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Colombia: an election which will determine the fate of peace By Thomas Mortensen, Colombia Country Manager, Christian Aid As Colombians head to the polls on the 27th May, the internationally recognised peace agreement signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in late 2016, hangs in the balance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGh4F_AlWxA&feature=youtu.be Edited highlights of a debate between Colombian presidential candidates Ivan Duque and Gustavo...
Brazil’s government this week announced a major shift away from its policy of building mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon – a strategy born during the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) and vigorously carried forward down to the present day. The Temer government claims the decision is a response to intense resistance from environmentalists and indigenous groups, but while that...
A chapter in international solidarity with Brazil’s embattled rural poor closed on Sunday 26 November with the death of Dominican priest and lawyer, Henri des Roziers.  Henri had worked in Brazil since 1978, using his skills as a lawyer to defend rural workers’ unions and to bring to justice the landowners who ordered the killing of so many of...
Authorities, representatives of social and cultural movements, and an appreciative audience gathered in Belo Horizonte for the opening of the Farmers' Market Shop, another permanent space for sale of products from Land Reform farms. The shop occupies a prime location in the capital city of Minas Gerais, on the corner of Avenida Augusto de Lima, in the Barro Preto neighbourhood,...
Without addressing crucial elements of the original agreement, the revised peace deal risks not living up to expectations in Colombia. It has been a year since the Colombian government and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebel leader ‘Timochenko’ signed the agreement to end more than 50 years of conflict in Colombia. It was a historic moment. Since then, we...
The small town of Quedas do Iguaçu, in southern Brazil close to the border with Paraguay, awoke to the sound of helicopters on November 4 last year.  After eight months, a police investigation aimed at an alleged criminal conspiracy within the Landless Workers' Movement (MST) was about to come to fruition. Sixteen arrest warrants were issued - 14 of them against...
The Movimento de Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (Landless Rural Worker's Movement, MST) has a gender-balanced national directorate of 52 individuals, with two people elected periodically in each of its 26 state assemblies. Gilmar Mauro is a member of the national directorate of MST, representing the state of São Paulo. Brian Mier, COHA research associate and Brasilwire contributor,  caught up...
This article was translated from the French by Gregory Duff Morton, Bard College. After two decades of military dictatorship, a new Constitution proclaimed in 1988 gave pride of place to human rights and the protection of the environment. Nicknamed the Citizen Constitution, it expressed hope for a regime of justice and democracy. Thirty years on, it has suffered from all...
Prospéry Raymond, Christian Aid’s country manager for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, reflects on how Haiti is moving on from one disaster and preparing for another You could be forgiven for associating Haiti with disaster: when the country is mentioned, it is usually alongside words like ‘earthquake’, ‘hurricane’, ‘political turmoil’ and ‘cholera’. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew’s 146mph winds swept across...
The article was published (in Portuguese) by MST here. Translated and with additional material by Mike Gatehouse, for LAB. 2016 turned out to be the second most violent year for land conflicts in Brazil in the last 25 years, only just behind 2003. That reality is made up of 61 murders, including those of 16 young people between 15 and...

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