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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Human Rights Investigation into the 1980s Murder of Thousands of...
19 Jun 2004
...Colombian Political Activists Moves Toward Conclusion~ Interview with John Lugo, of Colombia Action, conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
Human Rights Investigation into the 1980s Murder of Thousands of Colombian Political Activists Moves Toward Conclusion

Interview with John Lugo, of Colombia Action, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The nation of Colombia has suffered through one of the world's longest running civil wars, which has claimed over 40,000 lives and displaced millions over the past 40 years. On June 15, 34 workers were massacred on two remote ranches in La Gabarra, 300 miles northwest of Bogota. The mayor of the town says it appears to be the work of FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country's largest guerrilla group. Almost 20 years ago, thousands of members of Colombia's progressive Patriotic Union party (or UP by its Spanish initials,) were systematically killed by forces connected with the government. Twelve years ago, the head of a Colombian human rights group, Reiniciar, which means "to start again," began investigating the murders. The case is now being reviewed by the Human Rights Office of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. The commissioners have recently affirmed that there is sufficient evidence to bring a charge of genocide against the Colombian state.

John Lugo was a student organizer in Colombia during the 1980s who joined the UP. Soon after becoming active with the party, he was arrested by the government. He was later released, but received repeated death threats and fled to the U.S. Lugo now lives in Connecticut, where he remains active in the struggle to bring peace and justice to Colombia.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Lugo about the origin of the Patriotic Union Party, its platform, and what human rights activists hope they will achieve in their efforts to hold government officials accountable for the thousands of UP members murdered.

John Lugo of Colombia Action Connecticut is also a producer at WPKN radio. To support Colombia Action's efforts or to get more information, contact them at colombiaactionct (at) Additional information on the human rights situation in Colombia can be found at

Related links:

"Another 40 Years?" by Garry Leech, Colombia Journal, June 7, 2004

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc.
(c)2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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