(Translated by Susan Tritten, a CSN Volunteer Translator, edited by David Van Den Brandt)
April 4, 2014
The Movimiento Nacional de Victimas de Crimenes de Estado (Movice) (the National Movement for Victims of Crimes of the State—MOVICE) strongly condemns the assassination of Faustino Acevedo, president-elect of Asocumunal, an organization that unites the 18 Juntas de Acción Comunal del Corregimiento del Morro (coummunity action councils in the township of Morro) in the jurisdiction of the Municipio (municipality) of Yopal, Casanare.
In the afternoon of April 6, 2014, Mr. Acevedo died, apparently after receiving three bullets in the head.
Mr. Acevedo and the other community leaders of Asojuntas were planning a project with the Unión Sindical Obrera (USO) in support of workers’s rights. For example, Mr. Acevedo led the recent strike against ISMOCOL Corporation (company servicing the oil and gas industry) to demand better conditions for their workers.
These activities apparently brought on repeated threats and surveillance of Mr. Acevedo and the other community leaders of this region. Mr. Acevedo is the fifth member of the association of councils to be assassinated before even assuming office: Oswaldo Vargas was murdered on September 1, 2004; Parmenio Parra was assassinated on May 10, 2005, three days alter being elected; and Cenín Cruz and Javier Silva were disappeared.
In negotiation meetings in 2012, the government and other officials including the national government and the police became aware of the threats these regional leaders face. Nevertheless, there has been no substantial progress in the investigation, particularly in regard to the connections between the petroleum industry and the murders.
On April 7, officials offered five million pesos [~$2,620 USD] for information on Acevedo’s assassination, an amount that aroused indignation in the community, which then expressed its dissatisfaction by offering 50 million pesos [~$26,200 USD] for the information.
That the officials in charge carry out a thorough investigation of the murders—which continue under impunity—of Mr. Acevedo and the other leaders of Asocomunal;
That the officials in charge ensure all necessary protection of the community leaders of the Morro and Tauramena area;
And that national and international organizations declare their support for the investigation of the above-mentioned cases and the protection of community leaders.
Movimiento Nacional de Victimas de Crimenes de Estado (Movice)
April 11, 2014
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