reports that 80 families, including some former members of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia — AUC) have been displaced by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia —
) in Choco. The demobilized have been living in the area since 2006, when Villa la Paz was established as a project to help reintegrate former combatants, who grow rice, corn and rubber. The former members of the Elmer Cardenas Bloc, which was commanded by alias “El Aleman,” are now facing threats from the FARC, which has killed two member of the community in recent days. The group has been forced to move to temporary shelters in the nearby town of Unguia while they wait for a response from the government. The displaced say they won’t go back to their territory, which is being occupied by rebels from the 57th Front, without security guarantees from the state.
A group of leftist parties in Mexico are joining forces to campaign against a proposal to give broad powers to the army and navy, and extend military control. The parties involved are the the PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party – Partido de la Revolucion Democratica), PT (Labour Party – Partido del Trabajo) and Convergencias, Animal Politico reports. Critics warn that the proposed National Security Law would give too much power to the authorities, and lead to violations of human rights. It would allow the president to declare a state of emergency and suspend certain legal guarantees, and let the government use whatever method it sees fit to do intelligence work, including intercepting and recording private conversations. This measures could be extended or modified if necessary. The bill will go before the Senate on Friday.
In other news, the security minister of Costa Rica, Jose Maria Tijerino, announced that he will step down this week following a series of public missteps. In the most recent incident Tijerino made the unsubstantiated claim that the Sinaloa Cartel was responsible for the deaths of a young couple in February, and was forced to apologize. The minister will be replaced by Mario Zamora, but President Laura Chinchilla said that Tijerino will continue working in national security in another role, Ticotimes reports.