ASOGRAS Santander Agricultural Association

August 12, 2004 by Min Social Protection
Affiliate – CUT – NIT – 900118191-1
Public Statement No. 77
(Translated by Emily Schmitz, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN’s Volunteer Editor)

A Police Inspection by Sabana de Torres ordered that Cristhyam Albeyro Castellanos Gomez evict one of the plots of the El Silencio farm located in the area of Provincia, where seventeen families affiliated with the Asogras committee have lived since 1982.
Before the State-controlled organizations: the Human Rights office of the Vice President of the Republic, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for human rights, Farmer organizations, unions, international organizations, national and international human rights organizations, the general means of communication and members of the Santander community.
ASOGRAS, the Agricultural Association of Santander, nationally and internationally states publicly that, on Thursday September 30th at 09:00 AM the Sabana de Torres Police Inspector ordered that CRISTHYAM ALBEYRO CASTELLANOS GOMEZ occupy the El Silencio Farm in the locals of the Provincia area.  Doctor CECILIA ROJAS knew that the rights of the ASOGRAS farmers had been violated by CRISTHYAM ALBEYRO CASTELLANOS GOMEZ and Mr. OSCAR MAURICIO JAIMES MENDIETA who, on an arbitrary Saturday at 1:00 P.M. untied a herd in the farm of one of their affiliates and, in the hours of the evening, fired shots on two occasions, an event which was presented before the Sajín de Sabana de Torres.  Then, on the morning of Tuesday the 28th of September, they took the herd to a different plot of another ASOGRAS affiliate.  We would like to highlight that what the employees of Mr. CRISTHYAM ALBEYRO CASTELLANOS GOMEZ did were acts of vandalism and firearm intimidation when they engaged in breaking fences, locks, knocking down doors, leaving gates open and taking shots at our affiliates.  These are affiliates which have occupied this land for more than 27 years; affiliates who enjoy the possession of the land and use of different plots which allow for their survival and work opportunities.  Most importantly, these facts are known to competent authorities.
With the decision that the Sabana de Torres police inspector took it is clear that the men were violating the rights of the Asogras affiliates which, as demonstrated, is protecting the law.  It is hoped that the opportunity exists for the revision of the case of ALFONSO YEPES PATIÑO, a well-standing citizen and local Asogras affiliate, whose land was invaded in 2007 but has yet to see any action taken toward the protection of his rights.
We would like to remind the mayor, Dr. URIEL VELANDIA GUTIERREZ, that his administration exists to protect the rights of the citizens rather than allow for people to appear out of nowhere only to violate the rights of workers who have given more than 27 years of their lives to the El Silencio Farm.
In response to this situation we ask that human rights defender organizations, farmer organizations, union organizations, the Santander and Magdalena Ombudsmen and Sabana de Torres legal capacity, the International Peace Brigades, the human rights attorney in Santander, universities, lawyers and all means of communication accompany us in solidarity and support in the case of the El Silencio Farm of Providencia in the Sabana de Torres municipality.
We call the solidarity trade union movement, the social peace movement, the human rights defenders present in both Santander and nationally, and international human rights organizations who provide permanent land accompaniment and the guarantee of constitutional rights to farmer communities in the municipality of Sabana de Torres.
Bucaramanga, October 1st, 2010
Department President     Department Secretary
This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.

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