Saturday, July 29, 2017

Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP Calls For Reconciliation, Non-Violence, and Justice in Colombia

Alert of July 27, 2017
The Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy (REDLAD) denounces the systematic assassinations of leaders and leaders who have been registering since last year in Colombia. Likewise, it condemns and expresses its deep rejection of the threats that members of the National Victims' Bureau belonging to Social Organizations and of the Corporación Viva la Ciudadanía de Colombia, as well as several leaders and social leaders of the Colombian regions, have received from the Last June because of its defense of the peace process and the demand for the construction of a Social and Democratic State of Law.

On July 13, the Colombian Ombudsman's Office informed the country that according to its investigations there are 52 leaders murdered in 2017, and if the 2016 cases are added, as the UN has denounced, the figure reaches almost 180. Especially in Areas where the FARC previously operated and which are also part of territories of different indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities, some of which today are under constant threat from other groups outside the law that have occupied the places of power of the FARC. Demobilized guerrilla.

On the other hand, "on 22 June 2017, through an e-mail, the National Bureau of Victims belonging to Social Organizations, several of its leading organizations and leaders and the Corporación Viva la Ciudadanía, we received a threat from the Group called the Capital Block of the Black Eagles, as it has been several times in the past; And on Sunday, July 23, some of us received text messages on cell phones with accurate personal references that endanger our integrity and that of our families, "said the statement issued by Corporación Viva la Ciudadanía on July 26 .

In connection with the above, the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation has authorized a tool (see here) that allows establishing the number of selective violence cases that have been presented in the different territories of Colombia, from the year 2013 to date.
REDLAD, as a platform for civil society organizations, activists, social and political leaders, academics and journalists in the region who defend democratic principles and human rights of all people, calls for alertness and urgency and therefore :

We demand that the Government of Colombia take all necessary measures to protect the integrity and life of the people who have been the object of threats, which the Corporación Viva la Ciudadanía and other social organizations have denounced.
We request the competent authorities of Colombia to undertake the pertinent investigations to find those responsible for these threats and the murders, and to bring them to justice.

We urge international organizations and the Inter-American Human Rights System to pay special attention to this serious humanitarian situation.

We demand the Government of Colombia and other competent authorities to protect and respect the territories of indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and other rural communities that are being affected by this situation, in coordination with their traditional authorities and organizations.

We invite civil society organizations, activists and political and social leaders of the continent to stand in solidarity with the people and organizations threatened.
It is the duty of everyone to protect the integrity of these people and to defend the peace process in Colombia that has saved thousands of lives.

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