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Colombian academic speaks about armed conflict and human rights

published 21 December 2016 updated 6 January 2017

Together with Education International Deputy General Secretary David Edwards, Colombian academic Miguel Ángel Beltrán discusses challenges to the implementation of human and trade union rights in his country.

In the second episode of EdVoices, the new podcast series from Education International (EI), Miguel Ángel Beltrán, expresses his gratefulness for the solidarity he received during his time in jail. Beltrán was acquitted of all charges and released from his eight-year sentence by the Colombian Supreme Court in July 2016, after more than a year in prison.

During the three years he spent in jail in total, he was buoyed up by the support he received, especially from EI, the Argentinian Federación Nacional de Docentes Universitarios and the UK’s University and College Union, as well as colleagues in Ireland and the US.

Beltrán’s issues with the Colombian public authorities date back to 2009. He was removed from his position at the National University of Colombia because of his views about the armed and social conflict in his country. He is still banned from serving at any public universities in Colombia. Beltrán had undertaken a study on the FARC rebels (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), interviewing both sides of the conflict - the Government and the rebels’ organisation - which is rarely done.

In the podcast, Edwards and Beltrán also touch on the Colombian academic’s ‘odyssey’ to attend the international conference organised by EI in Africa, and reiterate the need to protect the rights of minorities everywhere.

EdVoices, EI’s new series of podcasts, brings news and analysis from around the world to teachers, educators, policy experts, and all those interested in learning more about education.

This podcast was recorded during EI’s 10th Higher and Further Education and Research Conference, held from 14-16 November in Accra, Ghana. This podcast is in Spanish.

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