(Translated by Thomas Kolar,  a CSN volunteer translator)


Quito, February 6, 2007

Dear Friends
Democratic Pole of Colombia
Dear Brother
Gustavo Petro
Senator of the Democratic Pole
C.c.: Organizations of DDHH, Progressives of Colombia
Presidency of Ecuador, Ministry of RREE, International Leagues of DDHH

The Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, APDH del Ecuador, exposes and announces:

1) The President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, on February 5, publicly called Colombia¹s legal and democratic opposition, particularly the progressive Democratic Pole party and the valiant senator and friend Gustavo Petro,  ³terrorists in ties² for questioning his ³peace process² with the narco-paramilitaries. This creates conditions that could prevent the President being able to intervene in the paramilitaries¹ favor given that president Uribe¹s brother has long been known for ties with the paramilitaries in Antioquia, as was valiantly denounced by senator Gustavo Petro.
Immediately,  the ex-presidential candidate of the Democratic Pole, Dr. Carlos Gaviria, ex tribune of the Constitutional Court, warned that to publicly state such a label in Colombia is a very serious matter in view of record of the intolerant groups of the extreme right toward Gustavo Petro, and toward the Democratic Pole, and toward the civil sectors that question democratically the so-called ³peace process² with the narco-paramilitaries.
Immediately after the showy and inconsequential declarations of democracy of President Uribe of Colombia, numerous death threats began to arrive against political leaders, social leaders, and defenders of DDHH, journalists, representatives of NGO¹s, and, especially, against the Democratic Pole and its senators, threats brandished with the name ³AUC² that leave no doubt about their defense of  President Uribe and the threat of death to those who oppose him, – against this democratic crack in his absolute power and his peace process that locks in the danger of converting Colombia into the first ³democratic narco-paramilitary state² on the continent.
While that was occurring in Colombia, Uribe has given the order to continue the fumigations on the Ecuador border, especially in the coastal zone of Mataje, adjacent to Esmeraldas, furthering his policy of endangering  peace in the region. At home, the selective murders continue, especially of members of the Democratic Pole, and the threats of death to independent journalists continue, and today the intolerant label of ³terrorists in ties² is brandished by Senor Uribe serving as a backdrop for the threats against Gustavo Petro and the legal and democratic opposition in Colombia.

Do we want to continue the bloody history that began a decade ago against the legal Patriotic Union party whose 3,500 members were killed in order to prevent the birth of a democratic opposition in the country. Aren¹t  the comments of President Uribe justifying the same policy against the Democratic Pole?

5) From Ecuador we stand in solidarity with the legal and democratic opposition of Colombia, especially with the Democratic Pole and our friend and brother Gustavo Petro, distinguished by his wisdom, courage and intelligence, pluralism and caustic humor at this critical hour in which in his country there is public praise of a peace process which legitimizes impunity.
We demand of President Uribe that he take full responsibility for the physical integrity and life of Gustavo Petro and of the legal and democratic opposition in Colombia.
This same week, in view of these threats and in solidarity with the Democratic Pole and Colombian society and in repudiation of the renewal of the fumigaciones on our frontier, we will proceed, – with large numbers of the socially concerned, from the line of the frontier, to execute a nonviolent and symbolic action of protest at the embassy of Colombia in Quito.

No human is an alien

Alexis Ponce
Vocero APDH del Ecuador

Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI  53701-1505
phone:  (608) 257-8753
fax:  (608) 255-6621
e-mail:  csn@igc.org

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