MORE SERIOUS THREATS AGAINST SOUTHERN BOLIVAR COMMUNITY LEADERS
In a new email message, signed by “Comandante Camilo” the Northern Block of the Black Eagles paramilitary organization has renewed its threats against grass-roots community organizations and those who work with them in the south of Bolivar Department. Among those singled out are Father Rafael Gallego, Said Echavez and Martha Lucia Torres, who work in the mining community of Tiquisio.
The Colombia Support Network has worked closely with them in laying the groundwork for a sister community relationship between Tiquisio and our CSN chapter in Washington State. The threatening message accuses them, along with others, of belonging to and supporting the FARC and the ELN guerrillas. The message indicates that the Black Eagles will begin by murdering the named persons and continue until no one of the so-called guerrilla supporters is left.
These threats are very serious, and follow threats issued a few days ago against Father Gallego and others. We believe they are part of a campaign to undermine local grass-roots community organizations in the gold-mining area in and around Tiquisio. The multinational mining company Kedadha-Anglo Gold Ashanti seeks to use this region, where small-scale peasant miners have worked for many years, to carry out large-scale gold mining. The role of the paramilitaries is to break up resisting community organizations and force people off their lands in the interest of Anglo Gold development. The government of President Uribe and the Colombian Army have fostered this paramilitary activity. Therefore, no serious measures have been adopted by the governmental authorities to locate those responsible for the paramilitary threats and stop their illegal activities.
Please write to the authorities listed below to tell them you wish to see the community organizations and their courageous leaders effectively protected, as well as the paramilitaries dismantled and their leaders prosecuted. It is a fundamental part of U.S. policy for them to urge President Uribe to protect the lives and activities of those like Father Gallego, Said, and Martha who have committed themselves to seeking justice for the peasants in the south of Bolivar. Tell all of these authorities that we are watching and demand protection for our sisters and brothers in Colombia.
ACTION : PLEASE WRITE
PLEASE GO TO OUR WEBSITE AND SEND MESSAGES TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:
SEE CSN’s ACTION CENTER : www,colombiasupport.net
Assistant Secretary Western Hemisphere
Ambassador William Brownfield
Presidencia de la República
Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Presidente de la República
Or check his website www.presidencia.gov.co
Vicepresidencia de la República
Dr. Francisco Santos,
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Vice- Minister of Defense
Fiscalía General de la Nación
Dr. Mario Hernán Iguarán Arana.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón.
E.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Human Rights Office of the Colombian Army
Coronel Juan Carlos Gomez Ramirez Director
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621