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  • Colombia ICRC says peace may solve mystery of disappeared

  • By Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - A government peace accord with Marxist FARC rebels may help solve the mystery behind tens of thousands of Colombians who disappeared during 50 years of war, a Red Cross official said on Wednesday. Negotiations between the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and the government are in their 17th month in Cuba. More than 20,000 people are known to have disappeared after being violently taken from their homes by rebels, right-wing paramilitaries or armed forces, according to government estimates. The International Committee of the Red Cross finds or identifies about three missing people every few months, said Jordi Raich, the head of its Colombia delegation.
  • USAF: Colombia crash caused by plane hitting hill

  • NORFOLK, Virginia (AP) — U.S. Air Force investigators say a plane crash that killed four people in Colombia this past fall occurred when the plane's pilots failed to stay over water and slammed into a hill.
  • Colombia's Santos reinstates Bogota mayor after court ruling

  • Bogota's ousted mayor Gustavo Petro gestures during speech to supporters at the mayor building in BogotaColombia's President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday signed a decree to restore Gustavo Petro as mayor of Bogota, just weeks after a judicial authority dismissed him for mismanagement of waste collection. Bogota has already had two stand-in mayors since Petro left on March 19. Late on Tuesday, a Bogota tribunal ruled that Santos must adhere to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission request that the leftist Petro be reinstated. "So in this case, the law has said I must reinstate Mayor Petro, so I have signed the corresponding decree." In a Tweet last night, Petro said the Bogota court protected his human rights.



  • Colombia tribunal restores ousted Bogota mayor

  • Bogota's ousted mayor Gustavo Petro (C) speaks to supporters at the mayor building in BogotaA Colombian tribunal on Tuesday ordered that Gustavo Petro be restored as mayor of Bogota, just weeks after he was officially ousted from the post over mismanagement. The 54-year-old former guerrilla left office on March 19 when President Juan Manuel Santos ratified a decision by the Council of State, the senior judicial authority that dismissed him over the poor handling of waste collection. "Bogota's superior tribunal protects political rights, that are the human rights of Bogota's citizens and mine," Petro said on his Twitter account. Petro's dismissal was declared in December by right-wing Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez over the mayor's attempt to reclaim management of waste collection from private operators.



  • Humpback protections downgrade clears way for pipeline

  • The tail of a humpback whale emerges from the surface of the Pacific Ocean in Colombia, on July 22, 2011Environmentalist activists on Tuesday decried Canada's downgrading of humpback whale protections, suggesting the decision was fast-tracked to clear a major hurdle to constructing a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean. The government however denied it is playing pipeline politics with the whales. Ottawa announced over the weekend the reclassification of humpback whales as a "species of special concern" rather than "threatened." As a result, the humpback's "critical habitat" off Canada's west coast will no longer be legally protected, states a federal government notice published in the Canada Gazette.



  • Urban hero takes on establishment in Colombia presidential race

  • Green Party candidate for mayor of Bogota, Enrique Penalosa, speaks to the media at a school in BogotaBy Helen Murphy and Luis Jaime Acosta BOGOTA (Reuters) - Enrique Penalosa, a jovial economist who made Colombia's congested capital more tolerable when he was mayor in the 1990s, is bringing his urban smarts to the national scene, hoping to persuade voters he will bring peace and prosperity as president. Penalosa, considered an urban guru, is among several candidates taking on center-right incumbent Juan Manuel Santos, the frontrunner, in the presidential ballot on May 25. "More important than left or right is to do something different," Penalosa told Reuters in an interview late on Monday in which he pledged to continue peace talks being held in Cuba with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebels. Penalosa, who stands well over six-feet-tall, said he is "obsessed" with achieving equality in a nation where 50 years of war with the FARC have helped keep 40 percent of the population of 47 million in poverty.



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