(Translated by Haley Olig, CSN Intern)
Following the murder of Klaus Zapato in the Soacha municipality while he was playing soccer, the youth sectors of the Congreso de los Pueblos join in solidarity and call for active mobilization in defense of life.
On Sunday, March 6th, Klaus Zapata, member of the Communist Youth in the municipality of Soacha, was killed while playing in a youth soccer game. That same day Zapata had participated in a mobilization that had developed in defense of the páramo (unique water-producing mountain ecosystem found between 3000 to 5000 meters above sea level) and against mining.
Klaus’s death is part of a wave of assassinations of social leaders that is taking place in our country. So far this month: Alexander Oime, indigenous leader in Cauca, was assassinated on March 1st; days later, Maricela Tombe in the district of Playarica in the same state; and yesterday, March 7th, William Castillo, campesino leader, was killed in the state of Antioquia.
Similarly, stigmatization, criminalization, and assassination of youths has intensified in popular sectors of both urban and rural areas. This goes hand in hand with the strengthening of the paramilitary project, which invades territories with drug trafficking, the so-called “social cleansings,” curfews, and targeted assassinations, making the popular youth the sector of society most affected by these territorial control strategies.
The assassination of Klaus is part of a campaign to exterminate critical thinking, transformative political action, and youthful rebellion and joy. What they really want is to silence our voices; to end our collective and community processes; for us to bury our dreams of a free and sovereign Colombia. But we – we of the Tejido Juvenil Tejuntas – want to tell all those who died building a decent life that they are the seeds and fertilizer of our collective processes. And that they live on in everything we do in our territory with the objective of constructing popular power; of building a nation for decent life.
We buried Klaus; what we did not know is that he was a seed.