Colombia Solidarity Campaign

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Urgent action: Leaders of Colombian Wayuu People Go into Exile to Escape Violence Print
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Urgent Actions
Thursday, 25 February 2010 13:22


Last October, Wayuu Indigenous leader Karmen Ramirez Boscan was in London as a guest of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign. She came to Britain for the AGM of mining multinational BHP Billiton, which is one of the three multinational owners of the Cerrejon coal mine (the other two are Anglo American and Xstrata. All three are listed on the London Stock Exchange. The largest shareholder in Xstrata is the private Swiss company Glencore.) Since returning to Colombia, Karmen and her colleagues have suffered threats from paramilitaries for their organisational work and their criticisms of the Cerrejon mine's operations. Karmen's organisation, Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, has issued the following Urgent Action.

ESPANOL

 

Leaders of Colombian Wayuu People Go into Exile to Escape Violence and Criminalization

3 indigenous leaders from the Fuerzas de Mujeres Wayuu (FMW) (Force of Wayuu Women) movement   have recently been forced to leave their territory in order to protect their lives.  Their work in defence of their territory, as well as their international denunciations about the operations of transnational companies in their territory, have resulted in them being threatened by paramilitaries and the criminalization of their activities. Several members of the Organización Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu have become the target of investigations and extrajudicial followings, by the Uribe government in response to their work. This has all become a lot worse in the last few months.

One of the women who has been forced into exile recently participated in the Climate and Social Justice Caravan in Europe during the mobilizations around the Copenhagen climate Summit.  Another of the persecuted leaders is a health and medicine coordinator in the village of Cuatro Vías. This is where the train which transports coal from the Cerrejon open pit coal mine passes by. The companies which form part of the Cerrejón coal complex are: BHP Billiton, Anglo American Plc, Glencore  and Xtrata.

 

In the beginning of February 2010, the UNHCR - UN High Commission on Refugees -, together with the MAPOEA-Support Mission for the Peace Process in Colombia, and the Early Warning Systems from the Defensoría del Pueblo carried out a fact finding mission in the Alta Guajira to document militarization by paramilitary groups and the violation of the Wayuu People's human rights. Despite this monitoring, the Colombian government continues to show a complicit indifference, leaving the leaders no other option but to go into exile and necessitating that they demand formal Protective  Measures from the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).   Below is a detailed document in which the organization presents their situation and calls for international solidarity.

The Colombian organizational alliance, Force of Wayuu Women [La Alianza Organizativa Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu,] calls upon the Peoples of Latin America and the World, and on public opinion throughout the world, to denounce the recent harassment that the collective is experiencing. The situation has resulted in members of this movement being forced to leave Colombia and move to Venezuela.

BACKGROUND:  

1. Risk Report No. 002 [Informe de Riesgo No. 002] for Maicao, dated the 27th January 2009 (from now on referred to as IR. No. 002-09) issued by the Defonsoria del Pueblo's Early Warning System [Sistema de Alertas Tempranas (SAT) de la Defensoría del Pueblo] explicitly mentions the fact that the women and men leaders of the Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu (FMW) movement, are vulnerable to aggression and attacks by armed groups. This is due to the organizational work that they are carrying out, involving their participation in various national and international fora where where they have denounced the human rights situation of the Wayúu people.

The report also highlighted the fact that some of the organization's activists have been systematically subjected to threats and intimidations, already for some time.   

2. In the same vain, with Risk Report No. 017 of the Intermediate Reach for Riohacha and Dibulla, dated 9th July 2009 [Informe de Riesgo No. 017 de 9 de julio de 2009 de Alcance Intermedio para Riohacha y Dibulla] (from now on referred to as IR. No. 017-09-A.I), the  Defensoría del Pueblo reiterated once again that the women and men leaders of the SJW-FMW are at high risk. In particular, the report concludes that one particular section of the Wayuu communities especially warranted protective measures, namely the women and men leaders of the movement Sütsüin Jiyeyu Wayúu - Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu (SJW/FMW) who live, and carry out their political activities, in Riohacha and Dibulla. In the last weeks, every time that they carried out political and organizational work in La Guajira concerning defence of territories and the rights of the Wayúu victims to access the truth, justice and reparations, as well as when they were critical of megaprojects, the leaders were followed more often and experienced an increase in harassment, intimidation and threats by the illegal armed structures that exist in the wake of the demobilization of the AUC. These armed actors perceived their demands and struggles as getting in the way of their interests.   

3. Furthermore, the above mentioned IR. No.017-09-A.I indicates that the Wayúu communities located in the area of the Caribbean Trunk Road [Carretera Troncal del Caribe] especially on the route between Riohacha  y Dibulla and Wepiapaa, Santa Rosa and Las Delicias Reserve, to mention just a few places, are at risk. This is due to the serious territorial dispute which is currently underway between rival illegal armed structures that exist following the demobilization of the AUC. According to the IR. No. 002-09, and for reasons cited above, this means that the Wayuu communities in the corregimientos in the border area with Venezuela, Carraipía and La Majayura are especially at risk, as well as some other different neighbourhoods. [note: this is a Colombian legal administrative term, that approximately translates in English to village level authority]  

THE FACTS:  

The reports issued by the Defensoría del Pueblo by way of its Early Warning System [Sistema de Alertas Tempranas] warned of the risk faced by members of FMW. In May 2009, two women from this organization received death threats. This led to their decision to leave the territory. Despite the fact that one of the women has now returned, they have both had to restrict their movements. The recent threats have meant that three other members of the organziation also find themselves forced to leave the territory. With its complicit silence, the state institutions have shown complete apathy concerning the recommendations contained in these reports. Such behaviour is very typical of the Colombian "democratic security" government.   

Levels of fear are increasing. The following members of the organization Force of Wayuu Women [Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu] have become victims of extrajudicial investigations and are being followed by the Colombian army, because of "supposed links with groups classified as terrorist": Karmen Ramírez Boscán, Leonor Viloria and Linnei Ospina. This is due to their international work denouncing and intervening about the impacts of transnational companies, the armed conflict and the destructive policies that the Colombian government pursues against indigenous peoples. The fear of losing their freedom or of being killed by armed actors, due to the seriousness of these false accusations has forced these members of the organization to leave their territory. Some remain in Colombian, others have left the country. In this respect, Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Envoy about the situation of human rights defenders, issued these preliminary conclusions following her visit to Colombia in September 2009: "a fundamental reason for the insecurity experience by human rights defenders lies in them having false accusations levelled against them and their systematic targeting by government functionaries [which accuse them of being] "terrorists" or "members of the guerrilla".

We denounce the systematic extermination and marginalization of indigenous peoples in Colombia and the persecution and murder of their leaders, in a country where genocidal and repressive operations occur against these peoples. By way of an example, it is worth drawing attention to the fact that according to the Constitutional Court's auto 004, 34 indigenous Peoples are at risk of being displaced, due to factors relating to the war. The Wayuu are amongst these peoples. 4 million people throughout the country have been forcibly displaced and are victims of massacres by the paramilitary, the army or the guerrilla.    In July 2008, the Peoples' Tribunal [Tribunal de los Pueblos] in Colombia levelled charges against the Alvaro Uribe Vélez government consisting of genocide against the indigenous peoples and for criminalizing their resistance movements. It must be emphasised that indigenous peoples have been, and continue to be, repressed and threatened, suffering assaults, raids and the loss of their liberty.   

DEMANDS:  

-       For the above reasons, we call upon the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) to seriously consider implementing Medidas Cautelares for the board members of Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, as well as the local Wayuu communities which belong to FMW in La Guajira. [note: Medidas Cautelares is a specific legal mechanism to formally ensure that Protective Measures are applied].  

-      We demand that the Colombian government puts in place protective measures for those members of the Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu organization who remain in the territory at high risk, and also that it guarantees the safe return of the 4 members who have been forced to leave the territory. In this sense we demand that the Colombian Cancillería  convenes an urgent  meeting to concretize follow up to the Medidas Cautelares.  

-       We demand that the government of the Bolivarian Repúblic of Venezuela offers protective measures and the due assistance as envisaged in international agreements concerning refugees to the members of FMW who are already in Venezuelan territory. In the same way, we also demand that they receive appropriate differential treatment that not only takes into account the fact that they are women, but also that they are indigenous Wayuu People, where the women experience different levels of treatment and participation..  

-       Finally we make a fraternal appeal to national and international human rights organizations, to Diplomatic Missions and Corps accredited to work in Colombia, and to the Peace and Human Rights Commissions in the Colombian Senate that they write to the Colombian Authorities to demand that they act in accordance with the Constitution and honour the country's international commitments in terms of human rights and that they monitor the serious situation of the Wayuu People.  

 

"Porque en Wounmainkat, los Únicos Gigantes Somos los Wayuu"
"Becuase in Wounmainkat, the Only Giants are We the Wayuu"
Campaign for the Elimation of all forms of Violence Against Our Earth,  Wounmainkat Casa de la Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu Cuatro Vías, Maikou (Wajiira) 19th Febraury 2010  

Please direct your correspondence to the following addresses:
Interamerican Commission on Human Rights

President of the Republic (Presidencia de la República)
Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Cra. 8 No..7-26, Palacio de Nariño, Santa fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71 E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Defensoría del Pueblo Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz.
Calle 55 No. 10-32 Santa Fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+571) 640 04 91 E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

UNHCR, Colombian Office (Oficina del ACNUR en Colombia) Oficina en Bogotá D.C
Cll 113 N° 7-21 Torre A Of 601 Edificio Teleport
Tel (091) 6580600 Fax 6580602 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

UNHCR, Venezuela Parque Cristal, Piso 4, Oficina 4/4
Urbanización Los Palos Grandes
Avenida Francisco de Miranda
Caracas, Venezuela
Tel. (58 212) 286-3883 Fax (58 212) 286-9687 E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

EMBASSY OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA IN COLOMBIA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA EN COLOMBIA
Central Telefónica: (0057-1) 644.55.55
Embajador/Embajada: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Presidencia de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela
dggcomunicacional@presidencia. gob.ve
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  Defensoría del Pueblo de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela
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ESPANOL

http://colombia.indymedia.org/ news/2010/02/111712.php

La Alianza Organizativa Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, nos dirigimos a los Pueblos de América Latina y del Mundo, así como a la opinión pública mundial, para denunciar los nuevos hostigamientos a quienes conforman este colectivo. Estos hechos han causado la salida forzosa de miembros de este movimiento hacia territorio venezolano.

ANTECEDENTES:

1. El Informe de Riesgo No. 002 del 27 de enero de 2009 para Maicao (en adelante IR. No. 002-09) emitido por el Sistema de Alertas Tempranas (SAT) de la Defensoría del Pueblo expresamente señaló que las lideresas y líderes del movimiento Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu (FMW), están expuestos a las agresiones y ataque de estos grupos armados por el trabajo organizativo que adelantan y que ha significado su participación en variados escenarios nacionales e internacionales donde han denunciado la situación de derechos humanos del pueblo Wayúu y porque algunas de sus activistas, desde hace algún tiempo y de manera sistemática, han venido siendo objeto de amenazas e intimidaciones.

2. Del mismo modo, en el Informe de Riesgo No. 017 de 9 de julio de 2009 de Alcance Intermedio para Riohacha y Dibulla (en adelante IR. No. 017-09-A.I) la Defensoría del Pueblo reitera, una vez más, que las lideresas y líderes de la SJW-FMW están en alto riesgo, manifestando sobre el particular que; entre el sector poblacional concerniente a las comunidades del pueblo Wayúu se considera que ameritan medidas especiales de protección las lideresas y líderes del movimiento Sütsüin Jiyeyu Wayúu - Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu (SJW/FMW) que viven y desarrollan sus actividades en Riohacha y Dibulla, toda vez que el trabajo político y organizativo que vienen realizando en La Guajira respecto a la defensa del territorio, a los derechos de las víctimas Wayúu a la verdad, a la justicia y a la reparación, así como la formulación de un discurso crítico frente a los megaproyectos, les ha ocasionado que en las últimas semanas se incrementen los seguimientos, hostigamientos, intimidaciones y amenazas por parte de las estructuras armadas ilegales postdesmovilización de las AUC, las cuales al parecer perciben sus demanda y reivindicaciones como un obstáculo para sus intereses.

3. En el referido IR. No.017-09-A.I además se indica que las comunidades del pueblo Wayúu localizadas en el entorno de la Carretera Troncal del Caribe, especialmente en el trayecto comprendido entre Riohacha y Dibulla entre ellas Wepiapaa, Santa Rosa y el resguardo de Las Delicias por citar algunas-- se encuentran en riesgo debido a la fuerte disputa territorial que actualmente está teniendo lugar entre estructuras armadas ilegales postdesmovilización de las AUC rivales. Por su parte, por las mismas razones anteriores, el IR. No. 002-09 sitúa en un escenario de alto riesgo a las comunidades del pueblo Wayúu de algunos corregimientos del entorno de la frontera con Venezuela Carraipía y La Majayura, entre otros, así como de distintos barrios.

HECHOS:

En los informes emitidos por la Defensoría del Pueblo a través del Sistema de Alertas Tempranas, se advierte, la situación de riesgo de los miembros de la FMW. En mayo de 2009, fueron amenazadas de muerte dos mujeres de la organización, por lo cual decidieron salir del territorio, y que hoy, pese a que una de ellas ha regresado, ha tenido que restringir su movilidad. Las nuevas amenazas han provocado que otros tres miembros de la organización se vean obligados a salir del territorio. Las instituciones estatales han mostrado total apatía y un silencio cómplice muy propio del gobierno de la "seguridad democrática" colombiana, sobre las recomendaciones ahí contenidas.

El temor se hace más intenso, ya que Karmen Ramírez Boscán, Leonor Viloria y Linnei Ospina, miembros de la Organización Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, están siendo objeto de investigaciones y seguimientos extrajudiciales por parte de la fuerza pública,  por los "supuestos vínculos con grupos catalogados como terroristas", debido a la labor de denuncia  e incidencia a nivel internacional sobre los impactos de las transnacionales, el conflicto armado y las políticas lesivas del gobierno colombiano hacia los pueblos indígenas.  Lo que ha ocasionado la salida de miembros dentro y fuera de las fronteras nacionales por temor a ser privados de la libertad o asesinados por actores armados, dada la gravedad de las estigmatizaciones. Al respecto, Margaret Sekaggya, Relatora Especial de la ONU sobre la situación de los defensores de derechos humanos, en conclusiones preliminares luego de su visita a Colombia en septiembre de 2009, manifestó lo siguiente: "un motivo fundamental de la inseguridad de los defensores de derechos humanos radica en la estigmatización y el señalamiento sistemáticos de que son objeto por parte de funcionarios del Gobierno, [quienes los acusan de] ‘terroristas' o  ¨guerrilleros¨".

Denunciamos el exterminio sistemático, la marginalización de los pueblos indígenas y la persecución y asesinato de sus líderes en Colombia, en donde se llevan adelante operaciones genocidas y represivas contra estos pueblos. Sirva de ejemplo mencionar que, según el auto 004 de la Corte Constitucional de este país, 34 pueblos indígenas se encuentran en riesgo de desplazamiento, por los factores de la guerra, entre ellos el pueblo wayuu. 4 Millones de personas han sido forzosamente desplazadas y son víctimas de masacres por parte de paralimitares, ejércitos y guerrilla.

En Julio de 2008, el Tribunal de los Pueblos en Colombia, condenó al Gobierno de Alvaro Uribe Vélez, por genocidio de los pueblos indígenas y por criminalizar, sus movimientos de resistencia. Cabe destacar que los indígenas, han sido y continúan siendo reprimidos y amenazados, sufriendo asaltos, allanamientos y privación de su libertad.

DEMANDAS:

-       Por lo anterior, hacemos un llamado a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos - CIDH, para que estime seriamente, la ampliación de las Medidas Cautelares los miembros de la junta directiva de Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, como a las comunidades Wayuu de base que conforman a la Organización FMW en La Guajira.

-       Al Gobierno de Colombia, que adopte medidas de protección a los integrantes de la Organización Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, que aún siguen en alto riesgo por continuar en el territorio y que garantice el retorno de los 4 miembros que se han visto forzados a salir. En tal sentido solicitamos urgentemente a la Cancillería de Colombia una reunión para concretar el seguimiento a las medidas cautelares.

-       Al Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, que brinde las medidas de protección y asistencia contempladas en convenios internacionales sobre refugiados a los miembros de FMW que ya se encuentran en territorio venezolano. De la misma manera, se solicita un tratamiento de impacto diferenciado, no solo por la condición de género, sino, por la condición de ser indígenas del Pueblo Wayuu, en donde las mujeres tienen otros niveles de tratamiento y participación.

-       Finalmente, hacemos un llamado fraternal a las Organizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales de DD HH, a las Misiones y Cuerpos Diplomáticos acreditados en Colombia, a las Comisiones De Paz y Derechos Humanos del Senado de La República que le escriban a las Autoridades Colombianas para exigir que cumplan con la Constitución y los compromisos internacionales en materia de DD HH y monitoreen la grave situación del Pueblo Wayuu.


"Porque en Wounmainkat, los Únicos Gigantes Somos los Wayuu"

Campaña por la Eliminación de todas las formas de Violencia contra Wounmainkat - Nuestra Tierra

Casa de la Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu

Cuatro Vías, Maikou (Wajiira)

19 de Febrero de 2010

 

Favor dirigir los comunicados a los siguientes correos y direcciones:

Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Presidencia de la República

Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez,

Cra. 8 No..7-26, Palacio de Nariño,

Santa fe de Bogotá.

Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Defensoría del Pueblo

Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz.

Calle 55 No. 10-32

Santa Fe de Bogotá.

Fax: (+571) 640 04 91

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Oficina del ACNUR en Colombia

Oficina en Bogotá D.C

Cll 113 N° 7-21 Torre A Of 601 Edificio Teleport

Tel (091) 6580600 Fax 6580602

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ACNUR Venezuela

Parque Cristal, Piso 4, Oficina 4/4

Urbanización Los Palos Grandes

Avenida Francisco de Miranda

Caracas, Venezuela

Tel. (58 212) 286-3883

Fax (58 212) 286-9687

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

EMBAJADA DE LA REPÚBLICA

BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA EN COLOMBIA

Central Telefónica: (0057-1) 644.55.55

Embajador/Embajada: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Presidencia de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela

dggcomunicacional@presidencia. gob.ve

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Defensoría del Pueblo de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela

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