(Translated by Susan Tritten, a CSN Volunteer Translator)
ASSASSINATIONS, MASSACRES, THREATS TO LEADERS, CONFINEMENT, MASSIVE DISPLACEMENTS AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS CONTINUE IN COMMUNITIES BELONGING TO THE GREATER REGIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE CORDILLERA OCCIDENTAL OF NARINO AND SOUTH CAUCA (COPDICONC)
The communities located in the territory of the Greater Regional Council for Comprehensive Development of African-American Communities of the Cordillera Occidental of Narino (COPDICONC) confront the most critical crisis of recent years due to the escalation of social and armed conflict and the presence in the region of drug traffickers and paramilitaries who have assassinated more that 3000 people since the year 2000 without any record of the method, time, or place of the acts, nor any type of criminal investigation to charge those responsible. The permanence of this conflict has created a humanitarian crisis based on continual displacements and a mass exodus of the community that has had to resist under the circumstances of confinement and famine and confrontations among armed groups, threats, thefts, violation of women and minor children, recruitment of minors, torture and assassinations.
On Sunday, July 25, 2010, paramilitary troops called Los Rastrojos assassinated two young men, Arbey Mancilla Obando and Efren Obando Ordonez, in the village of Fenicia, municipality of Santa Barbara of Iscuande, Narino department. These young men were native to the region and worked in agriculture. One of them was the son of German Mancilla, a leader of the Town Council of Fenicia. Because of the fear that they had instilled in the people of the region, the paramilitaries were able to carry out the assassinations, without any explanation, in the presence of the community.
The assassination of the young men was due to the permanent presence in the village of approximately thirty persons belonging to the paramilitary group Los Rastrojos, who had confined the community, generating panic and massive displacements. To date we have no more information on the assassination of the two young men, since the state of confinement there impedes the mobility of the leaders who could inform the Greater Regional Council about the human rights violation that continue in the region.
In spite of the ruling of the Constitutional Court, Act 005 from 2009 for the protection of the fundamental rights of the African-American population, victims of forced displacement, Sentencia T025 from 2004 and the existence of Law 70 from 1997, there is no plan that guarantees the protection of the fundamental rights of the communities. This lack of institutional proposals to protect persons who have been forcibly displaced and again victimized, creates an atmosphere conducive to systematic human rights violations and impunity.
BECAUSE OF THE EVENTS DESCRIBED ABOVE, WE, THE LEADERS AND THE COMMUNITIES OF THE GREATER REGIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE CORDILLERA OCCIDENTAL OF NARINO (COPDICONC) DEMAND:
1. That the national government respond immediately to the communities’ requests with regard to the serious human rights violations.
2. That necessary measures be implemented to protect the life and rights of the communities of the nine municipalities that have jurisdiction within the territory of the Greater Regional Council, COPDICONC,(Cumbitara, Policarpa, Leiva, Rosario, Santa Barbara de Iscuande, Guapi, El Charco, Balboa and Argelia) based on Artiicle 23 of the National Constitution and related provisions. 1. That the fulfillment of the National Constitution of 1991, Law 70 of 1997, and the Directive 005 of 2009 of the Constitutional Court be guaranteed.
3. Urgent: that the national, departmental and municipal governmental organs establish a commission to analyze the grave situation of the communities of this community council and present immediate results, given the critical human rights crisis that exists in the region.
4. That the pertinent institutions establish, in consultation with the communities, a real and effective proposal in the interests of the victims of armed conflict in the region. 1. We request that social service and human rights organizations demand without delay that the Colombian government offer a clear and timely response to prevent any attack on the well-being of the members of the aforementioned communities.
CONSEJO REGIONAL MAYOR PARA EL DESARROLLO INTEGRAL DE COMUNIDADES NEGRAS DE LA CORDILLERA OCCIDENTAL DE NARIÑO Y SUR DEL CAUCA- COPDICONC-. (GREATER REGIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE CORDILLERA OCCIDENTAL OF NARINO AND SOUTH CAUCA (COPDICONC))
ASOCIACION NOMADESC (ASSOCIATION FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH AND ACTION)
CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR (CAMPAIGN NEVER TO FORGET)
CORPORACION JURIDICA UTOPIA (LEGAL UTOPIA ORGANIZATION)
SINTRAUNICOL VALLE DEL CAUCA Y NACIONAL (NATIONAL UNION OF UNIVERSITY WORKERS AND EMPLOYEES OF COLOMBIA AND OF THE VALLE DEL CAUCA)
ASOCIACIÓN PARA EL DESARROLLO SOCIAL INTEGRAL (ASSOCIATION FOR COMPREHENSIVE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT)
ECATE (A SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION) FUNDACION COMITÉ DE SOLIDARIDAD CON LOS PRESOS POLITICOS (FOUNDATION FOR SOLIDARITY WITH POLITICAL PRISONERS)
RED DE HERMANDAD Y SOLIDARIDAD ˆ COLOMBIA (COLOMBIAN NETWORK OF BROTHERHOOD AND SOLIDARITY)
CORPORACION SEMBRAR(Bogotá organization focused on the defense and promotion of human rights)
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