatively rare, the Irish case at least shows that the transformation of intractable conflict is possible. We will continue to watch developments in Colombia with interest and hope at this crucial time in the country’s history and look forward to building on the links created through this trip.”

In August 2016, after decades of conflict in Colombia, which killed over 200,000 people and displaced millions more, a historic peace deal was reached between the FARC guerrilla movement and the Colombian government. However, doubts still surround the deal’s implementation and sustainability.

In November 2016, Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, visited Belfast and spoke of how Northern Ireland had inspired him that peace could be attainable in his own country.

The lead organiser of the visit was INCORE in Ulster University, in partnership with Trinity, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as the International Fund for Ireland. In Colombia, partners included NGOs, COMFAMA, Proantioquia, and EAFIT University.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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FAO Supports the Recovery of Some 7,000 Farmers From El Niño Floods and Landslides in Peru

Resident shelter from floodwaters next to a rural education centre in Primavera, a rural community in Cura Mori District, 32 kilometres from the city of Piura, Peru. In the North Coast departments of the country, some 445,000 people, 59 per cent of affected households,  are food insecure. Image: UNICEF:Jose Vilca



|| May 19: 2017 || ά. In the wake of the heavy rains, floods and landslides, that hit Peru earlier this year, the Food and Agricultural Organisation:FAO said today that it was working with the Government to assist some 7,000 mostly small-scale farmers to restore their capacity to produce crops and feed their families. Citing preliminary estimates, FAO said that adverse conditions caused by the coastal El Niño phenomenon from January to March had affected about 445,000 people in Peru’s worst-hit northern coastal areas, 59 per cent of affected households.

“According to Peru's Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, more than 60,000 hectares of crops have been severely or partially affected and 18,000 hectares were left completely unusable.” FAO reported. To address the situation, the Government approved the Agrarian Reactivation Plan with an investment of $76 million. FAO seeks to complement this by requesting some $3.1 million from the international community to support activities aimed at restoring family agriculture in the remote areas of Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad.

“The FAO recovery project will provide the necessary inputs to establish orchards, recover irrigation infrastructure and provide technical assistance in animal health.” FAO explained. FAO stated that these activities will be implemented directly, with affected farmers receiving cash-for-work transfers for household income generation, access to food and mitigating migration to cities.

“In Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad, FAO will support the rehabilitation of local supply markets, to ensure that farmers and fisher folk can quickly reinsert themselves into these marketing channels so that they obtain direct sources of income.” the agency added.

As climate disasters are the emergencies that most impact food security and agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO is calling on the international community to support the recovery of the livelihoods of the affected farmers and farmers, coordinated with the national government and subnational governments.

According to FAO, addressing these challenges requires adequate risk governance, early warning and monitoring systems, implementation of good practices and risk prevention and mitigation technologies in the agricultural sector, to ensure a rapid response focused on saving lives and livelihoods.

FAO, together with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction:UNISDR, is supporting countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to develop a Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in the agricultural sector and food and nutritional security, in response to a request by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Brazil: Increase in Killings by Rio Police as Country Faces the United Nations Review

Image: UNODC

 

|| May 07: 2017: Amnesty International News || ά. Authorities in Brazil are increasingly turning a blind eye to a deepening human rights crisis of their own making, Amnesty International said in a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, ahead of a review of the country on May 05. Since Brazil last faced scrutiny at the UN’s Universal Periodic Review in 2012, an increase in violence has seen killings by the police in Rio de Janeiro nearly doubled to 182 in the first two months of 2017, as well as soaring rates of killings and other human rights violations elsewhere in the country.

“Since the last review at the United Nations, Brazil has not taken enough steps to tackle the shocking levels of human rights violations across the country, including soaring police homicide rates, that leave hundreds of people dead every year.” said Jurema Werneck, Executive Director at Amnesty International Brazil. “Very little has been done to reduce the number of homicides, to control the use of force by the police or to guarantee Indigenous rights as claimed in Brazil’s Constitution. UN Member States must make clear to Brazil that this has to change.

What we see today is Brazil’s deep political, ethical and financial crisis being used as excuse to trample on well-established human rights.” In January and February 2017 in Rio de Janeiro alone, at least 182 people were killed during police operations in marginalised neighbourhoods, favelas, a 78% increase in comparison to the same period in 2016, according to official figures.

In 2016, there were 920 killings by police documented in the city, up from 419 in 2012. Brazil has a very high number of homicides overall with nearly 60,000 people killed in the country in 2015. The majority of victims are black young men. Police officers are responsible for a significant percentage of the total number of homicides in the country and many of them may amount to extrajudicial killings, a crime under international law.

In 2015, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, police officers were responsible for one in every five murders and in São Paulo, one in every four, according to official records. Despite the fact that more than 70% of homicides in Brazil involve the use of firearms, it is troubling that Congress is currently debating the so called 'Disarmament Statute', which would loosen restrictions on bearing firearms, which have been in place since 2004.

Violence in rural areas has, also, increased in recent years, with a significant number relating to land conflicts involving Indigenous people and rural peasants. In 2016, the Land Church Commission, Comissão Pastoral da Terra, registered 61 murders, 200 threats and 74 attempted murders related to conflicts over land and natural resources. These numbers are the second highest in the last 25 years, the highest were in 2013 when 73 people were killed. Nineteen people have been killed so far in 2017.

In its report to the United Nations, Amnesty International, also, raised serious concerns about Indigenous Peoples’ rights, torture and ill-treatment, prison conditions, freedom of expression and repression of peaceful protests.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Peace in Colombia: A Choice Made: A Commitment at Work: A Committed Work in Progress: That Cannot But Achieve the Goal of Uniting the Nation in Peace

Image: UN Mission in Colombia

 

|| May 06: 2017 || ά. While touring the Amazon region of Colombia, where one of the monitoring mechanism facilities, was set up under a historic peace agreement, a delegation from the United Nations Security Council met today with members of La Referma community, as well as Government representatives and FARC-EP members.

The purpose field visit is to witness first-hand implementation of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army:FARC-EP and to observe the progress as well as the challenges of carrying out the aims of a hard-won peace deal. This monitoring mechanism facility in Colombia's Meta Department is one of the designated locations, where the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP continue to work together, paving the path towards peace.

While addressing all parties present in the transitional zone, Ambassador Mr Elbio Rosselli, of Uruguay, whose country holds the Council's presidency of the month of May, highlighted the trust between Government and FARC-EP representatives. He said that he was struck to see, on the one hand, the people with the UN blue jackets and on the other, the Government representatives as well as guerrilla component using the same brown colour, adding that this further affirms the absolute confidence, certainty, that this process goes forward and has no return.

The members of the Council are accompanied by the Head of the UN Mission in Colombia, Mr Jean Arnault, Senior Colombian Government officials and FARC-EP Leaders.

The Colombian Government's High Commissioner for Peace recalled that Meta was one of the areas most affected by violence. “We know what peace means for this community and we hope they can talk to the people immersed in the conflict.” Mr Sergio Jaramillo told the members of the Security Council.

Also present was FARC-EP Leader, Iván Márquez. He expressed a sincere, deep thanks to the Security Council. Upon departure from New York earlier this week, Mr. Rosselli stressed that the presence of the Security Council would carry a message to Colombia that the UN was committed to the special political mission established there and would provide additional support, as requested.

After finishing the visit to Colombia, the Members of the Security Council will return to New York, where they will hold an informative session about their visit later in May.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Security Council in Bogota: Pledging Its Support to Colombia’s Efforts to Implement the Peace Process

Image: WFP

|| May 04: 2017 || ά. In Colombia, to acknowledge and to witness first-hand, both the progress and the challenges of carrying out the aims of a hard-won peace deal, a delegation from the United Nations Security Council today met President Mr Juan Manuel Santos and applauded the country as an example for overcoming difficulties and setbacks to bring to an end more than a half a century of conflict.

Speaking to reporters in Bogota, Mr Elbio Rosselli, of Uruguay, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month, said that with the process of pacification of Colombia, the American continent was the only region of the world, in which, there was no active conflict. "We thank you for the example you are giving. These processes are never linear, they have ups and downs, they may have, setbacks but what matters is to maintain the effort. This Security Council is committed to providing the support, that Colombians want and deserve." said Mr. Rosselli.

In early October 2016, Colombian voters narrowly rejected the historic peace accord between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army:FARC-EP. That deal was the culmination of four years of talks hosted in Havana, Cuba, between the two sides, and which, led to a cessation of hostilities and agreements on key issues, such as political participation, land rights, illicit drugs and victims' rights and transitional justice. The two sides signed a new agreement in late November 2016.

The Council delegation met with Chancellor Ms María Ángela Holguín, Ambassador Ms María Emma Mejía, and the post-conflict cabinet. The Council gave a clear message of support to the implementation of the peace process in Colombia. In his remarks to the press, President Mr Santos said, "I want to highlight the way the United Nations has helped us to manage the cease-fire. More than 2,670 lives have been saved so far in the peace process."

United Kingdom Ambassador Mr Matthew Rycroft, Co-leader of the visit with Uruguay, highlighted the full support of the Security Council and the international community to make the peace process a reality. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Colombians, make sure that all the parties fulfil all of the commitments and finally the peace, that your country deserves will be a reality, from which, there cannot be a turning back." said Ambassador Mr Rycroft.

Before leaving New York, Mr. Rosselli noted that it was time for the Council to make contact with all parties in the process, in order to see how the UN was helping and could continue to do so. The visit follows a recent announcement by the UN Mission in Colombia that it hoped to receive 60 percent of all FARC-EP arms. Mr. Rosselli said that the Council not only wanted to recognise the importance in relation to the Colombian ceasefire and the laying down of arms, but also to inform itself about the substantive part.

Late September last year representatives of the Government of Colombia, as well as members from the FARC-EP and international observers from the UN mission in the country started working together at the joint Monitoring and Verification Mechanism headquarters in Bogota.

Verification of the bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in Colombia is part of the Mechanisms tas, and according to the UN Mission in the South American country, they, also, have been planning and co-ordinating logistics for the regional offices and the zones, where the separation of forces has been taking place.

Earlier this year UN News reported that at eight regional and 26 local sites, FARC-EP and Government members, along with 350 UN observers, have been working together to verify the parties' commitments towards the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities.

The UN Mission in Colombia reported today that to-date they had received and stored a thousand weapons from FARC-EP combatants. The combatants are currently in camps established for their transition and reintegration into civilian life, but also to ensure the safety of the civilian population and of FARC-EP and Public Force members.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Uruguay: Despite Making Inspiring Progress on Environment the Country Must Do More

Mosquito prevention and control in Salto, Uruguay. ImagE: PAHO

 

|| May 02: 2017 || ά. Uruguay has much to be proud of in its record on human rights and the environment, but the South American country still has some challenges ahead, including the setting up of an environment ombudsperson, a United Nations-appointed expert said today. “Uruguay has supported its obligations to human rights and the environment by adopting a number of laws and policies on rights to information, public participation in environmental decision-making and providing remedies following environmental harm.” UN Special Rapporteur Mr John Knox said at the end of his five-day mission to the country, according to a news release from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:OHCHR.

Mr. Knox is appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report on the issue of human rights obligations related to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. “But the Government should adopt affirmative measures to structure environmental information in a way that is easily understandable by the general public, especially those, like people living in poverty, who are most vulnerable to environmental degradation.” he noted.

Like other countries, Uruguay seeks to pursue both economic growth and environmental protection. These goals can sometimes come into conflict with one another. For example, expanding agricultural production through the use of fertilisers, agro-chemicals and irrigation can cause environmental harm, including to water quality.

“The best way to ensure that development is truly sustainable is to provide effective access to information, which in turn allows informed public participation in the decision-making processes.” said Mr. Knox. “Only in that way can the public be assured that economic growth is not coming at the expense of human rights.”

He pointed to complaints, that the current system for reporting problems was confusing and not always responsive and called for a new mechanism, which would include an ombudsperson with the authority to receive all environmental complaints to ensure that each was addressed promptly by the appropriate office.

The expert’s final report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2018. The positions of Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are honorary and they are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Venezuela: Increase in Witch-Hunt of Dissidents Amidst Political Crisis: Amnesty International

Image: UNODC

|| April 26: 2017: Amnesty International News || ά. Venezuelan authorities are using the justice system to illegally increase persecution and punishment of those, who think differently, says Amnesty International in a new report published today amidst an increase in protests around the country, which have resulted in several deaths and hundreds of people injured and imprisoned. Silenced By Force: Politically-Motivated Arbitrary Detentions in Venezuela provides details on a catalogue of illegal actions on the part of the Venezuelan authorities to repress freedom of expression.

These include arrests, conducted by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service or Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional, SEBIN, without a warrant, the prosecution of non-violent activists for crimes ‘against the homeland’ and the unjustified use of pre-trial detention and smear campaigns in the media against members of the political opposition, among other measures. “In Venezuela dissent is not allowed. It appears that there is no limit to the authorities’ willingness to apply a myriad of legal tactics to punish those, who express an opinion, which differs from the official government position.” said Ms Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“Rather than obsessing over silencing any dissenting opinion, the Venezuelan authorities must focus on seeking practical and lasting solutions to the acute crisis the country is facing.” On January 11, 2017, Bolivarian National Intelligence Service officers arrested the opposition Member of Parliament Gilber Caro, Voluntad Popular opposition party activist Steyci Escalona at a toll booth upon their return to Caracas.

That same day, the Vice-President of the Republic explained in a TV address that a gun and explosives had been seized from Gilber and Steyci and stated that the Member of Parliament was involved in terrorist activities, indicating that he had clandestinely crossed the border to Colombia.

Steicy was brought before a military court and charged with theft of military effects and rebellion. Gilber was taken to a prison facility and, as of March 2017, had not been brought before a court to determine the legality of his situation. The cases of Gilber and Steyci illustrate some of the many strategies, used by the Venezuelan authorities to attempt to silence the opposition, in a context of ever-increasing protests around the country.

In most cases, the accused are charged with serious crimes such as ‘treason against the homeland’, ‘terrorism or theft of military effects’ or ‘rebellion’, which enables the use of pre-trial detention, even if sufficient admissible evidence to substantiate the charges does not exist. These types of crimes fall under special jurisdictions, such as the military jurisdiction, which are not independent, rarely impartial and should not apply to civilians.

Amnesty International has, also, documented cases, in which, detainees’ contact with their families or defence lawyers is restricted, putting the detainee at high risk of suffering serious human rights violations including torture and other ill-treatment. Yon Goicoechea, student leader and current Voluntad Popular leader, was arrested on August 29, 2016 by unidentified individuals, driving a van without licence plates, according to witnesses to the incident.

Yon’s arrest was eventually confirmed by a senior official from the government party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela or Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela:PSUV, who stated that he had been arrested for carrying explosives allegedly for use in an opposition demonstration on September 01.

Despite the extensive efforts of his family, Yon Goicoechea’s whereabouts could not be ascertained until approximately 13 hours after his last contact with his family. Yon was missing from the time of his arrest until information was obtained that he was being held in SEBIN’s El Helicoide facility in Caracas. The activist was brought before the courts but, according to information provided to Amnesty International, he remained in incommunicado detention until September 01, 2016.

Since October 20, 2016, there has been a court ruling recognising that all the requirements for his release have been met, given that the Public Prosecutor’s Office has failed to find sufficient evidence to bring any charges against him. Despite this, he is still being held by SEBIN and, according to reports from his family, the court dealing with the case has not been open to the public since December 2016.

“The fact that there are people detained in Venezuela without any official charges against them demonstrates the desperate state of human rights in the country.” said Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas. The fact that there are people detained in Venezuela without any official charges against them, demonstrates the desperate state of human rights in the country. said Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Latin America Loses Billions of Dollars to the Double Burden of Undernutrition and Obesity: New Study

Image: WFP

|| April 26: 2017 || ά.  Undernutrition and obesity are the two sides of malnutrition and together they contributed to the loss of billions of dollars for economies in Latin America, a United Nations-backed study has found, The study warns that unless more is done to mitigate this health burden, the region faces a frightening future. The Cost of the Double Burden of Malnutrition, released on April 24, was the result of a partnership between the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean:ECLAC and the UN World Food Programme:WFP and calculates losses in productivity, health and education in Chile, Ecuador and Mexico.

While undernutrition undermines physical growth and impairs brain development, overweight and obesity can lead to non-communicable diseases, such as type II diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Together, they inflict a ‘double burden’ on countries and people as they hinder the development of individuals, the well-being of communities and the goal of reaching Zero Hunger by 2030. According to the study, gross domestic product:GDP in each country shrinks every year as a result of losses is productivity, caused by this double burden.

Losses are estimated at $500 million in Chile, $04.3 billion in Ecuador and $28.8 billion in Mexico, which represent 0.2 per cent, 04.3 per cent and 02.3 per cent loss of GDP respectively.

“Over the last decade many middle income countries have made great inroads into reducing undernutrition. Yet the problem persists and we now witness a worrying trend among vulnerable communities with cases of undernourishment and overweight simultaneously within the same families.” said WFP Regional Director, Mr Miguel Barreto.

“The double burden of malnutrition increasingly affects the poor and vulnerable population, thus becoming another cause for the current inequality in our region.” said ECLAC Executive Secretary, Ms Alicia Bárcena.

The implications for the future of countries are frightening. According to the study, undernutrition is declining but overnutrition is expected to become the largest social and economic burden in the region. From 2014 to 2078, overweight and obesity are projected to cost on average $01 billion in Chile, $03 billion in Ecuador and $13 billion in Mexico per year respectively.

The study recommends measures to mitigate this burden. the Governments should promote consumer education through clear policies and incentives to ensure reliable food labelling, physical activity initiatives, and the support of community-based nutrition education programmes.

It encourages the food industry to work with governments to guarantee the production, availability, and accessibility of healthier food products, and to play a positive and responsible role in educating consumers on healthy food choices.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Venezuela: Unending Cycle of Violence and Repression Threatens the Lives of the Venezuelan People: Amnesty International

 Image: UN Mission in Colombia
 

|| April 23: 2017 || ά. The unending spiral of violence and repression during the protests in Venezuela is submerging the country in a crisis, that will be hard to come back from, threatening the lives and security of the Venezuelan population, Amnesty International said following reports of at least two deaths and several people injured and detained during the protests around the country on April 19.

The Venezuelan authorities confirmed that Paola Ramírez, 23 years old and Carlos Moreno, 17 years old, were shot dead in San Cristóbal, Táchira and Caracas respectively. “Stepping out into the street when protests are taking place in Venezuela should not be a death sentence.” said Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.  “The tragic combination of growing violence, uncontrolled repression and lack of action on the part of the authorities to guarantee freedom of expression and justice is a toxic mix, that does nothing more than perpetuate violence.

The Venezuelan authorities must immediately guarantee the people’s right to go out into the street and peacefully voice their opinion and urgently investigate all the reports of human rights abuses committed during the protests.”

On the eve of these protests, the government activated the 'Plan Zamora', a security mechanism, calling for the deployment of civilians alongside police and military forces to 'preserve public order'.

“The ‘Plan Zamora’ calls on civilians to engage in an illegitimate use of force. This is a clear recipe for disaster. This is, especially, concerning, given the repeated reports of abuses at the hands of armed civilian groups.” said Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Colombia: MSF Provides Medical and Psychosocial Assistance to People Affected by the Landslide in Mocoa

Cleaning up operations in Mocoa, a city in Putamayo province, Colombia, after a deadly landslide on March 31
claimed the lives of upwards of 200 people. Image: Local UN Co-ordination Team in Mocoa
 

|| April 10: 2017 || ά.  MSF teams are providing psychosocial support and medical care to victims of last weekend’s landslide in Mocoa, in the southern Colombian department of Putamayo. This follows an assessment of the victims’ humanitarian needs and is taking place in one of the shelters set up to care for victims in the area. The Las Americas shelter has taken in hundreds of families and people, who have lost everything. MSF doctors and psychologists are conducting primary health consultations, prioritising the care of vulnerable groups, women and children.

In the first two days of the intervention, the team carried out 37 medical consultations. Mental healthcare is provided in the shelter as well as in the town and surrounding areas where the victims of this natural disaster have taken refuge. MSF psychologists are conducting group psychosocial activities and providing individual consultations to help the victims cope with the loss of their loved ones and their homes and to restore normality after the disaster that caused the destruction of more than 17 neighbourhoods in the area.

"People continue to distraught by the loss of their families and belongings, there is a persistent fear of the possibility of a new natural disaster.” says Laura Garzón, one of the MSF emergency team Psychologists.

In the first days of care, 10 individual psychological consultations were conducted and group assistance was provided to 80 people, including talks on sexual violence prevention. Medical supplies have, also, been provided.

The number of dead and missing continues to increase. According to the latest official reports, by last Thursday, there were more than 293 dead and 332 injured and over 3,000 families affected.

The MSF team will continue to assess the needs of those who are not being cared for in the shelters, and monitor possible epidemic outbreaks due to poor hygiene and lack of safe drinking water, especially among vulnerable groups at risk.

In the early hours of Saturday, April 01, heavy rains caused the Mocoa, Mulato and Sancoyaco rivers to overflow, causing landslides in several parts of Mocoa. The flooding of these three rivers triggered an avalanche of mud and stones that caused the destruction of several neighbourhoods in the town.

Within hours of the disaster, an emergency team was then sent from different parts of Colombia, where for 15 years MSF has provided primary, mental, sexual and reproductive healthcare to victims of the armed conflict and violence among isolated populations in 20 departments of the country. ω.

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UN and Other Humanitarian Agencies Launching $40M Appeal for Flood-Hit Peru

Image: Mónica Suarez Galindo:UNDP Peru

|| April 07: 2017 || ά. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Peru are expected today to launch an appeal for $39.2 million to provide urgently needed aid to people affected by the latest flooding in Peru. The funds will be used to assist more than 400,000 people battling high waters and landslides from rains, that began in early March.

The Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs:OCHA said that the priority areas covered by the appeal included shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, food and early recovery. More than 02.5 million people are susceptible to new landslides and vector-borne disease. Flooding is reported in neighbouring Colombia as well, where three rivers surrounding the southern city of Mocoa overflowed, flattening homes and bridges.

Meanwhile, the UN Children's Fund:UNICEF reported earlier this week that the floods continue to put the lives of thousands of children in danger. UNICEF Peru is supporting the Government to protect those affected.

In a situation report , the agency said that the northern department of Piura has been worst hit by the natural disaster and continues to be pounded with rain. The Government declared a National State of Emergency for Piura on March 29, calling on the international community to offer assistance.

The numbers of those affected is rising and is expected to continue to do so over the coming weeks. Around two million children remain out of school, putting their education and protection at risk.
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NASA Analyses Storms That Caused Deadly Colombia Mudslides

From March 26 to April 02, NASA's IMERG indicated that area rainfall totals during the week were frequently greater than 80 mm or 03.1 inches. Image: NASA:Hal Pierce



|| April 05: 2017: Hal Pierce and Rob Gutro Writing || ά. NASA conducted an analysis of the heavy rainfall that occurred over Colombia that triggered flooding and mudslides. Late Friday night, March 31 and early morning Saturday, April 01, flash flooding and mudslides killed more than 250 people in Mocoa, Colombia. Extremely intense storms added heavy rain to waterlogged terrain around Mocoa. Water from this heavy rainfall converged into a river, that runs close to Mocoa, causing it to overflow its banks with deadly results. NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement:GPM, mission satellite provides information on precipitation from its orbit in space.

GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Additionally GPM utilises a constellation of other satellites to provide a global analysis of precipitation. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, those data are incorporated into NASA's IMERG or Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM, to provide a total picture of precipitation events. IMERG data were used to estimate the amount of rain, that fell near Mocoa, Colombia, during a seven-day period from March 26 to April 02. IMERG indicated that area rainfall totals during the week were frequently greater than 80 mm, 03.1 inches. The analysis showed the locations of heavy rainfall, that extended from east of Mocoa into the high mountains, that surround the city.

Torrents of water rushed from the high terrain and were funnelled into the valley, where Mocoa is located, causing the flooding and mudslides. MERG creates a merged precipitation product from the GPM constellation of satellites. These satellites include DMSPs from the U.S. Department of Defense, GCOM-W from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Megha-Tropiques from the Centre National D’etudies Spatiales and Indian Space Research Organisation, NOAA series from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Suomi-NPP from NOAA-NASA and MetOps from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

All of the instruments, radiometers, aboard the constellation partners are inter-calibrated with information from the GPM Core Observatory’s GPM Microwave Imager:GMI and Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar:DPR.

: Editor: Rob Garner: NASA:
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United Nations Supporting the Colombian Authorities to Aid Landslide-Effected Community

Cleaning up operations in Mocoa, a city in Putamayo province, Colombia, after a deadly landslide on March 31
claimed the lives of upwards of 200 people. Image: Local UN Co-ordination Team in Mocoa
 

|| April 03: 2017 || ά. The United Nations humanitarian community is working closely with the Colombian authorities as Government-led search and rescue efforts are underway in the country’s Putamayo province after deadly landslides over the weekend.

Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to speak with President Juan Manuel Santos about the efforts and any urgent needs later today, his spokesperson told journalists in New York. The Secretary-General spoke yesterday with Ambassador Maria Emma Majia Velez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN and conveyed his condolences to the people and Government of Colombia, the spokesperson said.

Quoting UN humanitarian sources, the spokesperson said that more than 250 people were killed and many more were missing or injured, including children.

“The United Nations commends Colombia for its efforts to ensure that immediate humanitarian needs are being met.” the spokesperson said, adding that the Organisation stands ready to offer assistance.
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UK University Strengthening Social Enterprise Research in South America

Local authorities and Dr Pablo Munoz at Balloon Research Latam launch event. Image: University of Leeds

 

|| March 31: 2017: University of Leeds News || ά. A newly signed international agreement aims to expand academic co-operation, collaboration and promote sustainability, enterprise and local development. An agreement between the University of Leeds through the Sustainability Research Institute:SRI at the School of Earth and Environment and Balloon Latam will give staff from both organisations the opportunity to carry out long term collaborative projects, including exchange visits to each other’s countries. Students from both organisations will, also, benefit from the commitment to organising joint academic activities.

The signing of the agreement was part of the official launch of Balloon Research Latam and the opening of three research hubs in the Chilean Patagonia. The hubs will offer researchers from all over the world and from SRI in particular, dedicated office space, research support and access to more than 600 entrepreneurs in rural areas as case studies and unique research sources. “Access to facilities and local contacts in South America will allow researchers and students to contribute to local development and help create innovative solutions.” says Dr Pablo Munoz, lecturer School of Earth and Environment.

The agreement was signed by University of Leeds Secretary Roger Gair and Sebastian Salinas Claro, Founder and CEO of Balloon Latam. SRI has already been involved in collaborative research with Balloon Latam. Dr Pablo Munoz, a Lecturer in business and sustainable change in the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds, was present at the signing and serves as a Non-Executive Director. He has helped develop the organisation’s entrepreneurial programme.

Dr Munoz said, “Access to facilities and local contacts in South America will allow researchers and students to contribute to local development and help create innovative solutions. University of Leeds staff will provide guidance and mentoring to Balloon Latam on issues related to enterprise, local development and sustainability, while researchers and students will benefit from a unique hands-on look at development work taking place in South America.”

University of Leeds MSc student Amanda Soler Guzman, whose dissertation research is being funded by Balloon Latam said, “Collaborative research will help academics and students to better understand rural entrepreneurial ecosystems. Our research can lead to guidelines for the implementation of effective solutions to combat poverty through enterprise.”

Sebastian Salinas Claro, Founder and CEO Balloon Latam, said, “We hope to bring the academic and investigative worlds closer to Latin America’s communities. This will allow us to have better and deeper knowledge of the region’s local economies and in the construction of beneficial public policies.”

Dr Munoz is, also, the Supervisor for a new PhD research project, which is aimed at exploring processes and outcomes of entrepreneurial communities in rural contexts. It is due to run alongside Balloon Latam's entrepreneurship programme. In addition to building relations in South America, the University of Leeds has committed to increasing its international reach and opportunities for students from around the world.

Partnerships have already been developed with leading universities in China, such as Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Southwest Jaiotong University, which has recently launched a joint school with Leeds.
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WHO Dispatched 03.5 Million Doses of Yellow Fever Vaccine for Outbreak Response in Brazil

Vaccination campaigns against yellow fever are currently ongoing in Brazil. Image: WHO:A.Costa


|| March 30: 2017 || ά. In response to the yellow fever outbreak currently on-going in Brazil some 03.5 million doses of vaccine from the emergency stockpile were deployed to the country through the International Co-ordinating Group:ICG on Vaccine Provision for yellow fever. The ICG oversees a continuously replenished emergency stockpile of six million doses of yellow fever vaccine. The ICG includes four agencies: the World Health Organisation:WHO, United Nations Children’s Fund:UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies:IFRC and Médicines Sans Frontières:MSF.

The Government of Brazil will reimburse the cost of the 03.5 million doses sent through the yellow fever emergency stockpile financed by Gavi Alliance. The government of Brazil with the support of PAHO:WHO is working to ensure protection of its population and preventing further spread of the yellow fever virus which is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes. Brazil is carrying out vaccination campaigns for yellow fever in several states, while strengthening surveillance and case management throughout the country since the outbreak began in January 2017.

More than 18.8 million doses of vaccine have been distributed. PAHO:WHO has mobilised more than 15 experts through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network:GOARN, including US CDC, to provide specialised technical support to the federal authorities managing the outbreak. On March 14, Brazilian authorities formally requested the ICG for 03.5 million doses of yellow fever vaccine which arrived in Rio de Janeiro on March 24 to be used for vaccination campaigns in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia.

WHO is also supporting other yellow fever endemic countries through the Eliminating Yellow Fever Epidemics:EYE Strategy. Implementation of the global strategy which is jointly governed by WHO, UNICEF and GAVI, ensures support to countries to respond to an increased risk of urban outbreaks of yellow fever with international spread.

The strategy aims at protecting at-risk populations, preventing international spread and containing outbreaks rapidly. The most vulnerable countries and regions are prioritised and global risk is mitigated by building resilience in urban centres and preparedness in areas with potential for outbreaks. The EYE strategy aims to ensure reliable vaccine supply with a global coalition of partners to predict needs and shape vaccine production.

During 2016 some 30 million doses of yellow fever vaccine from WHO’s emergency vaccine stockpile were deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola during the 2016 yellow fever outbreaks in those countries.
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Environmental Recovery Key to Post-Conflict Development in Colombia

The city of Cartagena prepares for the signing of the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia: Image: UN Photo:Rick Bajornas

|| March 24: 2017 || ά. Concluding a mission to Colombia, a multi-disciplinary team of United Nations environment experts have highlighted that the country has a unique opportunity to promote sustainable and resilient livelihoods in which the nature serves as the foundation for long-lasting peace. In a news release today, the UN Environment Programme:UNEP said that different rebel groups and criminal gangs, which controlled large parts of the country for decades, illegally extracted and exploited natural resources leading to major environmental damage, including illegal cropping, deforestation and the unregulated use of hazardous chemicals.

The UN team’s visit and aerial inspection of the Quito and Atrato rivers uncovered the scale of environmental challenges brought by large scale and mechanized illegal operations. “The environmental destruction in the Quito river basin is significant in terms of scope and magnitude, due to a combination of illegal mining and deforestation.” read the release. Also, the release of Mercury, one of the most hazardous chemicals used in mining, into the environment has added significant challenges given the potential that the heavy, toxic, metal can reach the community through air, water and food chain.

The UN team was invited by the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, to identify priority actions towards mitigating the health and livelihood risks from the environmental damage in priority areas for post-conflict development.

“Environment is at the heart of post-conflict development in Colombia.” said Leo Heileman, the Director of the UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, noting that the UN agency “will unwaveringly stand by Colombia during the post-conflict phase.”

Initial support proposed by UNEP includes technical recommendations and training for the effective implementation of environmental peace-building projects; strategic environmental assessment of key post-conflict interventions; advice on measures to improve social, economic and environmental conditions for the extractive sector and to remediate damage caused by illegal operations; and strengthening of the institutional and technical capacities.

On its part, the Colombian Government emphasized the importance of strengthening the environmental dividends of peace and fostering green growth as pillars for sustainable development, noted the UNEP news release.
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Colombia's War and Peace Go on Simultaneously

UNHCR staffers hold Ivan, three months old, at the Chami Ruru settlement, Colombia, which houses around 35 families displaced by armed groups
in 2005. The families are indigenous Embera Chami. Image: UNHCR:Sebastian Rich
 

|| March 10: 2017 || ά. Despite a peace agreement, ongoing fighting in the Colombian Pacific Coast has displaced more than 3,500 people so far this year, many of them from the Afro-Colombian or indigenous communities, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees:UNHCR announced today. The violence comes, despite a peace agreement signed last Novembers between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia:FARC.

“Since the signing of the peace agreement, increased violence by new armed groups has resulted in killings, forced recruitment, including of children, gender-based violence and limited access to education, water and sanitation, as well as movement restrictions and forced displacement of the civilian population.” said William Spindler, the spokesperson for UNHCR.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, Mr. Spindler said that the families most affected were from the Chocó, Cauca, Valle del Cauca and Nariño departments. About 13 per cent of the 07.4 million internally displaced persons in the country are from the Afro-Colombian communities and indigenous peoples.

The UNHCR reiterated the need to ensure that the civilian population has access to protection and assistance. “At the same time, any eventual returns of IDPs to their areas of origin need to take place in conditions of safety and dignity.” Mr. Spindler stressed.
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Historic Day as the Last FARC-EP Members Gather to Turn in Arms: UN Mission in Colombia: And Is Peace Not the Most Beautiful Thing

The last of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army:FARC-EP arrive to the Veredales zones. Image: UN Mission in Colombia
 

|| February 20: 2017 || ά. About 300 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army:FARC-EP today arrived in central Colombia's Agua Bonita zone, bringing the number to close to 6,900, to lay down their arms under United Nations verification, and to begin a transition to social, economic and political life, the UN Mission in the country said today. “In the past 19 days they rode cars, buses, boats or walked some 8,700 kilometres…across the country, accompanied by over 860 members of the tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism:MVM.” read a news release from the UN Mission in Colombia.

The Mission's Chief Observer and MVM Co-ordinator, Major General Javier Pérez Aquino, called the day 'historic'. “The UN Mission in Colombia and the MVM consider that the FARC-EP's decision to move into the zones, in spite of the limited logistics in the majority of them, very positive.” he said. “This decision considerably reduces the possibility of armed contact and we also hope that their presence will accelerate the construction works in these camps, creating the appropriate conditions to continue with the process that will lead to their reinsertion into the social, economic and political life.” he added.

The Chief Observer also noted that despite limited logistics, the deadline for the completion of the laying down of arms, 180 days after the Final Agreement, which came into force on December 01, stands. In Colombia's capital, Bogotá, as well as at eight regional and 26 local sites, FARC-EP and Government members, along with 350 UN observers, are working together to verify the parties' commitments towards the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities.

“We work together to implement the Final Agreement and I feel hopeful that this process will lead to a country with more social justice.” said 45-year-old Esperanza Fajardo, who jointed FARC-EP in the 1990's, now working with Government and UN Mission counterparts.

Mayor Alejandro Cruz, from the Government, echoed, “I feel very committed to this process because I want our children and grandchildren to live in a conflict-free country.”

Mr. Cruz was twice injured in combat with the FARC-EP and bears a large scar on his chest while Ms. Fajardo joined the rebel group to escape the killings of left-wing Unión Patriotica political affiliates.

In early October 2016, Colombian voters narrowly rejected the historic peace accord between the Government and the FARC-EP. That deal led to a cessation of hostilities and agreements on key issues such as political participation, land rights, illicit drugs and victims' rights and transitional justice. The two sides signed a new agreement in late November.
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Finland and Uruguay Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Collaborate on Bio and Circular Economy

Image: Finland Government


|| February 13: 2017 || ά. Finland and Uruguay have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the bioeconomy and circular economy in Helsinki today. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment of Finland Kimmo Tiilikainen and for Uruguay, the Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Tabaré Aguerre, Minister of Industries, Energy and Mining Carolina Cosse, and Minister of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment Eneida de León. The signing event was on the agenda of the visit to Finland of the President of Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez.

For Finland the cooperation with Uruguay may offer increased opportunities for the export of machinery and equipment, consultation tasks and various kinds of research projects. We also aim for new cooperation arrangements between companies. The topics in the Memorandum of Understanding include the development of the use of biomass into energy and biomaterials and mechanical wood processing industry, promoting sustainable use natural resources and biodiversity and water protection and monitoring.

The key issues also include promoting wood construction and developing logistics for the management of forest biomass. In Finland the Memorandum of Understanding was prepared in cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Natural Resources Institute Finland, and Finnish Environment Institute.

The ministries responsible for forest issues in Finland and Uruguay have worked on the idea of collaborating in the forest and bioeconomy sectors since last summer, when President Sauli Niinistö visited Uruguay. Thanks to various industrial and environmental projects, Finnish water protection work and research have a very good reputation in Uruguay, where our environmental administration has supported the operations of Finnish companies.

For example, in 2005–2008 the Finnish Environment Institute assisted the local authorities in improving their capacity for monitoring the emissions from the Fray Bentos pulp mill.

Inquiries: Aulikki Kauppila, Counsellor, Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 50 5629 017
Ismo Tiainen, Director of Administration and International Affair, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 40 5047 494:
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Colombia: Marching Towards Peace: This Peace is Irrepressible, Unstoppable: Let Us Go Forward

FARC women and men marched to Pondores, in La Guajira, Colombia, where laying down of arms
will take place with the presence of the UN Mission. Image: UN Mission in Colombia
 

|| February 02: 2017 || ά. More than 200 men and women of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army:FARC-EP marched today to demobilisation camps, two months after a peace deal that ended the Western Hemisphere’s longest running conflict, United Nations monitors co-ordinating the process reported. The UN Mission in Colombia said that the Transitional Point of Normalisation of Pondores, department of La Guajira, in northern Colombia, according to figures from tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, composed of the Government, the FARC-EP and co-ordinated by the UN Mission.

Members of the FARC-EP, some of them pregnant or breastfeeding, walked about nine kilometres from four pre-grouping points near to the Pondores transitional point, where the FARC-EP camp will be located and where the separation of forces will take place, a task which the UN Mission will verify. “As a UN Mission, this moment is crucial because it means we will continue to verify the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities through our participation in the Tripartite Mechanism, and we will be able to begin the operational part of the verification of the laying down of arms.” explained the Deputy Head of Observers of the Mission, José Mauricio Villacorta.

According to the Mission, the women and men marching today join more than 6,300 FARC-EP members who began mobilizing on Saturday, 28 January, to zones and points using 36 travel routes in 14 departments of the country, according to preliminary figures from the Colombian Government's High Commissioner for Peace, on one of the country’s largest logistics operations.

FARC-EP members were received today at the Pondores site by High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo, FARC-EP leader Ivan Márquez, Colombian authorities and Mr. Mauricio Villacorta, in a symbolic act to highlight the parties’ commitment and the imminent start of the laying down of arms, which the UN Mission will verify, to enable the transition to civilian life.

“This shows that we are bringing the agreement to reality.” said Mr. Jaramillo, who added: “This is a moment of joy.” Iván Márquez, who headed the FARC-EP negotiating team in Havana, Cuba, where four years of negotiations on the eventual peace accord took place, stated: "Something good is happening in Colombia: it's peace …This peace is irrepressible, unstoppable; let us go forward.”

“To date, we have focused on the planning and preparation phase so that the Mission can carry out the tasks of registering and storing weapons," said Mr. Mauricio Villacorta. Once FARC-EP members are in the camps the first step for the laying down of arms is the registration of arms and weapons. Unstable armaments – such as gunpowder, grenades and anti-personnel mines – will be destroyed in site. After 180 days, the UN Mission in Colombia is set to remove all the weapons from the camp.

In early October 2016, Colombian voters narrowly rejected the historic peace accord between the Government and the FARC-EP. That deal led to a cessation of hostilities and agreements on key issues such as political participation, land rights, illicit drugs and victims’ rights and transitional justice. The two sides signed a new agreement in late November.
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Colombia: Amnesty and Fernando Botero Join Efforts in Campaign for Human Rights

UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui: right delivers remarks in Havana, Cuba, at the signing of an Agreement between the Government of Colombia  and the FARC-EP on the Separation and Reintegration of Children in Colombia. Image: UN Office for Children and Armed Conflict

|| December 10: 2016: Amnesty International News || ά. Internationally renowned Colombian artist and sculptor Fernando Botero and Amnesty International are joining forces to promote the human rights of millions across Colombia. One of Boteros famous oil paintings will be made into a 20 square metre tapestry in the world famous Atelier Pinton mill in France. It will be unveiled in Bogotá later in 2017. The piece will symbolise the strength of millions of Colombians and their hopes for a future of peace and justice.

“2016 has been a historic year for Colombia. The signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC has opened the door for peace and justice.” said Bill Shipsey, Founder of Art for Amnesty. “For many years, artists such as Fernando Botero have powerfully expressed the suffering and hopes of millions through their art. We are incredibly grateful to him for joining our efforts to ensure the historic peace agreement is more than words on paper and helps deliver justice for all in Colombia.”

This is the second time Fernando Botero collaborates with Amnesty International. The artist was part of the 'Artists for Amnesty' exhibition to mark the ‘Year of the Prisoner of Conscience’ held in New York in 1977 with his painting 'el generalissimo'. Later that same year Amnesty International won the Nobel Peace Prize

Art for Amnesty is a global community of artists of all disciplines and nationalities who share Amnesty International’s vision of a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.

Since 2012, Art for Amnesty has unveiled a number of large Aterlier Pinton created memorial tapestries in honour of Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, singer John Lennon and the Irish poet Seamus Heaney, amongst others, and paid for by its artist supporters.
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UN Welcomes Ratification of New Peace Accord in Colombia

The city of Cartagena prepares for the signing of the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia: Image: UN Photo:Rick Bajornas
 

|| December 02: 2016 || ά. Welcoming the Colombian parliament's ratification of the new Final Peace Agreement between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army:FARC-EP, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council have expressed hope for its swift implementation for the benefit of all Colombians. In separate statements yesterday, Ban Ki-moon and the 15-member Council also commended the parties in the country for their continued commitment to bring the 50-year long conflict to an end.

“The ratification of the Agreement constitutes a major milestone in the peace process that reaffirms the hopes shared by all Colombians for a future in peace and prosperity after decades of conflict.” said Mr. Ban, according to a statement issued by his office. He added that the determination of the parties and people of Colombia to achieve peace has been a source of inspiration around the world. In their own statement, members of the Security Council further welcomed the leadership shown by the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP in upholding the ceasefire.

“They trusted the parties would continue their positive cooperation and maintain recent momentum to begin swift implementation of this historic agreement in order to ensure a transition to peace that benefits all Colombians.” they said in the statement. Council members also reiterated their determination to support Colombia's implementation of the peace accord in accordance with its relevant resolutions.

Also yesterday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein welcomed the ratification and called on all actors in the country, including opposition political parties, to 'put aside their differences' and to work for the implementation of the accord. ω.

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New Peace Deal Signed in Colombia

UNHCR staffers hold Ivan, three months old, at the Chami Ruru settlement, Colombia, which houses around 35 families displaced by armed groups in 2005. The families are indigenous Embera Chami. Image: UNHCR:Sebastian Rich

 

|| November 25: 2016 || ά. Welcoming the signing yesterday of the new peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army:FARC-EP, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed the hope that Colombians will 'come together at this time to move the peace process forward'. In early October, Colombian voters narrowly rejected the historic peace accord between the Government and the FARC-EP, the main opposition group, meant to end the Western Hemisphere's longest running conflict.

That deal was the culmination of four years of talks hosted in Havana, Cuba, between the two sides, and which led to a cessation of hostilities and agreements on key issues such as political participation, land rights, illicit drugs and victims' rights and transitional justice. 'The Secretary-General commends the parties for their determination to bring this long-standing conflict to an end. He congratulates all who participated constructively in the dialogue that led to the new agreement.

The Secretary-General believes it is essential to move now to implementation, the statement continued, noting that the violent incidents that have taken place recently in conflict-affected areas underscore the relevance of many of the commitments contained in the agreement and the urgency of putting them into effect.

Expressing hopes that Colombians will come together at this time to move the peace process forward, Mr. Ban, through the statement, reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to provide all necessary support, both through the United Nations Mission in Colombia and through the relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes.

The two sides vowed to press ahead on a deal, and on November 01, the UN Security Council sent a letter to the Secretary General authorizing the UN Mission in Colombia to verify the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, following a request from the Government and FARC-EP.

Other functions include organizing operational aspects of the joint ceasefire Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, formed by the Government of Colombia, FARC-EP and co-ordinated by the UN Mission.

It also entails visiting FARC-EP camps and Public Force units to ensure compliance with the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. The UN Mission will also liaise with local populations to ensure that their rights are being respected.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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For Stories Published in South America in || October ||  November ||  December || South America Arkive Q-Delta 2016

 
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