Colombia Support Network Paz y Justicia / Peace and Justice Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:22:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Another Killing; Once Again Our Lives Are Attacked Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:22:20 +0000 (Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN Volunteer translator )

Once again our Peace Community looks to all humanity and to history to make a record of the latest deadly actions, the persecution, and the pain that our community and our neighboring social and geographic communities are being subjected to.

On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, during the morning, the Commander of the Colombian Army’s 17th Brigade, Colonel Germán Rojas Díaz, at a public event at the edge of the City of Apartadó, insisted on the great importance of lifting the injunctive and provisional protections imposed by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in favor of the Peace Community. This is not the first time that a Colombian Government official has expressed that desire, nor is it unusual to hear this kind of ambitious audacity, loaded with bitterness against the Peace Community’s way of life, from this Colonel. Not enough the fierce and malevolent persecution, and not enough the levels of stigmatization, blackmail and persecution that this Colonel has fabricated against our ideal of living together. We understand those very clearly, the reasoning and the purposes that this official falls back on to maintain himself in that military headquarters. His objective is to destroy us at any cost, including the lifting of the protective measures ordered by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in relation to the Peace Community.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, while three members of our Peace Community were traveling from the urban center of Apartadó to the Community’s settlement at San Josecito, they were confronted by agents of the National Police on motorcycles. The Police subjected the members of our Community to a shakedown, and then wrote down in a notebook the license number of the vehicle they were in. This is powerful evidence of their methods of pillage and persecution that they have gone back to using against the members of our Peace Community.

On Thursday, September 10, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., two members of our Peace Community were traveling from San Josecito to the urban center of Apartadó when they were confronted by agents of the National Police in the Alfonso López neighborhood of Apartadó. There they were “registered” and photographed by agents of the Police, who claimed that they could do whatever they felt like doing, that they constituted the authorities, and that they were above any decision of the Constitutional Court, in total contempt of Decision C-1024/2002 which prohibits the armed forces from performing “registrations” and provides: “this Court held registration of the population to be unconstitutional even when it is carried out in so-called “theaters of military operation”, because that kind of registration is not authorized either in normal conditions or in exceptional conditions.”

On Friday, September 11, 2015, several campesinos coming from the town of Mulatos, in the District of San José, were present in the town of Playa Larga in the same District when they were confronted by some paramilitaries dressed in military uniforms and carrying rifles. They insisted that the residents of the towns of Mulatos and La Resbalosa were guerrillas and FARC militants whom they would not allow to travel there again because, according to them, the campesinos were doing intelligence work for the guerrillas.

On Monday, September 21, 2015, at 12:00 noon, the campesino ERNESTO GUZMAN was murdered. He was the father of five children and a resident of the town of Playa Larga in the District of San José. According to the campesinos from around there, the paramilitaries killed him with several gunshots, with the complicity of a murderous government. With one more killing, once again our lives are attacked.

On that same Monday, September 21, 2015, at 3:00 a.m., in the settlement of San Josecito, two men dressed in dark clothing tried to enter the home of a member of the Internal Council. When they weren’t able to open the door and when they heard the shouts of the people inside the house, the intruders ran away.

We emphatically reject any action that kills and destroys life and we implore respect for that greatest human dignity: LIFE itself, and we implore that the bloodshed be ended.

Pain will never make us give in; rather it will give us strength and give us moral values so that, day by day, we can build a world that is inclusive, just, and decent.

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

September 22, 2015

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

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PEACE IS POSSIBLE, URGENT, AND NECESSARY Tue, 08 Sep 2015 18:27:09 +0000 A Communication from the Bishops of the Pacific Coast of Colombia

July 16, 2015

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The bishops of the Colombian Pacific, belonging to the ecclesiastical jurisdictions of Istmina-Tadó, Quibdó, Guapi, Tumaco, Buenaventura, Apartadó, and Cali, declare to national and international public opinion our concern about the current situation in this region, and we propose some commitments that ought to be put forward so that we can achieve the stable and lasting peace that the residents of this territory hope for.

The Pacific regions continues to experience profound social conflict. Basic needs unsatisfied, the high incidence of poverty, and the human rights crisis have been traditional in both urban and rural areas of the Colombian Pacific. The lack of access to health care, education, decent housing, basic sanitation services, employment and development incentives for the campesinos and the working class has shaped a marginalized and poverty-stricken civilian society that is crying for justice and begs to see itself freed from such scourges as displacement, confinement, persecution within their own territories, drug trafficking, illegal mining, and extortion.

This panorama of suffering is made worse by the constant presence of the armed groups that have made the Pacific into a war zone in which the inhabitants are victims of the combat and the constant threats to their autonomy.

As a result, we declare that the desire for peace in every sector must be firm, authentic and persevering, and we propose the following commitments:

The National Government

The Colombian community must recognize the efforts of the national government to reach a negotiated solution o the armed conflict that the country is experiencing. In these difficult times that the country is passing through because of the increase in disturbances of the public order, the dialog must continue and we must not give in to the pressures that call for military action as the only solution to the armed conflict. It is absolutely urgent to get beyond the armed conflict by resolving the social conflict. Because of that, social investment must be aggressive and effective, so as to close the social barriers that separate the Pacific Coast from other regions of the country. Military actions to defend the interests of the citizens, well and good, they are legitimate, but they must be carried out in such a way that they do not do physical, psychological or social harm to the civilian population. In the same sense we have to remember that all of the members of the armed forces must work in compliance with International Humanitarian Law and carry out actions that are effective and that avoid illegal and corrupt behavior, and that guarantee punishment of those members who damage the image of the institution.

Civil Society

Colombian civil society must make a definite choice for peace. No argument can justify war as a normal path for a people. As Pope Francis has said: “War is the mother of all poverty.” It is up to Colombian civil society to promote change in the current economic model in this country. It is an extractivist model that removes their riches from the territories and favors the concentration of capital in certain regions of the country, in multinational companies and national economic groups. To focus on a solution to the armed conflict, Colombian society must be in solidarity with our poorest people.


The country received with hope the decision of the FARC to enter into a process of dialog with the national government. In the midst of some opposition, public opinion has supported the dialog process. We observe that the greatest support came when the FARC announced a unilateral cease fire and proposed effective cooperation in removing the land mines in Colombia. Still, their latest violent actions against the civilian population and that have done serious damage to the environment are a setback in their volition for peace. As pastors of the Church, we invite the FARC to stop their incremental strategy toward violent actions and to be coherent in their “relaunching of the dialogs in Havana”. No more attacks on transportation, energy, or water supplies. No more destruction of nature. All those things are an attack on peace.


The inhabitants of the Colombian Pacific cry out to the ELN to start immediately with the process of negotiation with the national government to make real the desire for peace that they have expressed at certain times. It is important for them to consider the possibility of presenting their proposals through the exercise of politics and not through armed actions. The Church of the Pacific invites them publicly to take this courageous and necessary decision to make serious progress toward the end of armed conflict in our country.

The Church of the Colombian Pacific

The individual churches of the Colombian Pacific region commit ourselves to continue preaching the God of Life. He “has come that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10, 10). We will keep on accompanying our communities, working to defend the victims, working to promote and defend the human rights of the inhabitants of this region of the country and in close collaboration with the social and ethnic organizations. Once more we choose peace, because we are disciples and missionaries of Him who has told us: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5, 9) In the midst of the marvelous biodiversity of this rich and beautiful territory, we will continue to cultivate respect for the environment, for this “our common home, that we ought to protect with responsibility and love” (Pope Francis).


Archbishop of Cali Apostolic Administrator in Apartadó

Bishop of Istmina – Tadó Bishop of Tumaco

Apostolic Vicar of Guapi Bishop of Quibdó

Bishop of Buenaventura

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In our August 12, 2015 statement on the murder of Afro-Colombian leader Gilmer Genero Garcia we did not allege that the FARC guerrillas were responsible for the murder of this well-known community leader in the municipality of Tumaco. But we did say that if the FARC was responsible for his murder, then it seemed to us that Genero’s murder violated the terms of the ceasefire agreed upon in the talks between the FARC and the Colombian Government in Havana. Today we learn that the FARC through the spokesman alias Pablo Catatumbo have accepted responsibility for Genero’s murder. We believe it is now essential for the FARC leadership to recognize that the murders of civilian community leaders such as Genero constitute a violation of the terms of the cease fire to which the FARC have agreed and that they should promise not to threaten or carry out violent acts against community leaders in the Colombian countryside.

We are also concerned about reports of widespread threats against civilians in the municipality of Tumaco. Some of these are being attributed to the FARC by residents of the area. In addition, we have received reports of substantial drug-trafficking being carried out in Tumaco. We encourage the participants in the peace discussions in Havana to recognize that Tumaco, or to name another place where violence and threats against residents are common—Buenaventura, are part of Colombia and residents there must receive the same protections agreed upon for residents in other parts of the country. To be effective the agreement in Havana must not be applied in a piecemeal manner.

John I. Laun, President of the Colombia Support Network, on behalf of its Board

Madison, Wisconsin, August 24, 2015

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The military (and police) criminal justice system: justice that isn’t justice Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:12:33 +0000
(Reason for the People)
To know what’s really going on in Colombia

Source :
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Open criticism of a law made to order so that the military and police in Colombia are judging each other, in cases of serious crimes as well as minor ones. A law intended to create impunity and make a charade of justice.

By Michael Reed Hurtado


People are talking about the military criminal justice system (JPM is the Spanish acronym.) again because the government has just approved a new component of that legal device. It broadens and strengthens the military criminal exemption: Statute 1765, approved July 23, 2015.

This statute adds to the existing Military Criminal Justice Code (Statute 1407 of 2010), which is in effect but has not been enforced. The requirements in the new law are mundane. They partially regulate the bureaucratic and administrative labyrinth of the JPM. The fill it with agencies that are fashionable in criminal law and they organize a parallel (but inequitable) system to the existing justice system that investigates, prosecutes, and punishes members of the military and police.

Statute 1765 is just part of the 180-degree shift in the JPM that the government is pushing. Because they were not able to do it by changing the Constitution (Legislative Act No. 02 of 2012) which the Court found to be unconstitutional, (Decision C-740/2013), they are doing it by changes that appear to be less dramatic.

This wave of reforms seems to be moderate and restrained, but it’s full of legal tricks and holds firmly to the purpose of broadening and strengthening the exemptions for military and police who are tried by each other and under rules that only they can understand.

The new law is part of the legal armor against a basic principle of international and constitutional law that isn’t popular in Colombia. Under that principle, the JPM can only be used for that conduct that by its nature is contrary to legally protected interests in military order.


By means of tales, euphemisms, comparisons, ambiguities, and a lot of repetition, the JPM has been incorporated into the Colombian legal and political world as an accepted juridical concept.

But in reality the JPM is not a court and is not part of the judicial branch. It is more like an instrument of the executive, of the Armed Forces and of the Police.

For a number of years the government has been trying to expand the coverage of the JPM and use it to protect the military and the police involved in criminal proceedings in the civilian justice system. Although it wasn’t easy, it looks as if they have finally achieved their goal.

But the costs are extremely high. The bases of the rule of law have been violated, including the principles of separation of powers, of due process (judgment by a competent tribunal) and of transparency and accountability.

The new statute is part of the remodeling of the JPM, decorating it with new institutions like the Attorney General’s criminal unit for police and military, and a Technical Investigation Group for police and military, so as to create a parallel universe of supposed prosecutors, investigators, judges, defense counsel, and even special military prison guards.

Instead of making sure that there is a competent and independent investigation of illegal acts by those serving the public, the new rule strengthens the Defense Ministry so that is employees and staff, with modern criminal nomenclature, can conduct an internal probe carried out by the peers of those being investigated.

Since the Technical Investigation Group (CTI is the Spanish acronym.) in the Attorney General’s Office doesn’t serve their interests, they created a new group of military and police investigators. This group supposedly will investigate and provide the elements that are necessary for JPM investigations. But there is a detail that distinguishes this group from the Attorney General’s: it is dependent on the Ministry of Defense.

The administrative bodies created by this statute are expensive monstrosities intended to wash the dirty linen in-house. The whole scaffolding of the JPM is not set up to judge the crimes typically committed by the military, but rather to cover up serious crimes that result in corruption and illegal violent acts committed by members of the Armed Forces.

Putting this statute into effect (with the institutions it creates) along with the accumulated effect of the legal and administrative changes in the Ministry of Defense, will be disastrous for human rights and public administration.

The legal juggling and nit-picking cannot change the fact that the JPM is an administrative department of the Defense Ministry. No matter how much they dress it up and put on make-up, the JPM will never have the organic independence that is required to administer justice.

The separation of powers is a premise of the rule of law that cannot be rendered null and void by martial music or by rhetorical ornaments. The autonomy and independence of the administration of justice cannot be reduced to mere declarations; it requires specific guarantees so that investigators and judges are genuinely impartial, instead of acting with “esprit de corps”.


There is nothing particularly scandalous in Statute 1765; its wording is humdrum and its content is utterly boring. But for those who have followed the debate, the various earmarks and snitches in the labyrinth of agencies dependent on the Defense Ministry and who administer justice jump out at you.

For constitutional experts it’s clear that the JPM is the exception and the ordinary civilian justice system is the norm. Nevertheless, after all of the legal errors and the public debates rigged and managed, the norm doesn’t seem to be that clear.

Many people (people with influence or decision-making power) have fallen for the scheme or have pushed the story that the exception could turn into the rule if JPM succeeds in looking like a system of justice. Statute 1765 of 2015 is part of an elaborate manipulation that ends up subverting the Constitution and international law to make the exception into the rule.

Little by little, the law is being twisted by “military necessity” or they argue the interests of the “internal conflict” to justify something illegitimate. To repeat, the majority of Colombians have begun to believe that the JPM is part of the judicial apparatus. Fiction has turned into reality and an administrative Frankenstein has been allowed to rise up and walk.


Broadening the reach of the JPM is justified because “only a soldier can judge another soldier” every time that his actions are taken because of extra special considerations that we civilians could not possibly understand.

Using this logic, the bankers would have to be judged by bankers; only doctors could judge doctors, or only bishops could judge a priest accused of pederasty.

The JPM covers crimes allegedly committed by active military and police against public administration, against lives and against the civilian population, among others. Besides the crimes that are specific to military discipline or military service (reasonably assigned to the JPM)—such as insubordination, disobedience, desertion, or abandonment of guard duty—the new and revitalized JPM assumes competence over destruction (of civilian property, such as hospitals or archives), homicide, embezzlement, theft and all common crimes when they are considered to be committed in relation to the service. Clearly, the military and police are seeking to be judged by different standards and by an administrative system that depends on their Ministry when they commit crimes while in the exercise of their functions.

Put in another context, this arrangement is a corrupt mayor’s dream: stealing “in the framework of his functions” (that is to say, taking advantage of the fact that he is the mayor) to be able to be investigated and judged, not by an institution of the justice system, but by a hearing before his peers, who will be able to understand the pressures and the difficulties confronted by a burgermeister.

Besides that, in these cases, the punishment will be made to order, in a jail made and run by jailers who understand the offender, something that is just as absurd for the mayors as it is for the military. And nevertheless, that is what they have sold us and what is now part of Colombian law.


As things stand now, unless the Constitutional Court defends the basic values of the rule of law, the fantasy continues to be reality, and the JPM (which does not have jurisdiction) will administer justice for the military and the police.

All of this is both unusual and scandalous, but it has been normalized and it doesn’t bother anybody. The protectors of the JPM are more scandalized about the criticism of their monstrosity than the citizens who will have to be up against this exaggerated deception.

In this space I have referred mainly to justice by the military for the military, but it’s worthwhile to remember that the monstrosity also affects the special kind of justice by police for police, a camouflaged justice, parallel, a species of para-justice.

This whole monstrosity was not set up to investigate and prosecute crimes that are typical for the military. That has always been the case and nobody doubts that. The changes were made so that the JPM can cover up the crimes commonly committed by the military and the police as part of their service.

They have created an administrative mechanism carried out by their peers to investigate and prosecute public officials who commit crimes in the exercise of their duties. It’s no more and no less than that. It sounds terrible, but that’s the absolute truth.

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The Strategy of the Government of Colombia for Santurban : A Swindle Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:53:08 +0000 (Translated by John I. Laun, a CSN Volunteer Translator)

Source : Movimiento Civico Conciencia Ciudadana (MCCC)
Author : Erwing Rodriguez Salah Founder and Spokesperson of MCCC

The Strategy of the Government for Santurban: Change the Limits which Have Already Been Established”

“After denying the license because the project would do damage and because the citizenry demanded it, the government reopened the door — and while doing that enlarged the area available for all of the mining companies. It simply will change the limits of the areas which require protection. An authentic swindle.”

A Well-Known History:

Four years have not been sufficient for the Santos government to resolve the conflict over the paramo of Santurban and the water of Colombians. The case of Santurban is paradigmatic because it establishes the model for the remaining paramos and other strategic ecosystems which are vital for Colombia. Ominous antecedents announce the decision of the Santos government (which says one thing and does another) to start its mining locomotive moving in Santurban and its complementary ecosystems, without contemplating the effects on water.

In 2010 the government carried through the Angostura project when it contemplated open-pit mining in Santurban, not taking into account the fact that it is a paramo. If it were not for the social mobilization and the national debate which this project provoked, the license would have been granted without any difficulty.

But the Greystar Company finally desisted and the government, “very dignified”, denied the request to desist as well as the environmental license in 2011. But the company announced a short while later that that it would undertake mining in an underground manner under the name Eco Oro with the complicit silence of the government.

Why did Santos permit the mining companies to continue exploring (as if the exploration would not also cause damage) if it were going to deny the environmental license for mining? This confirms that if there had been the will, the government would already have—at least—resolved the legal vacuum if the environmental license were not necessary for exploration.

Later the previous concept of the Ministry of Mines (in 2011) for the declaration of a National Regional Park (PNR) of Santurban sought to exclude the limit of 3,400 meters above sea level in the Jurisdiction of California, “taking into account that this zone is not an area of priority for conservation”, in benefit of mega-mining, at the same time as the government said “not in paramos”.

In fact the concept of the Humboldt Institute for declaring of Santurban as a PNR called attention to the fact that the Autonomous Corporation for the Defense of the Plateau of Bucaramanga (CDMB) had increased the height from 3,000 meters to 4,000 meters, appealing the recommendations of the Ministry of Mines, “without elements of judgment based upon biophysical information which evaluates the said variation in the light of the proposed objectives of conservation.”

The New Strategy:

Given the legal impossibility of carrying out mining in paramos, the government conceived the “best invention” to give the mega-mining companies an open road to their plans: ”re-delimiting these paramos, “delimiting” that which s already been delimited.

The Director of the Humboldt Institute, Brigitte Baptiste, in declarations to the magazine “Semana” in 2013 affirmed categorically that “Colombia does know the limits of its paramos.” And yet the prior Minister of Environment, Luz Helena Sarmiento, pretended to sell to her fellow people from Santander the “delimitation” of Santurban as a ”sublime triumph”—this, however, being a pyric victory or that of a deceit, since the delimitation of 44,000 hectares does not guarantee the protection of the water of residents of Santander, since a large part of this bio-geographical unit remains unprotected and at the mercy of the mining companies.

Only the CDMB has under its jurisdiction more than 66,000 hectares, plus 15,000 hectares of the corregimiento (local governmental land jurisdiction) of Berlin which, supposedly, it is going to include within the “delimitation”. In addition, it is calculated that with the new cartography at a scale of 1:100,000, the area of the paramos in Colombia increased by about one million hectares. The possibilities of manipulating a line of delimitation with an area of 44,000 hectares in favor of the mining companies are infinite.

Technical Concept 503 of the National Authority Of Environmental Licenses (ANLA) contradicts the government, since it shows that the paramos are delimited. This Concept, based upon Resolution 0937 (2011) that businesses which carry out exploration in paramos enter upon “altoandino” (Andean highlands). Nonetheless the government continues with its proposal of “re-delimiting the territory.

Notwithstanding the general rejection which the “express environmental licenses” produced, the government reduced the time of issuance and made the process oral, “without neglecting rigorousness” (sic), as Minister Vallejo confirmed, which is by all lights a utopia. This is the best cocktail in favor of the mining companies: the “re-delimitation of the paramos” together with the “fair of environmental licenses.”

Decree 2041(2014), which annulled Decree 2820mof 2010, leaves open the possibility for projects which propose to intervene in the paramos to request a prior concept of the Ministry of the Environment “concerning the sustainable use of said ecosystems.” But it is well known that, because of their vulnerability, there cannot be sustainable mining in the paramos.

For the Water of the Future:

Although the National Development Plan (PDN) of the Santos government, to achieve “coherence”, ought to ratify Article 202 of the previous PDN (Law 1450) on the protection of the paramos, the water produced by them, which 70% of Colombians consume, cannot depend upon a “small article”. If the government wishes to assure that there is water for all Colombians, it will have to annul the provision on the “new delimitation” which the government itself intends to put in, calling upon the sophism that the mega-mining will contribute to create employment in impoverished zones, when it is well known that large-scale mega- mining uses capital goods above all.

Article 202 of the mentioned Development Plan asks that the paramos be delimited “based upon technical, economic, social and environmental studies…” But since when do economic and social studies replace the delimitation of nature or technical and environmental studies? Paramo is paramo.

Paragraph 1 says that “in paramos there cannot be mining activities of exploration or exploitation (removal of minerals)”, but in reality—and with the government’s complacency—the mining businesses continue in the paramo, waiting for the added provision of the “delimitation” to “delimit” what has already been delimited in their benefit.

Decree 2372 of 2010 stipulates the special protection that strategic ecosystems such as the paramos should have, since as “water factories” they are irreplaceable and their environmental benefits or the quality of life are immeasurable. But the Colombian state infringes upon the principle of precaution, which had been sacred since 1993 (Law 99).

It is most simplistic and erroneous to see the ecosystems of paramos as a simple limit of meters above sea level (another fallacy that they have tried to sell to us), when the concept of paramo goes way beyond that. Unscrupulous persons wait for the “delimitation”, betting that outside of that they can devastate as they wish. Others, of the same ilk, see in the artificial pond of Tona the perfect argument to convert the Surata river basin into a sewer.

Under the fundamental premise of conserving water for future generations the government has the legal and moral obligation to revoke the environmental licenses already issued (and if it is the case, investigate who issued them) and to deny applications for licenses for projects which propose to intervene in said ecosystems. Speaking frankly, every mining project which is above the intake pipes of the aqueducts put at risk the water of citizens.

Another sophism by which the government seeks to defend its measures is that the mining in Santurban has existed for several centuries. But it must be remembered that that involved mining a small scale, the impact of which cannot be compared with that of mega-mining: the latter could devastate in 15 or 20 years that which the previous mining did not devastate for centuries. As far as the sophism of “responsible mining” is concerned, it is not possible within a vulnerable paramo.

Al Gore insists that there are strategic ecological zones which should not be subjected to development projects (intervenido). But President Santos responded to Al Gore saying that “the title which conveys a right to exploration for minerals does not automatically concede the right to mine (explotacion)”. However, the government speaks of the rights acquired and the legitimate expectations of the mining companies, when from the same words of Santos one infers that they invested on their own account and at their own risk.

The rights acquired by the mining companies should not have primacy over the right to water and life of future generations. On this point Al Gore was totally convincing when he affirmed that “You residents of Santander have a dilemma with Santurban: take out the gold, in benefit of a few, or guarantee potable water for the citizens. You cannot arrive at a worse future scenario than when your children reproach you saying what were our fathers thinking about when they permitted mining projects to be approved in Santurban?”

Colombians ought to be alert because, possibly, the government will pretend to make as a gift to the mining companies the “delimitation of Santurban” in our December holidays.

Santos ought to be coherent with his peace process, since the defense of water is a way of obtaining a durable peace, and even more so when it is foreseeable that future wars will be fought for the vital liquid.

If the government crystalizes its “great invention”, “delimiting” the paramos with biased arguments in order to be in the good graces of mining companies, it will end up depriving water to the next generation of Colombians. Would this be coherent with the banner of peace?

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OPERATION COVER – UP Sat, 15 Aug 2015 17:30:55 +0000

NATION August 1, 2015 10:00 p.m.

Operation Cover-Up

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

SEMANA reveals audiotapes that demonstrate the strategy used by members of the military jailed for false positives to disrupt the investigations and, above all, avoid anything that might taint the higher-ups.

(There are more than 3,000 soldiers charged with false positives. Only ten of those are colonels.)

The conversation is explicit, revealing, and above all, extremely serious. It took place in the middle of this past June. Two members of the Army are talking. They are both confined in different penal institutions, charged with the extrajudicial executions known as false positives.

The first one is José Torres, a career soldier, jailed since he was captured five years ago by the Attorney General’s Office and charged with the murder of a campesino that he presented as a FARC guerrilla when he was attached to the Fourth Brigade in Medellin. He is also involved in 32 other cases of killings in units that he was part of. The other speaker is an unidentified noncommissioned officer who is also incarcerated and charged with killing 12 people entitled to protection.

Torres tells his old comrade that he is negotiating a plea deal with the Attorney General’s Office, because he knows it will be inevitable that he will be charged with the 33 murders and he would rather confess and try to get some kind of reduction in his sentence. “They’ve already found me guilty, but if they need my testimony, I’ll just make up some shit,” he tells Torres, his friend at the other end of the line. “We won’t mention the cases you know we’re mixed up in, we’re talking about me, the soldiers and the commanding officers. The trouble is that that Prosecutor 66 came over and showed us your testimony and you implicated the whole sonofabitching world. Torres Old Man, this whole situation is a big fuck-up. We’re stabbing you and you’re stabbing us. This war is all fucked up. Just shut up, we aren’t going to say anything about you. If they call you, say: I don’t know anything. The same as what Lt. Moreno did when the time came. But most of all don’t finger any colonels, don’t finger anybody. Major Hernández will have to give the same statement. He got off easy because we helped him out,” the noncommissioned officer told Torres, his voice sounding worried.

The call lasted several minutes and the whole time the two soldiers were blaming each other. The man who called Torres insisted on persuading him not to snitch on his old comrades, the ones he committed the false positives with. But most of his concern was directed mainly at persuading him not to let the prosecutors know about the role that the officers, especially the colonels had played. As part of the plan to “rescue them” he asked Torres to lie and to blame the murders on others. “Say that it was one of those paramilitaries from Chiriguaná and that will do it. The one they knocked off (killed) some days ago in Aurora. Franklin, that sonofabitch, were going to say it was him. We have to say that we weren’t around for that killing. That’s what we’ve agreed to say,
the noncom told the soldier Torres.

For a while, the conversation between the two men becomes tense and some threats are exchanged. “You only have some ten or 13 charges. I have 33. Don’t think I’m fighting this by myself. In reality, we are the ones who know how we did it. I got the guys and you’re the ones who killed them,” Torres told his old comrade in arms when the caller was pressing him.

Army spokesmen consulted on these calls told SEMANA: “Everything having to do with the legal proceedings is the responsibility of the Attorney General of Colombia and of Colombian judges. It is Army policy to comply with court decisions and to cooperate with legal requirements and that is what we have done.”

Since the scandal of the so-called false positives exploded in 2007 up until today about 3,000 soldiers have been arrested, and 815 of those have been convicted. The majority of those convicted are soldiers and noncommissioned officers. Of all those cases, only five colonels have been convicted. Three months ago, the Attorney General’s Office arrested and charged another five officers. This seems to show that in only one investigation the number of high-ranking military officers involved in false positives has doubled and is now up to ten.

The content of this conversation revealed by SEMANA shows that the strategy of “cover-up” explains why the responsibility for the majority of the 4,500 victims of false positives up to now has fallen on soldiers and low level officers, and very little on high-ranking officers.

The desperation and pressure of the man who called the soldier Torres also explains why, after years of investigation of the false positives, the Attorney General’s Office recently entered a crucial stage where prosecutors are starting to identify and charge those who were most responsible for those murders. The tactic of trying to avoid having the soldiers and noncoms testify and tell what their superiors did is revealed in these audiotapes.

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Las ZIDRES Another Failed Attempt Fri, 14 Aug 2015 18:41:39 +0000 Monday, July 27, 2015
By Enrique Herrera Araújo

(Translated by Steve Cagan, a CSN Volunteer Translator)

These special rural development zones did not work earlier in Colombia, and there is no reason why they should work now. Here are the reasons for this newly announced disaster.

Enrique Herrera Araújo*

A circular history

The Interest Zones of Rural, Economic and Social Development (ZIDRES for the initials of their name in Spanish Zonas de Interés de Desarrollo Rural, Económico y Social—SC), would be rural areas where the peasants could associate with big investors in order to further agrarian projects of mutual benefit. The Santos government expresses a lot of hope in these zones as a means of attending to peasants without land and at the same time promoting the necessary modernization of the countryside.

But as they were conceived in the proposed Law 223 of 2015, which was recently approved in the full Chamber and is on track in the Senate, they will suffer the same fate as the Entrepreneurial Development Zones (Zonas de Desarrollo Empresarial [ZDE]), created by Law 160 of 1994, of which in more than 20 years not one has been created.

That land is occupied although it is not legalized, titled or formalized, and under those conditions it would be difficult for big private investors to gamble on the ZIDRES.

Colombia has the tragic fate of repeating itself to the point of exhaustion, of choking on its deeds, of getting stuck and not moving forward, as if history were a kind of wheel that turns on itself, or like a dog that tries to bite its own tail, it moves in a circle without end or beginning.

That is how it has been up to now with the violence, with the rains, with the embezzlements, and with so much other “news” in this country of ours. It also seems that the same is going to happen with the ZIDRES.

The mistaken supposition

The projected law proposes that private initiative and investment should make possible rural development in certain abandoned and distant areas of the country, just as happened in the second half of the XX Century—although under other agro-ecological conditions and in locations closer to the centers of consumption.

The proposed Law 223 of 2015 will remain in the dead letter office for a number of reasons, but the main one is that it takes off from a mistaken supposition.

That moment marked the beginning of the modernization of agriculture, with the intensification of the use of machinery, the application of new technologies, the surging of a new entrepreneurial organization, and the international commercialization of products such as coffee, flowers, sugar cane, bananas and oil palm.

The intention to hand over rural development to private investors in those specific areas is valid and necessary (as long as it is regulated), and doubtless it is more urgent today, given the fiscal difficulties of the government, which is going to reduce the budget for the agricultural sector by practically 50 per cent between 2015 and 2016, from 3.3 to 1.4 trillion pesos.

That is why the ZIDRES project is pointing its energies towards Orinoquía and the High Plains, a territory that offers a broad availability of land suitable for agriculture where the cost per hectare continues to be low (although it has been increasing) and where there are great environmental riches.

Also, presently in that region there are
i. The absence of clear rules for private investment in the countryside,
ii. A high level of informality in the ownership of rural property,
iii. Judicial uncertainty about land, and
iv. Difficulties in incorporating the indigenous and black communities into productive alliances.

The ZIDRES are exactly trying to intervene in this type of area, classified as distant, with a low population density, high levels of poverty, with a great demand for investment in transportation and commercialization infrastructure, and that require, because of the low fertility of their soil and agro-ecological conditions, economies of scale and productive mega-projects that can maximize productivity and reduce unit costs.

But these goals will remain as good intentions, and it is with good intentions that the road to hell is paved.

The proposal takes as settled that the “unused” land where the ZIDRES will be created is empty, that those properties are unoccupied and that there is no one there who acts as lord and owner. But this is not true, and that is where the great error of this proposal lies.

This land is occupied even though it is not legalized, titled or formalized, and under these conditions it would be difficult for big private investors to take a chance with the ZIDRES. For that reason, before creating any “development interest zone,” a massive program of formalizing rural property would have to be carried out.

In that way judicial clarity would be offered about the property titles in a territory where they are lacking, and this would allow the peasant to negotiate his participation in a productive alliance with the entrepreneurs under better conditions.

The reasons for the failure

But there are other reasons that predict the failure of the ZIDRES:
• The proposed law does not present profiles of one or more association models for the productive alliances between the large, middle and small producers that would incorporate more that a Family Agricultural Unit ( Unidad Agrícola Familiar [UAF]) based on unused land, and that would respond to what was stipulated by the Constitutional Court in their Sentence C-644 of 2012, by which the peasant should not be separated from the land, that he should be engaged through his work in the activities of the project, share in the profits and improve his living conditions.

The proposed LIDRES law ignores the actors of the region.

The proposal says nothing about that Sentence and does not establish the rules of the game through which large-scale investment would get to the areas where there are many UAFs based on “unused” land and legal uncertainty about rural property ownership is common. This situation means that there is too much legal uncertainty in the world of business, where legal clarity is needed in order to invest.

Further; the lack of a regulated model of association owes itself to the well-known “incident” of Riopaila Castilla, Cargill, Mónica Semillas, Poligrow and other companies that fell into the accumulation of empty-land UAFs and that meant the resignation of Carlos Urrutia, Santos’ ambassador to the United States.
• The ZIDRES proposal plans to give concessions or to rent, but never to adjudicate or title the lands that are good for farming or animal raising.

That is, it wants to keep vast areas of the country in an informal status or as property of the nation, and in that case, the State would continue to be a property owner on paper.

Furthermore, the state should not continue holding on to areas that are good for farming or animal raising, and less so when the nation is the biggest landowner in Colombia, as it has more than 450 thousand hectares in the National Agrarian Fund (Fondo Nacional Agrario), even though those areas may be occupied and worked by others while the Colombian Institute of Rural development (Instituto Colombiano de Desarrollo Rural [INCODER]) and the Ministry of Agriculture are those who pay the real estate taxes.

Public policy should be aimed at titling of productive lands, and that the State release them in order thus to create a country of landowners. There is a separate issue when the areas in question are forest preserves, are under environmental protection or are militarily strategic. In those cases, it is true that the nation must hold on to them; but in other cases they must be legally handed over to the many landless peasants who exist in Colombia.
• In the agrarian policies of Colombia a dominant paradigm exists of centralized development, “from above” and with a view towards sectors. But this has not only not given the hoped-for results, but has even produced the opposite results.
That’s why it is not understandable why, knowing about the previous experience, the ZIDRES should be declared from Bogotá and in Bogotá. There, the Rural Agrarian Planning Unit (Unidad de Planificación Rural Agropecuaria [UPRA]) will carry out the technical study, the national government, through CONPES [Consejo Nacional de Política Económica y Social—National Council of Economic and Social Policy, a division of the National Planning Department—SC], will draw the boundaries of the zones, and the Council of Ministers will approve them by decree.
If the national government has been proclaiming to the four winds that rural development will have a territorial focus, the question arises: What role will regional and local institutions play in constituting the ZIDRES?
As things are planned, the department, the municipality, the agricultural associations and those of the peasants, the labor organizations and the Departmental Rural Development Councils (Consejos Departamentales de Desarrollo Rural [CONSEA]), among others, would be excluded from the decisions that they will be responsible for and that will affect them.

By and for the regions

That is why it would be opportune to bring into the mix what was written in the document Rural Development with a Territorial Focus (Desarrollo Rural con enfoque territorial—a UN radio broadcast in Colombia—SC) Of the United Nations: “The policy of rural development requires a great deal of knowledge, and this does not exist only among the educated technocracy of the central level: a great deal of it is there in the regions and localities of the country, in formal and informal organizations, in public and private agencies, in the research centers and think tanks in the territories, with their different visions and conceptions.”

The proposed ZIDRES law ignores the actors of the region, who are the ones who most know the territory because they have the closest reading.

Little will be accomplished if the occupation status of that land is ignored and if clear rules are not established for private investment in these originally unused areas, through models of association that include the peasant in terms of work and productivity.

Nor will things go very far if rural property ownership is not formalized and if the State tries to continue to be the title holder or owner of land that should be adjudicated.

* Lawyer, specialist in rural development and MA in public administration. Expert in land and rural development, and post-conflict advisor.

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COLOMBIA SUPPORT NETWORK’S STATEMENT ON THE MURDER OF GILMER GENERO GARCIA AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PEACE TALKS Thu, 13 Aug 2015 21:24:14 +0000 On Monday August 10, 2015 Gilmer Genero Garcia, a leader of the Afro-Colombian community in Narino Department, was murdered in the municipality of Tumaco. Residents of the area have indicated they believe the FARC guerrillas are responsible for Genero’s assassination. The FARC’s Mobile Column Daniel Aldana has had a substantial presence in the area for several years and since 2009 has reportedly controlled coca-growing there and carried out extortion of area residents. A FARC commander had threatened Genero with death nine months ago and when Genero’s sister was murdered 3 years ago the authors of the crime identified themselves as FARC members.

Genero’s murder raises a serious question: If the FARC are responsible for killing him, have they violated the terms of their ceasefire agreed upon in the Havana peace talks? Are the FARC guerrillas able to murder civilians like Gilmer Genero without violating the terms of the ceasefire they have agreed to in Havana? Does the ceasefire only apply to the FARC’s actions against the Colombian Army and Police forces?

We believe the answer to the first question is “yes” and the answers to the next two questions is “no”. The ceasefire must be considered to apply to actions against civilians as much as it does to state forces. We call upon the FARC to clarify their responsibility for the murder of Gilmer Genero and to state clearly that crimes against community leaders and other civilians constitute violations of the letter and spirit of the ceasefire they have supposedly implemented. If they carried out Genero’s killing, they should respond with information identifying the responsible individuals and make them available for prosecution. And we call upon them to forswear armed actions against community leaders and reaffirm their commitment to a general ceasefire.

We send our condolences to the family of Gilmer Genero and express our heartfelt hope that the attacks against and persecution of his family stop and those responsible for his killing be identified and prosecuted.

John I. Laun, President of the Colombia Support Network, on behalf of its Board

Madison, Wisconsin, August 13, 2015

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Renewed Controversy about the Responsibility of Generals for the False Positives Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:24:49 +0000 COLOMBIA REPORTING

Saturday, July 25, 2015


(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Today the question of the responsibility of high-ranking military officers for the extrajudicial executions is more urgent than ever.  Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced that this Wednesday morning in a report that accuses 16 generals of responsibility for the deaths of nearly 3,000 civilians, presented as guerrillas killed in combat.  Juan Manuel Santos came out in defense of the Armed Forces, while the Attorney General announced that he is carrying out judicial investigations to determine their responsibility.  Will the country be able to overcome the impunity of the extrajudicial executions?

Leading up to the HRW report was Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre’s statement to the media announcing that General Mario Montoya, former Commander of the Colombian Army, as well as three other retired members of the military, are being investigated for their participation in several false positives.

The Report

The Human Rights Watch report identifies current commanders of the Colombian Army and Armed Forces as responsible for numerous cases.  This document was prepared based on the testimony of retired Colonel Róbinson González, who is charged with corruption and with false positives.

Along with that, HRW’s press release asserts that his testimony had been analyzed and contrasted with criminal files and testimony of witnesses, as well as interviews with prosecutors, witnesses, victims’ lawyers and family members, among other sources.

This material was put together in spite of the fact that many of the cases of extrajudicial executions have been processed in the military courts, which suggests a significant level of impunity.

The Guilty Parties

General Mario Montoya is mentioned in the HRW report and in the Attorney General’s investigation. At least 44 killings are attributed to him, committed by soldiers under his command at the time he was in command of the Colombian Army, between 2006 and 2008.

Montoya was implicated by former paramilitary commander Diego Fernando Murillo Bejarano, alias “Don Berna”, for having directly coordinated the development of the military operation Orion, carried out in 2003, when Montoya commanded the Army’s IVth Brigade.  “The self-defense forces of the Cacique Nutibara Bloc arrived in Comuna 13 (the 13th ward) as part of the alliance with the Army’s IVth Brigade,” stated the paramilitary in one of the confessions he made under the Justice and Peace law.

The list gets more and more potent.  General Oscar González Peña, Commander of the Army from 2008-2010, is accused of knowing that soldiers under his command committed at least 113 murders of civilians whom they presented as guerrillas killed in combat.

In the same way, the report states that the investigations involve General Juan Pablo Rodríguez Barragán, who was the leader of the IVth Brigade and knew of actions in which 28 people were executed.  Today Barragán is the highest-level officer in Colombia.  He is the Commander of all of the Armed Forces.

Finally, the report states that soldiers of the IXth Brigade carried out 48 extrajudicial executions during the time that General Jaime Lasprilla Villamizar was in command.  Lasprilla Villamizar is the current Commander of the Army.

The legitimacy of Santos and the Armed Forces

Far from showing solidarity with the victims of the 3,000 cases of extrajudicial execution or from showing anything close to any doubt, or willingness to wait for the results of the judicial investigations, Santos gave a big pat on the back to the Armed Forces.  At the installation ceremony for the new Minister of Defense, Luis Carlos Villegas, the President said that he would defend the legitimacy of the Armed Forces “to the death”.

It is worth remembering that it was during the term in which Santos served as Minister of Defense in the Uribe administration that the first false positives scandal that made an impact on public opinion was brought to light.  At that time, the current President insisted that they were isolated cases of  “rotten apples” in the ranks of the Army.

What the President seems to forget is that it was just in that period in the government of Alvaro Uribe Vélez that this state crime reached its peak.  According to Attorney Sergio Arboleda, of the Sergio Arboleda Liberty and Justice Corporation, the executions were not isolated instances, nor were they caused by abnormal behaviors by some members of the Armed Forces.  “According to the Cinep report on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Rights in Colombia, there were 5,700 victims between 2002 and 2014 and the years of 2003 and 2004 marked the highest number of victims”.  In the case of the Pedro Nel Ospina Battalion, which presented an extremely high body count, in spite of being a Corps of Engineers dedicated to infrastructure and not to that kind of combat, it was evidence of a criminal enterprise in the Armed Forces.  In the case of that battalion, this year charges were brought against every member if its command staff for its responsibility for the extrajudicial murders.”  Arboleda added that this systematic practice has two clear objectives:  Presenting  results to prove that the war against the insurgency is being won, at the cost of murdering civilians, and earning rewards for the soldiers.

The Arboleda statements permit the conclusion that, in a system as rigid and organized as the Armed Forces, the superiors ought to know about the actions of their subordinates.  Even if that were not true, did the commanders never ask their soldiers about the insistent complaints, or even about the sudden jump in the body count?  Were there omissions on the part of the leaders? Did they never figure out that something very special was going on?

However that may be, Arboleda stated that every rank in the Armed Forces was aware of these practices and even promoted them by not intervening.  “That led us to build a relation between victimizing events and military doctrine that was designed to carry out actions not just against the insurgent forces but also against civilians, responding to the theory of the internal enemy.”

Impunity reigns

This is not the first time that the country finds out that high-level commanders in the Armed Forces are involved in serious violations of human rights.  As Attorney Sergio Arboleda has said, this was the modus operandi of the military commanders.  “The fact that the Attorney General’s Office is investing high-level military commanders causes complicated feelings for the victims, even though they are glad that, after they have insisted for 15 years, the legal system is listening to their requests.”

According to Arboleda, the risk that the cases will pass over to the jurisdiction of the Military Legal System continues to be high, with the congressional approval of broadening the military criminal privilege.  “Even though the situation of General Montoya is not isolated, it is part of a practice that has been going on for a very long time in the Armed Forces system.  We hope that the investigations have a result that is satisfactory to the victims.”

Up to now, they are few verdicts against members of the military at important levels of the Armed Forces command structure.  The question of whether this first announcement of investigations will arrive at a good solution remains open, especially when it is being carried out in the midst of the peace negotiations with the FARC.  It is hoped that there will soon be an announcement of advances in the dialogs with the ELN.  The goal of justice is to permit a new time in this country, where the victims are taken into account and the truth can be known.  Thus we can begin the path to real peace, which without doubt implies a profound revision of military teachings and of all of the Armed Forces as a whole.

Colombia Reporting

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Contamination and Thirst in the Magdalena because of the Multinationals and the Thaw in the Sierra Nevada Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:22:53 +0000 COLOMBIA REPORTING

Friday, July 24, 2015


(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN volunteer translator)

In the Magdalena the principal environmental damages are caused by the multinational, Drummond.  In January 2014, Drummond was found guilty of spilling coal in the bay of Santa Marta.  The court-ordered fine generated income for the country, but the environmental damage involved and the effects on the health of the people were irreparable.  The Sierra Nevada has lost 90 percent of its snow cover between 1850 and 2010.  The people of Tayrona are saying, “The water problem is that right now none of us have water.”

The multinational has already been punished for having dumped more than 500 tons of thermal coal to avoid the sinking of the barge that was transporting it.  The investigations found damage to native species, a situation that harms the communities that live by fishing.  Besides, it affects the health of anyone that consumes it.

Eviction and contamination in the Ciénaga Grande (The Big Pond)

In the same way, in the Ciénaga Grande Lagoon Complex in Santa Marta, which The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has declared to be a biosphere reserve and is part of the Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands), is facing serious environmental damage.  The Agropecuaria (Agricultural) RHC Company has cut down the trees and burned 60 hectares of forest and they have constructed 27 kilometers of dikes and earthwork, illegally.

According to the Land Restitution Unit of Atlántico Province, the campesinos who worked these lands where today we see environmental damage were evicted by paramilitaries fifteen years ago.  The lands were sold to the Agropecuaria RHC company.  The wetlands in the area have been destroyed by the raising of buffalos and by oil palm plantations for the production of fuel.  The environmental damage affects the Condazo water outlet pipe and the pond complex.  The work done impedes the natural overflowing of the water and the aquatic connection to the wetland and it puts the region’s biodiversity at risk.

The death of the Sierra Nevada, lack of water for the communities

In the last two years Santa Marta, its municipalities and the Caribbean area have suffered shortages of water.  In April of last year Santa Marta was declared “a public calamity” because of the water shortages.  Then-candidate for president Juan Manuel Santos visited the city and said that there would have to be a study to solve the problem.  Santos said that we have to resolve the underlying structural problem and he repeated his commitment to “finding a definite solution”.

In spite of that, one of the solutions adopted by the Santa Marta city hall was the construction of new wells. But the problem of water shortages in Santa Marta and in the country goes further than that.  During recent months the residents of the area have warned that the level of the rivers has gone down.  That situation is consistent with the recent report of the Institute for Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM is the Spanish acronym.)

The dilemma of the low water level in the rivers is not just a natural phenomenon.  It is an alarm that is set off in times of drought or summer.  In spite of it, the rain comes and it seems as if nothing has happened.  According to data from IDEAM, the Sierra Nevada has lost 90 percent of its snow surface, just between 1850 and the year 2010.

The thawing of the Sierra Nevada in Santa Marta is a fact.  What is worrisome is that the water supply for the communities of the Caribbean coast depends on this ecosystem, because it is the hydrological source for the majority of the rivers.  Global warming is being echoed in the Sierra Nevada.  But the phenomenon is accompanied by the change in the economic activities in the area, the indiscriminate cutting and burning of forests as well as the poor use of the land and of the watersheds, as well as the displacement of the indigenous communities and the danger of loss of biological diversity.

It is in the Cuchilla de San Lorenzo, located inside the zone of the Sierra Nevada, where the Córdoba, Mendihuual, Manzanares, Piedras, Gaira and Toribio rivers are born.  The last four supply the aqueducts for the District of Santa Marta and the Municipalities of Ciénaga and Pueblo Viejo.  The tributaries of the Aracataca rivers that furnish water to their population are also in the Sierra. The Ranchería River is the source of water for La Guajira.

“The water problem is that right now none of us have water”

Martiniano Sánchez is a vendor of crafts in the indigenous town of Tayrona in the Sierra Nevada in Santa Marta.  He says that he took up the creation and sale of crafts because of his love for the indigenous culture and as a way of recognizing the five ethnicities that remain in the Sierra.  “I don’t earn much money with that but I get to explain to the tourists about our culture and how it is nearly forgotten and often abused.”

Martiniano warns that the indigenous communities in that area live in awful conditions and they are being displaced from their lands.  “Our indigenous communities have been the ones that have cared for the earth for many years, and for the forests and the water sources.  The land is sacred for them, but the plantation owners have been taking their land away and evicting them, pushing them higher in the mountains.  They are the ones that are destroying our nature and our water.  They cut down the trees, and there is not much water left in the rivers.  The water problem is that right now none of us have water.”

The study proposed by President Santos to solve the problem of water shortages in Santa Marta refers to an “underlying problem”.  It would be worthwhile to rethink the National Development Plan (PND) and check progress on the commitment it contains to protect the country’s ecosystems.  Besides admitting that the mining/energy “locomotive” that the multinationals are supporting is leaving environmental, economic, and social disasters for which neither the government nor the multinationals are taking responsibility.  The communities are left with the responsibility.

Correspondent and editing group for Colombia Reporting in North Santander

See other publications at Colombia Informa Cúcuta/ Norte de Santander

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