The regional chapter of MOVICE in Sucre denounces harassments and threats to its members
Persecution of MOVICE and its members
The regional chapter of MOVICE in Sucre denounces harassments and threats to its members
In June 2009, Rogelio Martinez, Ingrid Vergara and Adil Melendez had received several threatening calls. On the 26th of June two men dressed in black, who were riding on a motorbike, were asking for Geney Pedro Arrieta in the place where he lives. According to witnesses one of the men was armed. On the 2nd of July Ingrid Vergara received a call from a private number where she could hear the melody of the song: "Nobody in the world is eternal." Hours later when reviewing her personal mail she found a message from firstname.lastname@example.org which invited her to her funeral on the 5th of July 5 2009 in the central cemetery of Sincelejo, together with the funeral of Pedro Geney Arrieta.1
Attack against a member of the Women Wayúu Force
Risk Report No. 017 from the National Ombudsman, dating from the 9th of July 2009 and refering to the Riohacha – Dibulla (Guajira) area reiterates once again that the leaders of the Wayúu Sütsüin Jiyeyu – Women Wayúu Force (SJW/FMW) are at high risk, saying on the matter that "among the population concerning the Wayúu communities the leaders of the movement SJW/FMW are considered to merit special protection measures." The 28th of July 2009 an explosive device which had previously been hidden by unknown in an empty lot, exploded next to the home of Leonor González Viloria, area coordinator for Territory, Environment and Biodiversity of the SJW/FMW. The device exploded when a homeless person passing by the place found the device and decided to manipulate it, causing serious injuries to one of his hands. The four Wayúu who were at that time in the residence, an aunt and three brothers of Leonor González Viloria luckily were not hurt.2
The regional chapter of the MOVICE in Antioquía denounces judicialization of the Social Movement in Medellín
Human rights defender Winston Galician Pamplona, member of the Foundation Sumapaz, was arrested on the 10th of June 2009 when he voluntarily appeared before the attorney, after having being notified on a judicial process against him that accuses him of forming part of the ilegal group PC3. The judicial process in which Mr Galician Pamplona appears also relates different social organizations, political parties, youth organizations and human rights organizations in the judicial police reports, testimonies from demobilized paramilitaries and requests for investigation by the judicial body. The organizations involved are: CUT, ADIDA, SINTRADEPARTAMENTO, Sintratabaco, Sintrapintuco, Sintraemdes, Classist Union Collective Guillermo Marin, Sintraunicol, SindeSena, Sintralimenticia, Escuela Nacional Sindical, Red Juvenil, the Communist Youth, the Federation of University Students and the Federation of Secondary Students, MODEP, Nueva Escuela Popular y Obrera, Corporación Bolivariana Simón Rodríguez, Corporación Cultural Colombo Cubana de Amistad con los Pueblos, Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Semillas de Libertad, Farmer's Association of Antioquia, Juridical Corporation Liberty, Sumapaz Foundation, Social Movement of Displaced People's, Instituto Popular de Capacitación, University Committee on Human Rights Gustavo Marulanda, and the Polo Democratica Alternativo and the Alianza Social Indigena.3
On the 2nd of July, two members of the Foundation Sumapaz, while leaving the office, noticed the suspicious presence of a couple that watched and filmed with a video camera the Foundation's office. The members of the Foundation continued their way and passed near the couple, noting that these were actually filming their office. The couple had no qualms whatsoever in continuing with the filming and then followed them on a motorbike.4
Degrading treatment against member of the Claretian Corporation Norman Peréz Bello.
On the 23rd of July in the town of Paya (Boyacá), members of the National Police, responsable with monitoring the "Ruta de Libertadora" arrested Edwin Perez Cataño Alexander aged 21, and member of the Claretian Corporation. They submitted him to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments, beating his head and body until he bled and lossed his consciousness. At the same time they were doing an interrogatory, in which they insisted Edwin had to provide information on an attack that had been realized the previous day and in which a police officer had died. The police searched him and his motorcycle, that later having several reparation material, including cables, which were marked as objects used in that attack. All his belongings were revised, they photographed him and the motorcycle on which he had been traveling and finally threatened to kill him, "one day you will have to give us only a small oportunity to do so”.5
Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Catatumbo region
Since the 29th of April about 200 people, women, children and elderly belonging to different villages of the Catatumbo region (Norte de Santander) have set up a humanitarian refugee camp, denouncing the grave humanitarian crisis they have had to face as farmers in these recent years, such as the violation of human rights and the lack of real alternatives for the community agreed on with respect to the gradual substitution of illicit crops, among others. After 30 men belonging to the Battalion Mechanized Cavalry Group No. 5 "General Hermógenes Maza" commanded by Lieutenant Munoz violated on the 18th of July 18 the territory of the humanitarian refugee camp, troops and a group of eradicators set up camp inside the territory of the Indian reserve in the Bari Motilón Brubucanina community. The troops remained quartered until the 22nd of July, after which they left at the request of the Bari community. On the 21st of July the same troops of Lieutenant Munoz uninstalled a banner at the entrance of the Humanitarian Refugee Camp, that indicated the Territory as a haven of peace, where presence of any armed actor it is not allowed. That same day an air force helicopter flew over at a low height taking photographs and filming several installations and people in the Humanitarian Refugee Camp. On the 22nd of July at 8:30 in the morning several members from the Infantry Battalion No. 13 "General Custodio García Rovira" under the command of Deputy Sergeant Sanchez were camped less than 100 meters from the Humanitarian Refugee Camp. This demonstrates once again the violation of the principle of distinction by the Public Force and the lack of respect for International Humanitarian Right.6
The Colombian government and palm companies evicted 123 peasant families from the village of Pavas (Bolivar)
The Inspector of Police of the municipality of the Rock in the southern part of the Bolivar Department, Omaldo García Capataz, ordered arbitrarily the eviction of 123 families, while representatives of the national and regional Ombudsman's Office opposed to the decision and requested a suspension of it. Members of the National Police and the Mobile Anti Disturbances Unit (ESMAD), on the 14th of July from early morning hours on, cordoned off the property, preventing the entry and exit of the inhabitants of the land and the persons accompanying them. After entering the community, destroying seven houses and looting the belongings of the peasants, they proceeded with the eviction of 123 families, among whom were several pregnant women, and approximately 100 children, including newborns.7
Paramilitaries take the town of Convention (North Santander)
On the 6th of July a security council was held by the commanders of the army and police of Convention. That same night the paramilitary group, calling themselves “Rastrojos” arrived at the town. On the 7th of July another Security Council was held and that same night the same paramilitaries installed themselves in different neighborhoods of the village, specifically in Kennedy, Doce de Enero, LLano Balón and Los Fundadores, the latter is a slum of families that were settled years ago displaced by paramilitary violence. It has been known that the commanders of these groups are Yober Hoyos who lives in the neighborhood Doce de Enero and Yurgen Alirio Rincon Alvarez who lives in Llano Balón. The community has also reported that the paramilitaries have been looking for several residents of the village of Honduras and already started the recruitment of rural youth.8
Verification Mission in Colombia “Agrofuels, benefits for whom?”
The verification mission was realized from the first until the 10th of July with the participation of some 30 international delegates and with the aim of verifying the the impacts of the agrofuel productionmodel in Colombia and produce a report aimed at proposing alternatives to resolve the global energy crisis. The mision had been organized among others by Salva la Selva / Rettet den-Regenwald Germany, Kolko eV – Menschenrechte für Kolumbien – Germany, Solidarité Socialiste – Belgium, Broederlijk Delen – Belgium, the Belgian Coordination by Colombia, COLPAZ, CENSAT – Colombia, PCN – Colombia, ONIC – Colombia, Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz – Colombia, Diocesis of Quibdó – Colombia, Via Campesina – Colombia, WOLA-US-Spain Ecologists in Action, Taula Catalana per la Pau i els Drets Humans, MUDUBAT – Spain Campaign "Do not eat the world", CCFD (Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development) – France, Mensen met een Missie / People with a Mission – Holland, CEO (Corporate Europe Observatory) – Holland, FIAN International, Friends of the Earth International, Network for Alternatives to Globalization and Impunity – Working Table Agrofuel Italy, HREW (Human Rights Everywhere) – Switzerland-Luxembourg and the Coordination Colombia.
Observation Mission of the human rights situation in San Vicente de Caguán (Caquetá)
The Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights “Caguan Vive” and MOVICE accompanied by several international and national human rights organizations held an observation mission between the 8th and 12th of July in the rural area of San Vicente de Caguan. The specific objectives of the mission were to accompany the rural and displaced communities in the region, as well as informing a national and international delegation on the human rights situation, education and health situation of the communities and collect cases on human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.
Tribute to victims of the massacre of Mapiripán (Meta)9
Between the 16th and 20th of July the Caravan of Memory for Life and Peace with around 450 participants, performed a tribute to the victims of the massacre of Mapiripán, after 12 years of impunity. On the 5th of July a threat signed by the "Black Eagles of the Bogota Bloque Mayor" was sent to the email of the leader of the National Coordination of Displaced Persons-CND, Rigoberto Jimenez. The message clearly stated that those involved in the Tribute to the victims of Mapiripan as well as those who were preparing the national march for internally displaced, had been declared "military objectives". During the Caravan of Memory for Life and Peace a member of the security forces infiltrated for a couple of hours the Caravan, interrogating and taking photographs of participantes.10
National Pilgrimage in Trujillo (Valle)
On the 18th of July the Association of Relatives of Victims of Trujillo opened a gallery of memory and at the same realized a demand to the Colombian State, asking it to punish the perpetrators of the hundreds of victims in Trujillo after nearly 20 years of legal processes.
Antimilitaristic Sound of the Red Juvenil
The 20th of July, Colombian Independence Day, also has been transformed by the Red Juvenil in a direct interaction of massive military objection and the struggle for the demilitarization of society for over 15 years. On the 20nd of July 2009 the Red Juvenil organized a “Antimilitaristic Sound” concert in Medellín. On the 21st of July, 6 people came to the headquarters of the Red Juvenil in Medellín asking for activists and workshops to be held in coming days. An activist met these people and informed them about the issues for which they asked. These people stayed for a while, some people in the organization reported that they entered several rooms in a suspicious manner. After lunch members of the Red Juvenil found that a laptop, belonging to one of the activists of the organization, had disappeared. Making several inquiries, the Red Juvenil was informed that the computer had been delivered to the person who collects the “safety protection” or the famous "vacuna" at establishments in the neighboorhood where the Red Juvenil's office is headed. In other words, the computer had been delivered to the paramilitaries who have tried to collect several times the “vacuna” at the agroecological store “Roots” that belongs to the Red Juvenil.11
Attorney General of Colombia Orders Investigation of Attorney's Corruption in Case against Carmelo Agámez of the MOVICE's Chapter in Sucre
The Attorney General of Colombia has ordered a criminal investigation against the second special attorney of Sincelejo, Dr. Rodolfo Martínez Mendoza, for alleged acts of corruption in connection with his baseless accusation of Carmelo Agámez, member of the regional chapter of the MOVICE in Sucre. In a formal resolution in which Dr. Martínes Mendonza is reallocated, the Attorney General repeatedly cited the concerns of Human Rights First on the lack of impartiality in the investigation against Agámez. Human Rights First had previously urged the Attorney General to appoint a new prosecutor to the case and release Agámez. Carmelo Agámez was charged with conspiracy and committing crimes with paramilitary forces and has been detained in Sucre in November 2008.12
Attorney in Cali serving impunity
The First Attorney delegated in front of the Superior Court of Cali, headed by Carlos Adolfo Millán Potes, decided to deny the appeal of the Public Prosecutor against the decision of the Human Rights Unit, to impose detention on the members of the National Police involved in the extrajudicial execution of the student Jhonny Silva Aranguren in 2005. On the 4th of August 2008 the Attorney General's Office concluded that: "From everything we heard in this hearing we can reach the conclusion that the testimonies that state that the ESMAD entered the campus of the university and that two of its members positioned themselves behind Jhonny Silva, one of them firing and causing the death of the student, deserve more credibility, because of the different versions, coherence, consistency and accuracy, contrary to the analysis that indicates the opposite. That is why we assume that in fact it is established that the person who killed Jhonny Silva was a member of the ESMAD, not yet identified, who was participating in controlling the disturbances that were taking place in the University that day."13
242 British parliamentarians signed a motion calling for a hold of all military aid to Colombia
A motion supported by 242 British parliamentarians argued that Britain should freeze all assistance to the Colombian army because of its involvement in "widespread and systematic killings of citizens." The motion, which has the support of all parties represented in Parliament, also expressed concern about the increasing number of unionists killed in Colombia. In March, the United Kingdom froze much of its military aid to Colombia, however, it still continues to deliver the so called anti-narcotics assistance. The new motion calls upon the British government to cease all military aid.14
Arrest warrants against the leaders of the peasant organisation ACVC are canceled.
According to the resolution dated on the 2nd of July 2009 and notified to the defending lawyers on the 13th of July by the Special Attorney's Office 37, the investigating authorities would refrain from imposing a security measure against the peasants Luis Carlos Ariza Niño, Miguel Cifuentes Ardila, Exehober Antonio Polanía, Eladio Antonio Morales Polo, Wilson Vega Castro, Gilberto de Jesús Guerra Hernández and Henry Palomo Roble, members of the Peasant Association of the Cimitarra River Basin (ACVC) unjustly accused of rebellion. Accordingly, it ordered the cancellation of arrest warrants against them waged during the investigation. He also lifted the arrest warrants for Marco Tulio Bustos Delgado and William de Jesús Agudelo Rodríguez, residents of the Valley of the Cimitarra River Basin, and Sandra Solano, who served as the Program Officer of the Development and Peace Programm of Magdalena Medio in the late 1990, and all had been linked to the same judicial process.15