Tag Archives: Liliana Obando

Free Liliany Obando! August hearing shows no grounds for her arrest

The following article by James Jordan is from Fight Back! News:

Alliance for Global Justice volunteer, Raquel Mogollón, was in attendance at the trial of political prisoner Liliany Obando Aug. 4 in Bogotá, Colombia. Based on her eyewitness report, the hearing revealed manipulation of evidence behind the charges being brought against Obando.

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Colombian activist Liliany Obando’s trial postponed again

The following article by Angela Denio is from Fight Back! News:

The jailing and repeated postponement of trials of Liliany “Lily” Obando tells the story of a powerful woman. She is dealing firsthand with the extreme repression facing many Colombians who oppose the government. In Colombia there are over 7000 political prisoners. Colombian trade unionist Liliany Obando was arrested in the summer of 2008. Her arrest came during a string of attacks by the Uribe government targeting leaders of Colombia’s growing struggles for social change.

Obando is a typical Colombian. She has taken up the challenge to fight for the rights of the people – the ones who don’t matter to the rich in charge in Colombia and their puppeteers here in the U.S. government. Through her work with FENSUAGRO, a Colombian union, Obando championed the rights and welfare of Colombian farmers and rural wage laborers. Her work was transparent and legal under Colombian law, but Liliany Obando now sits in prison. Continue reading

Homeland Security Harasses Haiti Activists

James Jordan speaking in Haiti. (Fight Back! News)

The following article by Tom Burke is from Fight Back! News:

The U.S. government is stepping up its surveillance and harassment of U.S. activists in an attempt to intimidate them and dampen their spirits for the change we believe in. International solidarity activist James Jordan was returning from a two week trip to Haiti, on Jan. 7, five days prior to the terrible earthquake disaster. When his flight touched down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, flight attendants called out for “James Patrick Jordan” and asked him to come to the front of the airplane. Homeland Security came on board the airplane to escort him off.

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Visit To Colombian Political Prisoner Liliany Obando

free_lilany_detencionThe following commentary by James Jordan is from Fight Back! News:

Bogotá, Colombia – Liliany Obando is powerful. She is one thousands of Colombian political prisoners. For a year now, I have known Liliany through letters. We finally met face-to-face on three occasions, during a delegation sponsored by the U.S.-based Campaign for Labor Rights and the Colombia Action Network. I represented the International Network in Solidarity with Colombia’s Political Prisoners.  

I’m a fairly tall man, and Liliany is relatively small. But upon first meeting her, I was engulfed by one of her bear hugs – hugs that show a heart and courage many times larger than her size. Liliany is in jail, accused of ‘rebellion.’ Yet even behind bars, she is organizing; collecting the testimonies of other political prisoners and advocating for a humanitarian exchange of prisoners between the Colombian government and guerrillas as a first step toward a just peace.  

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Women in Colombia’s prisons, a view from the inside

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following essay from the Colombian trade unionist and political prisoner, Liliany Obando. The introduction was prepared by the Colombia Action Network.
Liliany Obando at a FENSUAGRO rally | www.freeliliany.net

Liliany Obando at a FENSUAGRO rally | photo from http://www.freeliliany.net

The essay below was written by Colombian trade unionist, video documentary producer, and political prisoner Liliany Obando. Liliany wrote her “Reflections” with Mother’s Day in mind. Like many organizers for social justice in Colombia, Liliany is imprisoned with little to no evidence. The US government is funding and advising Colombia’s judicial system, but it has only worsened with time. The US government also continues to fund and direct the Colombian Military and their paramilitary death squads. Under the US “Plan Colombia”, labor unionists are murdered every week, nearly 4 million Colombian peasants are displaced from their land, and 7000 political opponents of President Uribe are imprisoned. The CAN wants to thank James Jordan of the Campaign for Labor Rights for translating the original Spanish essay. We demand “Free Liliany Obando!”

a glimpse from a woman on the inside…

Although we women have struggled throughout history to reach better living conditions, dignified work, acknowledgement, and social and political inclusion, still we must suffer vestiges of a patriarchal and sexist society that does not recognize our role in society. It is a reality that things are getting worse for us women who find ourselves deprived of our liberty.

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New letter from Lily Obando

The following letter from Colombian political prisoner Liliana Obando is from the website of the Colombia Action Network. This letter was read from the stage at the School of the Americas Protest in Georgia

obando-button1Bogota, Colombia, November 17 de 2008
National Women’s Penitentiary

Friends of the Campaign for Labor Rights,
Friends of the Colombia Action Network,
Activist Friends for Peace, Social Justice and the defense of Human Rights ,

United States

A fraternal greeting of solidarity to all of you on my behalf and from all the other political prisoners secluded in the jails of Colombia and the United States.

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Georgia: Huge protest against ‘School of Assassins’

The following article is from the Fight Back! News Service:

Podcasts from the SOA protest

Charla Schlueter
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at University of North Carolina at Asheville
Speaking at Nov. 22 SOA rally

Kosta Harlan
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Speaking at Fight Back! program on Colombia, Nov. 23

Meredith Aby
Colombia Action Network
Speaking at Fight Back! program on Colombia, Nov. 23

Angela Denio
National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera
Speaking at Fight Back! program on Colombia, Nov. 23

Doug Michel
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at University of North Carolina at Asheville
Speaking at Fight Back! program on Colombia, Nov. 23

Columbus, GA – Over 20,000 people from across the country flooded Fort Benning on the Nov. 22-23 weekend, calling for the School of the Americas (SOA), a U.S. military training institute that trains Latin American soldiers in ‘counter-insurgency’ techniques, to be shut down. During the vigil to honor the memory of the thousands of men, women and children that have been tortured, kidnapped and murdered by SOA graduates, six people, in an act of civil disobedience, crossed onto the military base and were arrested. They face up to six months in federal prison for taking action to close down the SOA – the ‘School of Assassins.’

Throughout the weekend, groups that organize in solidarity with Colombia emphasized the need for people in the U.S. to take action to stop the U.S. government’s support for war and repression in Colombia.

Colombia is particularly affected by both the SOA and U.S. foreign policy. Colombia sends more soldiers to the SOA than any other country. Under aid packages such as Plan Colombia, Colombia receives billions of dollars from the United States. It is no coincidence that Colombia has one of the worst human rights records in the hemisphere, with over 40 Colombian trade unionists killed this year alone. Continue reading

Letter from Lillian Obando, Colombian Political Prisoner

obando-buttonFight Back News Service is circulating the following letter from Liliany (Lily) Obando who is a Colombian trade union organizer with FENSUAGRO, the largest peasant and agricultural workers federation in Colombia. She writes academic papers and makes documentary films about the struggles of Colombian campesinos. On Aug. 8, Lily was arrested and imprisoned by the ‘anti-terrorism unit’ of the Colombian National Police. She has been charged with “rebellion” and “managing resources related to terrorist activities.” Her story is tragically familiar in a country where thousands of trade unionists have been threatened, arrested or killed by the U.S.-backed Colombian government. The following letter will be read from the stage and at the Fight Back! forum on Colombia at the School of the Americas demonstration in Fort Benning, Georgia Nov 21-23 by speakers for the Colombia Action Network.

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Fight Back! Forum on Colombia at the SOA Protest

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following announcement for a forum that will take place at the School of the Americas protest at Fort Benning, Georgia on Nov. 22, 6:30 p.m., in the Convention Center, Room 213. Click here for PDF flyer for the event.

Join us for a forum to build opposition to U.S. intervention in Colombia!


Click the above image for full-size PDF of flyer.

Year after year, U.S. military and economic aid helps support a corrupt, narco-trafficking government that rules through repression and fear. Despite death threats, kidnappings and intimidation, a broad mass movement is organizing for justice and equality. Come hear from activists who traveled to Colombia and met with students, trade unionists and peasants organizing for peace and justice.

Kosta Harlan of Fight Back! newspaper will moderate. Meredith Aby of the Colombia Action Network will discuss the indigenous highway protests and the peasants and workers’ movement. Aby will also discuss the imprisonment of Lily Obando from the peasants union FENSUAGRO. Angela Denio of National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera will speak about Mr. Palmera, a Colombian revolutionary and political prisoner of the U.S. government. Doug Michel of Students for a Democratic Society will talk about meeting with the student movement in Colombia, the need for solidarity and bringing political exile Imelda Daza-Cotes on a speaking tour in the United States.

Open Letter by Colombian Political Prisoner Liliana Obando: A new witch-hunt against the Political Opposition in Colombia

This is an open letter written by Colombian political prisoner Liliana Obando. For more info on the campaign for her freedom, see the Colombia Action Network website and the other articles about Liliana Obando on this website.

Open letter by Liliana Obando
A new witch-hunt against the Political Opposition in Colombia

Women’s Prison, Bogotá, Colombia. September 3, 2008

As at no other time in the life of the nation, the loss of credibility of public institutions now has a direct correlation with the mafia style of governance.

Para-politics is the crime of bribery that favoured Uribe’s re-election; it is the links between government officials, the district attorney office and State security with the cartels of the paramilitary mafia; the failed “process” of demobilization of the paramilitaries and the strange extradition of paramilitary bosses closing off the possibility of knowing the truth demanded by their victims; the repeated attempts of the government to undermine the autonomy and the independence of the justice system particularly, the Supreme Court of Justice; the politicization of the office of the Attorney General in favour of the government; the military incursions outside the national territory and the unfortunate diplomatic handling of matters with the progressive governments of the region. These are just some elements that provide evidence of the lack of governability in the country and call into question the existence of real democracy. Continue reading