Sudden Return to Bogota

A few days ago, Colombian union activist and friend Ms. Liliany Obando, was rearrested and thrown back into prison.  In some of my earlier blog posts, between 2008 and 2012, I documented the long and torturous path Ms. Obando had gone through. A single mother of two young children she had been jailed in a hell hole prison for over three and a half years on trumpted up charges of supporting “terrorism”.   Finally released two years ago to house arrest and a $400,000 US fine, she has now been rearrested.  Just days ago she was asked by a judicial officer of some sort to accompany him to an “interview”.  Once she had involuntarily left her apartment, she was thrown into a solitary confinement jail cell, and charged with breaking her house arrest conditions by leaving her apartment.  She feels she is being blatantly revictimised because of her unflagging opposition to the prison and government authorities.  She is a very brave women, who deserves our support.  

On Wednesday I received an urgent email from her support group, the International Network in Solidarity with Colombia’s Political Prisoners (INSPP), asking that I go to Bogota immediatey to act as a human rights observer/shield for her and her family. So 24 hours later I was in Bogota with her family, and visited Ms. Obando in a former Colombian secret service (DAS) jail and torture center. She was on a hunger strike, but ended it today after she fell due to weakness, striking and injuring her head.  We are now trying to get her medical attention and legal assistance. There seems to be a jurisdictional tug of war going on between some court authorities, who want to release her, and the prison authorities and government, who want to hold on to her.  If any of my Spanish speaking friends would like to help, please feel free to phone Ms. Obando’s judge, Madam Martha Jahel Amezquita, at 011-57-2846527, and  politely ask in Spanish, that she release Ms. Obando back to her family.

To follow her situation please check out the INSPP’s website at http://www.inspp.org/ or her Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freedom-for-Liliany-Obando/670291979732741

Liliany Obando

Liliany Obando, one of Colombia’s 9500 political priosners

Whlie I was here I took the opportunity to attend the Communist Party of Colombia’s annual La Voz fiesta.

"The Left Lives!" and is alive and well in Bogota.

“The Left Lives!” and is alive and well in Bogota.

I brought along my Lenin cap and shaved accordingly, so I was very well received by the Colombian comrades.

"Lenin" with Colombian comrades.

“Lenin” with Colombian comrades.

 I am often attacked and harassed by rabid Zionists because I am supposedly anti-Semetic, because they say that I am only concerned with attacking Israel, which obviously is not true.  But even in far off Bogota, I can not avoid remembering Palestine, as the main banner at this event called for Palestine’s freedom.  

True internationalist spirit in Bogota for Palestine

True internationalist spirit in Bogota for Palestine

A Bogota tee shirt, reminding us that Che stood with Palestine

A Bogota tee shirt, reminding us that Che stood with Palestine

It was a grand fiesta, and if you look to the left of the stage, you can see the guard towers, wall and cell  blocks of Bogota's main men's prison, so  some of Colombia's 9500 political prisoners could also enjoy the music and speeches.

It was a grand fiesta, and if you look to the left of the stage, you can see the guard towers, barb wired wall and cell blocks of Bogota’s main mens’ prison. The festival organisers brazenly held it next door to the prison, so some of Colombia’s 9500 political prisoners could also enjoy the music and speeches.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Bonnie Weiss on August 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Hi Kevin,

    Good to hear from you; it’s been a while, and I’ve been wondering where on the planet you are these days—although I know that wherever you are, you’re always doing important work of one kind or another!

    Also, thanks for your coverage of the La Voz festival; glad to see they are so vibrant. It’s one thing for the KKE to celebrate its newspaper (Rispostasis) with an annual festival in Athens, always attended by many thousands of supporters. For the Colombian CP to hold such an event, in spite of the much more repressive conditions there, is quite inspiring.   

    With deep appreciation for and in solidarity with all that you do, Bonnie

    >________________________________ > From: Kevin Neish >To: bonnie.weiss@yahoo.com >Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 3:54 PM >Subject: [New post] Sudden Return to Bogota > > > > WordPress.com >kevinneish posted: “A few days ago, Colombian union activist and friend Ms. Liliany Obando, was rearrested and thrown back into prison.  In some of my earlier blog posts betwen 2008 and 2012, I documented the long and torturous path Ms. Obando had gone through. A single moth” >

    Reply

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