Bogota, Colombia, February 16, 2012. The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) supports member of Congress and MOVICE member Ivan Cepeda’s actions before the United Nations denouncing human rights violations and the theft of small farmers’ lands in Montes de María, in the Carribean coast region of Colombia, by the company “Cementos Argos S.A.”
These actions began late last year, when Cepeda delivered a letter to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, explaining the company’s responsibility for land theft in the Montes de María region.
The illegitimacy of Argos’ purchase of 12,500 hectares of land in Montes de María, bought at absurdly low prices, is exacerbated by the fact that the region was severely battered by paramilitary atrocities in the 1990s.
Furthermore, Argos is part of the Clean Development Mechanism, which allows it to participate in the international carbon trading market. In order to participate in this program, companies must put in place ethics guidelines founded on human rights; Argos has clearly failed to implement these guidelines, as demonstrated by its actions in the Montes de María region.
Argos’s abuses in Montes de María is an example of the motivations for the mobilizations that will take place in the Colombian cities of Villavicencio (Meta department), Montería (Córdoba department), and other cities across Colombia and the world on March 6, 2012, International Day of Dignity for Victims of State Crimes.
MOVICE once again invites victimized communities, human rights organizations, farmers, indigenous people, students, those who have suffered land theft, internally displaced persons, and media outlets in Colombia, as well as communities across the world, to participate in this day of action; we also would like to stress that this mobilization is autonomous and independent of those carried out by the Santos administration.
En M6vida: March 6, 2012. Land theft: another State crime. For real and comprehensive land restitution.
National Movement of Victims of State Crimes