Trial begins for official charged with murder of Jaime Garzon

A trial for the 1999 murder one of Colombia’s best-known public figures, journalist and television personality Jaime Garzon, began this week in Bogota.

Jose Miguel Narvaez, the former deputy director of the now-defunct security agency DAS, is standing trial for aggravated homicide, more than 14 years after Garzon’s death.

Prosecutors are alleging that Narvaez organized the assassination by enlisting Carlos Castaño, the founder of the right-wing paramilitary group AUC, to put out a hit against Garzon. Castaño was convicted in absentia in 2001 of masterminding the plot and remains the only person to have been found guilty in the case.

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6 suspected meth smugglers captured, set for extradition to US

Six men alleged to be involved in the selling of ingredients for making narcotics were captured on Tuesday in a joint operation by Colombia’s Police and the United States’ Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

In what was the culmination of a three year-long investigation, code-named Operation “Structural 007,” conducted in coordination by the two countries’ authorities, the men were apprehended simultaneously in Bogota, Armenia, and the Bello municipality of Antioquia.

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3 FARC guerrillas killed in action in northern Colombia

Three members of the FARC’s 58th Front were killed during an army operation in the north of Colombia on Monday, according to an official report.

The report says that heavy fighting was instigated by the 58th Front’s third in command Luis Fernando Marin, alias “Franco,” in the Nudo de Paramillo area, a mountain range that covers parts of northwestern Antioquia and southern Cordoba.

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Colombia ranks 54th in global study on elderly well-being

A report on elderly well-being developed by HelpAge International and the United Nations Fund for Population and Development (UNFPA) puts Colombia in 54th place out of 90 countries included in the study.

The Global Index of Aging, released on Tuesday on the UN’s International Day of Older Persons, was the first research paper of its kind to measure the quality of life and well-being of elderly people across the world. The report analyzes factors such as income, health, education, employment and age-friendly environment in each country using data from global agencies including the UN, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

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Statue of Colombia salsa legend Joe Arroyo inaugurated in Cartagena

A statue of one of Colombia’s most famous singers, Joe Arroyo, was inaugurated in his hometown of Cartagena on Monday.

The tribute to the salsa singer, who died in 2011, was unveiled in a ceremony in the ancient square of public enterprises in the city center. The city’s mayor Dionisio Velez Trujillo was present at the event to pay tribute to one of Cartagena’s proudest sons.

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Colombia and Panama pledge increased cooperation in defending common border

The governments of Colombia and Panama made a public agreement on Monday to increase coordination in countering organized crime and guerrilla insurgency along their common border.

This after the two countries recently signed a free trade agreement, the central focus of which was improving border security and anti-smuggling measures.

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Representative reports intimidation to authorities

A Chamber of Representatives member on Monday denounced threats to publish evidence allegedly showing him sexually abusing children as an attempt to discredit him with a “dirty campaign.”

Hernando José Padauí, ex-president of the third commission of the chamber, said to authorities that he is being made a victim of extortion, blackmail, libel and slander.

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