Colombia announces police reforms aimed at stemming abuses
Colombian President Ivan Duque has announced reforms to the nation’s police forces that are meant to improve accountability and decrease human rights abuses, following weeks of protests in which officers were accused of killing at least two dozen demonstrators.
UN registers steep rise in murders of Colombian activists
According to the U.N. report, at least 133 human rights defenders were murdered in Colombia in 2020, a 23% increase from 2019. The United Nations also registered 76 massacres across the country last year, which are defined as events in which three or more civilians are executed at once. AdThe report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. The United Nations urged Colombia’s government to increase its presence in these areas to protect civilians and bring down violence. Critics of his government have said that it has been slow at implementing some aspects of the peace deal, including the coca substitution projects.
Colombia will legalize undocumented Venezuelan migrants
FILE - In this April 14, 2019 file photo, Venezuelans cross illegally into Colombia near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, seen from La Parada near Cucuta, Colombia. President Ivan Duque said that through a new temporary protection statute, Venezuelan migrants who are in the country illegally will be eligible for 10-year residence permits, while migrants who are currently on temporary residence will be able to extend their stay. The new measure could benefit up to one million Venezuelan citizens who are currently living in Colombia without proper papers, as well as hundreds of thousands who need to extend temporary visas. Other popular destinations for Venezuelan migrants include Panama and Chile, which have imposed visa requirements that make it harder for Venezuelans to move to those countries. AdAccording to the United Nations, there are 4.7 million Venezuelan migrants and other refugees in other Latin American countries after fleeing the economic collapse and political divide in their homeland.
Death threat against 11-year-old activist outrages Colombia
Francisco Vera, 11, who is well-known in Colombia for his environmental campaigns and defense of children's rights, gives an interview in Villeta, Colombia, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. The 11-year old activist who received a death threat over Twitter, says that he will continue to lead campaigns and urged other young people to use social media to support causes they believe in. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)VILLETA – A social media death threat aimed at an 11-year-old environmental activist has roused outrage in Colombia, a nation where attacks on social leaders are common and threats are taken seriously. Colombian officials said they are investigating the death threat against Francisco Vera and President Ivan Duque recently promised in a television appearance that his government would find “the bandits” behind the Twitter message. She said a town official suggested shutting down her son’s social media account, but she prefers to let him decide whether to stop campaigning.
The Latest: Anchorage opens up after COVID-19 drop, vaccines
Plastic surgeon Daniel Suver receives the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine from Andrea Castelblanco during a vaccine clinic on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Anchorage is averaging about 60 new COVID-19 cases a day, said Dr. Janet Johnston, the epidemiologist for the Anchorage Health Department. More than 90 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be produced in Japan. Ad___SACRAMENTO -- California reported its second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths — while the rates of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to drop. ___ALBANY, N.Y. — New York may have undercounted COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents by thousands.
Colombia says it's ready to distribute coronavirus vaccines
(AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)BOGOTA – Colombian officials say that they are ready to distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccines, once the shots arrive in the South American country. On Tuesday, officials from the Ministry of Health took journalists through a temperature-controlled warehouse in Bogota that can house up to 50 million vaccines. The freezers, which are about the size of a kitchen fridge, can hold up to 200,000 vaccines each, officials said. But vaccines have been slow to arrive in Colombia, which still hasn’t administered a single shot. Colombia has reported 1.75 million cases since the pandemic began, and 49,000 deaths.
Iota's devastation comes into focus in storm-weary Nicaragua
Men wade through a street flooded after the passing of Hurricane Iota in La Lima, Honduras, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. Rescuers searched at the site of a landslide in northern Nicaragua, where the local government confirmed four deaths and neighbors spoke of at least 16. Iota arrived Monday evening with winds of 155 mph (250 kph), hitting nearly the same location as Hurricane Eta two weeks earlier. The hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30. ___Associated Press writers Christopher Sherman in Mexico City, Marlon González in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Manuel Rueda in Bogota, Colombia, contributed to this report.
Most US states fall short of recommended testing levels
He never set a firm date on when the state would hit the 30,000 mark, but for most of May, the daily testing numbers fell short of that. That goal is nearly three times the countrys current daily testing tally of about 360,000, according to figures compiled by the COVID Tracking Project website. Administration officials said they will provide states with enough testing supplies to conduct about 400,000 tests per day in May and June. Gavin Newsom announced that the state's testing reached 35,000 daily this week and that more than 1 million tests have been administered. But the states seven-day rolling average of just over 6,000 tests is still well below the 11,000 daily tests recommended by the Harvard team.
Venezuela: 2 US 'mercenaries' among those nabbed after raid
Florida-based ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau said earlier Monday that he was working with the two men in a mission intending to detain Maduro and “liberate” Venezuela. Venezuela and the United States broke diplomatic ties last year amid heightened tensions, so there is no U.S. embassy in Caracas. Venezuelan state TV showed showed images on state TV of several unidentified men handcuffed and lying prone in a street. One video clip showed authorities handling a shirtless man in handcuffs. Goudreau, a three-time Bronze Star U.S. combat veteran, claims to have helped organize the deadly seaborne raid from Colombia.