Comisión Ética

The Ethics Commission for Truth in Colombia; Communiqué No 22, March 2010

We denounce the defamation of Lorenzo Loncon, a member of the Commission, and defamation of the work of the Commission.
The undersigned are members of the Ethics Commission for Truth in Colombia, which is composed by 25 international figures known for their great sense of humanity and ethics as well as for their long experience of defending human rights. The work of the Ethics Commission is one part of the eight strategies used by the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes in Colombia (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado en Colombia). In representing the Mapuche people Lorenzo Loncon also forms part of this Ethic Commission, and under this condition he has already realized two visits to Columbia.

In September 2009, Argentinian media gave information about Lorenzo Loncon of the Mapuche nation, a member of the Ethics Commission for Truth, suggesting relationships between him and armed groups or guerillas in Colombia. The person who actually accused Lorenzo Loncon is Carlos Natalio Sapag, a mining businessman and the brother of the governor of Neuquen. Along with other landlords and without presenting any proof, he had accused the Mapuche people of supposed arms trade and conspiracy in order to violently take land for Mapuches from Chile and Argentina.

In accusing Lorenzo Loncon, Carlos Natalio Sapag specifically refers to a letter signed by Lorenzo supporting Senator Cordoba, stating the fact that in the letter uses the phrase “we appreciate that the guerilla of the FARC-EP is willing to exchange prisoners.” 1 The reasons for these allegations and false accusations are their own interests in the land of indigenous communities, such as those of the Mapuche people. We vigorously reject this accusation and want to clarify the motives of our colleague Lorenzo and his actions carried out during his visits to Colombia.

The first time he visited Columbia was in February 2007, attending a pilgrimage in commemoration of the forced displacements in the last ten years of thousands of people in Bajo Atrato, in the department of Choco. In this event he participated as a judge in the Permanent Tribunal of the People, which was carried out in the Cacarica region in the department of Choco. During the meeting, together with other commissioners, Lorenzo Loncon, listened to testimonies about displacement and struggles to recover ancestral territories. After this visit to Cacarica, Lorenzo also participated in the opening event of the Ethics Commission, which took place in the municipality of San Onofre, Sucre. In this event they realized a symbolic act in which the commissioners received testimonies of the inhabitants of the area who suffered from repression and violence by the paramilitaries and militaries.

The second time he visited was for the sixth visit of the Ethics Commission which took place in February and March 2009. In that occasion Lorenzo and other commissioners accompanied the Embera indigenous people and Afro-Colombians from the valley of Jiguamiando, Choco. They accompanied them during the First Consultation of the People about mine exploitation, that took place in Colombia between February 25th and 28th of 2009. He also took part in a meeting of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes on extra-judicial executions, which took place in Bogota. Afterwards he and two other commissioners travelled to San Onofre in the department of Sucre, where they got to know more about the process of the return of the peasant population to their land, and the recuperation of their land.

Lorenzo Loncon’s participation in these two visits to Colombia, in which he supported the victims as well as sharing his experience of struggling for land rights and defending human rights, has been very important and useful for the Ethics Commission.

As members of the Ethics Commission for Truth we publically denounce all threats, which are directly related to our working objectives, such as promoting humanization of the armed conflict in Colombia, as reported in Ethics Commission Communications No. 15 and 16. In this manner we support the humanitarian work by Senator Piedad Cordoba as well as those by the group “Colombians for Peace”. These have produced some publications, which are signed by several people on an international level, and which have also been published for example by the Popular Coordinator of Paris and a newspaper in Chile. We remind you that the humanitarian efforts made by Senator Piedad Cordoba are publicly published, and have had the support of the Colombian president in order to liberate some of the kidnap victims. Because of her efforts Senator Cordoba has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.   

We hope this communication clarifies the nature of the support by Lorenzo Loncon of the Mapuche people for the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes in Colombia and victims in general, a support for their legitimate demands for truth, justice and integral reparation, which are just those rights that victims all over the world are claiming.

Sincerely

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Premio Nóbel de Paz, SERPAJ; Argentine
Francois Houtart, teólogo, sociólogo, director del Centro Tricontinental (CETRI),  y miembro fundador del Foro Social Mundial, Belgium
Mirta Baravalle; Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, Línea Fundadora, Argentina
Bernardine Dohrn, abogada y docente en la Universidad Northwest Chicago, directora del Centro de Justicia para los niños y la familia; EEUU                                            
Elizabeth Deligio, Observatorio de la Escuela de las Américas; EEUU
Sean Hawkey. Consejo Mundial de Iglesias; Gran Bretaña
Mary Bricker-Jenkins, PhD, Miembro del Comité Internacional de Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; EEUU
Stephen Haymes, Universidad DePAul; EEUU
Eduard Nachmann, integrante de H.I.J.O.S. ciudad de Buenos Aires; Argentina
Rainer Huhle, Centro de DDHH de Nuremberg; Alemania
Dr. Gilberto López y Rivas, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia; México
Carlos Fazio, periodista, investigador y catedrático de la UNAM; México
Comisión Ética contra la Tortura en Chile (Santiago de Chile, Valparaíso, Temuco, Sur); Chile
Enrique Santiago, abogado, Instituto de Estudios Políticos de América Latina y África, España
Rick Upper-Chase, director ejecutivo del Presbyterian Peace Fellowship de la iglesia Menonita, Chicago; EEUU
Libertad Sánchez, Asociación por la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica de Mérida y Comarca; España
Miguel Álvarez, presidente de Serapaz; México
Enrique Nuñez, Enrique Pérez, Agrupación Ex – presos y expresas políticos; Chile
France – Amerique Latin; Francia
Tica Font, Directora del Instituto Catalán Internacional para la Paz; Espai Catalunya-Comissió Ètica; España
Antoni Pigrau, profesor de derechos Internacional, Espai Catalunya-Comissió Ètica, Spain
Comunidad de Santo Tomas de Aquino; España
Lorenzo Loncón, Werken; werken comunidad mapuche newen mapa, Pueblo Mapuche