Source: Sent from the communication section of the CCEEU
(Translated by Peter Lenny, Volunteer CSN Translator)
THE COLOMBIA-EUROPE-US COORDINATION (CCEEU) EXPRESSES ITS CONCERN AND ALERTS TO THE RECENT ATTACKS ON HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES AND PARAMILITARY ACTIVITIES IN COLOMBIA
Bogota, 17 November 2015. The CCEEU, a network of 265 organizations to promote and defend human rights in all of Colombia, laments the murders of three human rights advocates, committed in the past week by death squads and paramilitaries; and the attempt by four assailants with long-range rifles to take the life of indigenous leader, Feliciano Valencia.
A week ago, on 9 November, Afro-colombian (Colombians of African descent) leader of youth processes, JOHN JAIRO RAMÍREZ OLAYA, was taken from this home in Buenaventura and later murdered by a commando of ten paramilitaries. Last Friday, 13 November at 6.40 p.m., the environmental and community leader and human rights advocate, DANIEL ABRIL, who, as a member of the Del Meta Civic Committee for Human Rights and the CCEEU, had participated as a delegate for Casanare Department at several meetings of the National Round Table on Guarantees. Daniel Abril gained prominence for his denunciations of multinational oil corporations which were dumping and polluting waters in Casanare, and which caused the worst drought the state has suffered in many decades. That same Friday, 13 November, in Tierralta (Córdoba), two hitmen on motorcycles murdered the leader of land restitution proceedings, 48 year old LUIS FRANCISCO HERNÁNDEZ GONZÁLEZ, representative of the Afro-colombian community on the Tierralta (Upper Sinú) Round Table on Victims.
The CCEEU notes with similar concern today’s news of the attempted murder of indigenous leader FELICIANO VALENCIA. The Indigenous Guard is frustrated the attempt by four men carrying and using long-range rifles, who entered the Finca Gualanday in Santander de Quilichao, where the indigenous leader had been transferred a week ago.
The CCEEU strongly condemns these events, expresses its solidarity with the relatives of the murdered human rights advocates and with Feliciano Valencia, and calls urgently on the National Government to take effective measures to protect the lives of men and women, environmental leaders, leaders of proceedings in defense of lands and territories, and defenders of human rights in general. In that regard, it requests the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, in the framework of the accords reached in the process of the National Round Table On Guarantees, to make a priority of investigating these aggressions with the purpose of making progress towards arresting, trying, and punishing the perpetrators, leaders and instigators of these crimes.
Firm progress towards peace demands effective guarantees that human rights are defended without exception.
Executive Board of the Colombia-Europe-United States Coordination.
ANA MARIA RODRÍGUEZ: Tel 315 3241933
CLAUDIA ERAZO: Tel 311 8484711
JOSÉ GIRÓN: Tel 3017802494