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Friday, February 19th, 2010 - One comment

Colombia: Reactions to young people exploited by military

Different Colombian organizations share their points of view on the violence and armed conflict through videos, including those chronicling family members protesting the deaths of young men lured by the military under false pretenses.

Through citizen videos, different Colombian organizations share their unique perspectives on crime, violence and armed conflict, where it’s hard to tell apart the good guys from the bad.

False positives

First, mothers and family members show up to march against the armed forces impunity on the deaths of young men due to what has been called False Positives. In the latest false positive situation, it seems that military lured young men with promises of work to rural areas where they were then assassinated and passed off as guerrilla members killed in action. However, the 17 accused members of the military were released when the trial deadlines were not met.

Landmines and indigenous people

The second group is the Nasa indigenous community, who through their YouTube channel have the opportunity to tell a side of the story usually avoided by mass media. In this case, the mines, mortar shells and other weapons left on their indigenous preserve, which is in the middle of the disputed areas between legal and illegal armed groups. The indigenous security service has to frequently “sweep” the area, including houses, to dispose of these weapons left by both the national army and the guerrillas. In the video, they ask the armed forces to please stop laying landmines and to at least come and pick up the unexploded ammunition before the members of their indigenous community stumble upon them.

A plea from police

In this third example, a neighborhood newspaper interviews the police to ask for the end of the year balance. In the interview, titled “Watch out for the bad neighbor” the officer mentions an incident where members of a criminal gang lived in a well-to-do apartment building much to the surprise of the neighbors, smuggling out weapons inside duffel bags designed to transport tennis raquets. But what is surprising is the recommendation the officer has for anyone: keep an eye on your neighbors and if you see young men with lots of money living on their own, eating out most of the time and bringing attractive young women into their apartment, particularly if they look like call girls, they might be members of the mafia.

Do you know of any other communities and organizations who are using video to tell stories not covered by mass media or to share different perspectives on the stories making the news? Please share them with us through the comments or write me a note!

This post was originally published on Global Voices Online on January 20, 2010.

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The views expressed in this blog-post are solely those of the author.

Comments (1)

Thursday 1st July, 2010, 8:54am

Great Colombian Women should now Awake and show the military power that.. Whats power when we arise... Colombian Women

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Guest Editor

Juliana Rincon

Teacher and Writer, Global Voices Online


I live and work in Colombia, where I teach a course on emerging media to Communications students and I curate and write content for Global Voices Online on citizen uploaded video.

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