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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Colombian Historian To Address Human Rights

German Miguel Plata Diaz, a historian, human rights worker and community development worker from Barrancabermeja, Colombia, will visit UMass Boston December 12 to discuss the extremely difficult work of his organization, the Program of Development and Peace of the Magdalena Medio.

Paramilitary organizations have, for the past two decades, waged war against civilians, and committed vast human rights violations in Colombia. The Program of Development and Peace is made up of civil rights workers who are against the war in Colombia and stand for democracy, civil rights, and human rights. The organization is based in Barracancabermeja, referred to as the Sarajevo of Colombia, and is a very dangerous place in the world to be working in such a field.

Two of the organizations defenseless workers were brutally murdered recently by paramilitaries, which are said to work in coordination with the Colombian military (which receives large amounts of aid from the US).

The US, knowledgeable of the human rights atrocities, should stop aid to Colombia, according to the group. Plata Diaz’s organization asserts that the Colombian government and the United States have an obligation to defend people from the violence in Barranca, but they do nothing to stop the paramilitaries from waging war on civil society. Barranca is controlled by the paramilitary. They cut off the people’s communications and have forbidden them to leave the city. If anyone speaks out against the treatment of the people, they will be murdered.

German Miguel Plata Diaz will be on campus Wednesday, Dec 12 from 4-6, in the University Faculty Club on the 11th floor of the Healy library. He is sure to give an informative, telling and emotional lecture detailing the work of his organization and the human rights abuses in Colombia. Noam Chomsky will speak as well. The forum is organized by the UMass Boston Human Rights Working Group. For more information, email [email protected].