Colombia Solidarity Campaign

- Fighting for Peace with Justice -

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Alert : MICOAHUMADO, BOLIVAR SUR

Alert : EARLY WARNING MICOAHUMADO, BOLIVAR SUR

The following organizations are issuing a warning due to the events outlined below: The Agromineral Federation of the South of Bolivar, Corporation Sembrar, The Chapter of Victims of Organized Crime of the State of Bolivar South, south of Cesar and Catatumbo.

Since Sunday 9 July 2017 on the outskirts of the village of Micoahumado in the municipality of Morales, Bolivar department, inhabitants have seen 4 men dressed in civilian clothes carrying large guns and they do not have any visible insignia which identifies them.

These people, according to the villagers, have entered some nearby farms and roads that lead to the village plaza

The presence of civilians carrying large firearms is creating unease and worry among the residents, as in March earlier this year, a series of actions of the Armed Forces, committed supposedly by the so-called called ‘lone foxes’, led to actions of judicialization of 14 social leaders and townspeople who were detained and until now are imprisoned without charge.

We call to the Human Rights organizations to recognize and denounce these acts and to demand the authorities to inform the community if these armed persons belong to an organization of State Security.

July 14 2017

The Agromineral Federation of the South of Bolivar, Sembrar Corporation, The Chapter of Victims of Organized Crime of the State of Bolivar South, South of Cesar and Catatumbo.

 

Heartbreak in Colombia: Assassination of leader.

Heartbreak in Colombia: BREAKING NEWS

Assassination of Afrodescendent leader taking part in the Patriotic March in the Municipality of Guachene
Department of Cauca, Municipality of Guachene Friday 14th July 2017

In the Jorge Eliecer Gaitán Neighbourhood around 11.45 am, when HECTOR WILLIAM MINA found himself with a friend, outside their home. Four armed men arrived, one of them said ‘Do it, it’s him’ and proceeded to shoot him with a firearm, probably a revolver.
HECTOR WILLIAM MINA was transferred to the Valle de Lili clinic but unfortunately died due to the gunshot injuries.

International Network of Human Rights ‘Francisco Isaias Cifuentes’
National Commission of Human Rights, Political and Social Movement
Patriotic March

 

Open Letter from Violeta Arango Ramirez

OPEN LETTER FROM VIOLETA ARANGO RAMIREZ to the PUBLIC 13 July 2017

(Hello friends, I am sending you a letter by one of the girls who has been imprisoned in the case of the bombing in the Andino Shopping Centre, Bogota. It explains well the whole case and the absurd show surrounding her and her peers.)

My name is Violeta Arango Ramirez, I am a sociologist, graduate of the National University of Colombia. On Saturday 24th June my life changed dramatically with a warrant for my arrest and a raid. Agents from the police intelligence department (SIJIN) and the police arrived at my house in the Chapinero district. Without understanding what had happened, in the anxiety and stress of the moment, my parents asked what was it about: I was wanted in relation to the terrible attack on the Andino shopping mall, accused of terrorism, homicide, conspiracy to commit a crime.

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The "military response" of the Government to Buenaventura: 300 wounded, 10 with firearms.

Buenaventura strike May 2017

Hard-hitting report from the human rights commission of the Buenaventura Civic Strike: excessive use of force, police infiltration, barriers to hospital treatment for the wounded, children at risk of violence by the police. This is how the report describes the "war treatment" for the civilian population who are on strike. The commission doubts the role of the Ombudsman.

 

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Abuses by the Public Security Forces during Buenaventura strike

1 Jun 2017 - 5:00 PM

 

By Alfredo Molano Jimeno


The Buenaventura Human Rights Committee has recorded nine people injured by firearms and stated that the Public Security Forces have been involved in these events.  President Santos has appointed as negotiator the Minister of the Interior, Guillermo Rivera.

After 18 days’ strike in Buenaventura and the government trying to normalise the situation, the Watchdog Committee for Human Rights - Civic Strike to Live with Dignity and Peace in Buenaventura - delivered a report with allegations of abuses carried out  by members of the Anti-riot squad (ESMAD) and the National Police.

With photographic evidence of the wounded, bullet shells and details of the way in which members of the Public Security Forces carried out attacks against the demonstrators, the Watchdog Committee presented the media with their report on the human rights situation  during the protests at Colombia's main Pacific port.

The inhabitants of Buenaventura are protesting the historic abandonment of the port by the Colombian state:  in recent years, armed groups have increased their struggle for the control of neighbourhoods, poverty affects 80% of the population as well as unemployment and illiteracy, which are around 60%.  In addition, the people of the port reject the political class that has run the local administration for decades, the selective killings and forced disappearances - even to the extent of  “casas de pique” [houses of dismemberment] which have been discovered and condemned by the people.

The human rights report warned that "in a joint action between the ESMAD and members of the SIJÍN (police intelligence) group in a white van, shots were fired at the communities that were at the ‘Place of Delights (Sabrosuras)’. This brutal action of the public security forces left six people seriously injured. The communities were demonstrating against articulated lorries passing through their territory.  The Committee had asked the National Government, at the negotiating table on 28 May 2017, to make these lorries subject to a 72-hour 'truce' of transit through their territory".

The document compiles information on nine people injured by gunshot impact and details hours, places and situations within which the facts were presented. It is important to highlight that all the wounded are under 30 years old and most are between 18 and 23 years old. Another one of the accusations set out by the Strike Committee is the excess of force with which the anti-riot squads acted in an area adjacent to a health centre.

"According to a health centre employee in the district of La Independencia  (employee of the District Hospital of Luis Abianque de la Plata), at approximately 2 am on 31st May, the health centre was filled with tear gas indiscriminately launched in the surrounding areas of the medical centre by ESMAD, affecting both patients and workers - medical mission - (three patients and approximately eight workers). The effects were so severe that one employee had seizures and several became ill" says the report.

The document adds: "the Public Security Force fired their weapons in the surroundings of the medical institution. At approximately 6.30am, the police entered with a wounded policeman injured during the confrontation with one of the demonstrators. This action indicates that the police were aware that there was a medical institution there.  Today, the health centre remains closed and staff says they cannot re-enter because there are no guarantees that they can provide the service. "

In the end, the Strike Committee has requested the accompaniment of representatives of human rights organizations, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the Attorney General and the United Nations. President Juan Manuel Santos has appointed the newly-inaugurated Minister of Interior, Guillermo Rivera, to be the voice of the government at the conciliation table which seeks to agree on the steps that will allow the Port to return to normal.

Source (in Spanish):

http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/nacional/abusos-de-la-fuerza-publica-en-el-paro-de-buenaventura-articulo-696513

 

YOUTHS IN VILLA RICA, CAUCA IN GRAVE DANGER Five murdered and five injured in the past two weeks

Paramilitarism, small-scale drugs trafficking, and armed political control create chaos in Villa Rica, Cauca. The victims are between 16 and 25 years old.

We, the undersigned human rights and social organisations, both national and international, denounce the grave human rights situation in the municipality of Villa Rica, Cauca. This situation is due to the strengthening of paramilitary groups and the appearance of a threatening leaflet, signed by the socalled ‘Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia’2, which continue to sow terror, anxiety and chaos in this municipality in the north of Cauca department, as well as in other regions around the country.

During the past two weeks the actions of these groups has resulted in five deaths and five injured.

The youth crisis in Villa Rica has been exacerbated by the lack of employment opportunities and difficulties in accessing education at secondary, technical and university levels. Unemployment, racism, poverty and exclusion are the main obstacles now stopping the tide of violence being reversed. Rather than an increased budget for security forces, the town needs increased employment opportunities and real political participation, as well as the right to a process which seeks their free prior and informed consent for projects which affect the social, political and economic life in the town.

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