Catatumbo on a state of alert following threats in the town of El Tarra

(Translated by Gerry Millrine, CSN volunteer translator)

Source: Equipo Juridico Pueblos

Monday 10 November 2014

On the 29 October of this year, after an intense search by troops of the National Army, in the town centre of El Tarra, North of Santander, a flyer was found in the name of the Black Eagles (Aguilas Negras), in which threats were issued to the inhabitants of of the town, creating anxiety and unease among the residents of the region.

This latest occurrence adds to the the constant harassment which the local campesino communities have had to endure in recent months, and places the local civilian population in a state of “high risk,” given that the difference between civilian and military – a basic principle which is enshrined in the Declaration of Universal Human Rights – is not respected in the least.

The National Army also presents risks to the civilian population by the constant and indiscriminate bombings in the towns and villages in the region. Such was the case on the 26 October when, approximately at ten o’clock in the morning, an attack was launched against the settlement of Filo Gringo. Likewise, the following illegal procedures are also taking place: the non-stop registration of individuals, the control and confiscation of foodstuffs and agricultural supplies, and bringing unfounded charges against local campesinos.

Activities of a similar nature have occurred in other regions of the country, in which illegally armed groups commit criminal acts within wide reaching operations on the part of the military and police — as was the case in recent times — the character of which has been confessed to by various paramilitary leaders. It cannot be allowed to be the case that once again, the Armed Forces are incapable of maintaining public order by legal means, even more so that they are accorded rights and permission to act in a repressive manner with no regard for human rights.

We, the Cooperative Association and the Committee for Social Integration of El Catacumbo-CISCA, and the members of the Coordination of Human Rights, Columbia, Europe and the United Sates, call upon the national government and the organs of investigation and protection, to guarantee, the safeguarding of the basic human rights of the agricultural population, inhabitants of of the Region of Catacumbo, and in particular, the town of El Tarra. Likewise, we also call upon the international community to provide the necessary supervision in order that primacy should be given to ensuring the fulfilment of the agreements of the United Nations, which protect the life and goods of a civilian population.

The Committee for Social Integration of Catatumbo-CISCA

Cooperative Association (Asociacion Minga)

The Legal Team for the People-EJP

The Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners Foundation- FCSPP

The Association of Colombian Lawyers for the Defence of Human Rights-ACADEHUM

The Movement of Workers, Farm Workers( campesinos) and Communities of El Cesar-MTCC

Bogotá, November 6, 2014

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