Mister BAN KI-MOON, General Secretary of the United Nations
Ref: Request for intervention on the law of victims and the right to peace
Receive our respectful greetings for your visit to Colombia.
Our message is in memory of those who were victims of extrajudicial executions, torture and forced disappearances and those who have lived or are in condition of forced displacement, dispossession and violent prosecution, crimes that reflect a way of persecution and extermination which are being committed by state structures from the 70’s.
We are part of the Network of Alternatives to Impunity and Market Globalization, of the Colombians for Peace Movement and the Movement of Victims of State Crimes, families, communities and organizations who endorse this communication with the hope that our ratings are taken into account in this world of decisions that does not listen to us but which affects us significantly. Well, as has happened with the law of victims, that today will be signed by President Juan Manuel Santos in your presence, neither our proposals, our concerns were substantially considered or discussed by the block of national unity government nor could we participate in decisions .
We have publicly stated that the Law of victims and Land restitution has been a breakthrough that comes from the pressure of the victims, our visibility, our different organizational forms and expressions, including this group, without which the government would not have it on their agenda.
Today we are recognized as historical subjects, we have managed to break the ignorance and exclusion that has been generated by political impunity and social impunity with which we have been governed for the past 60 years, and culturally we are being defined in the present and the future from the neglect and the marginalization.
The Law of victims, despite its progress, does not explicitly recognize that there is a state responsibility in the commission of crimes, many of them against humanity. Our communities have been targeted as State covert operations by the paramilitaries, without being part of the armed dissident groups of the FARC or the ELN. Our communities live or have been displaced where the internal armed conflict develops, between regular forces and the guerrillas. Our communities are among the sectors of national exclusion and marginalization, reminding that our country has the shameful 4th place in the world in inequality.
The paramilitaries still exist, their operations not only are seeking to exercise repression against our leaders or communities with whom we work in defending their territories, but also our social, political, environmental and economic bets. The paramilitary forces driving the holding of the territorial and social control want us to plant palm, bananas, coca, as we must accept mining operations and national and multinational oil companies. Therefore, we continue to be threaten, to be pursued and many of us risk to be sent to prison unjustly. Curiously, where the paramilitaries perform this function there is a strong militarization of our territories with the presence of military units such as 2.7, 17, 27, 29, mobile brigades, battalions of Special Energy and Road, High Mountain and Forest, Navy among others.
Unfortunately, being a formal progress in some respects, the Law does not solve the pivotal problems that continue to live the victims who are being over victimized. Again and again in the territories where we live or from where we have been displaced, we observe and experience the existence of the armed conflict, neither side has been defeated. Clashes between government forces which promote and operate next door, do tolerate paramilitary operations that call themselves " Rastrojos ", " Águilas Negras " and the guerrillas are increasing.
There is an advance in explicitly recognizing that an armed conflict exists, but it continues to be considered as an institutional fight against terrorism, ignoring with this ideological argument the right to peace that can be achieved through dialogue, broad and decisive participation and consultation arrangements for an inclusive democracy, for social and environmental justice. Keeping thinking about the Law of victims with that mentality of the fight against terrorism as it was conceived by Álvaro Uribe Vélez, and its impact on the government benches is a thrust to the historical memory and to certain reconciliation possibilities. Thus, during the previous government our status as civilians was ignored, we are civilians, and we are not terrorists, and today this mentality pervades large parts of the power of force and of the "institutional intelligence."
So with that perspective, the African descendant people of the Minor Community Councils of the Curbaradó and Jiguamiandó regions, the Communities of Self-Determination, Life and Dignity of the Cacarica - CAVIDA in the department of Chocó, the Nasa Indigenous People from Putumayo, the Civil Community Life and Peace - CIVIPAZ in the Meta department, have been judicialized producing false evidence, they have been unjustly detained, treated in maximum security prisons, denying their rights. But with this brand of terrorists we have been victims of extrajudicial executions in Putumayo, Nariño, Cauca Inzá in Tolu Viejo Sucre, Meta and our sister Fabricia Córdoba has been recently murdered.
This law does not solve the problem of violent land dispossession by paramilitary operations. The Law of victims in its paragraph of restitution does not distinguish between restitution and compensation. With a more aggravating point, the National Development Plan defines, in many cases, our territory as a strategic part of agribusiness and mining operations, which was or is the same that the perpetrators and their beneficiaries projected or commenced for business or that was conceded corrupting and ignoring our rights. These plans discourage in particular the rural housing of the mestizos, Afro and indigenous people since the business initiatives are privileged over those of conventional crops, surplus to local and national markets and the mining operations on the protection and conservation of community and public water and different ecosystems.
Proof of this is the intention to exclude the departments of Putumayo and Cauca of the Colombia’s Amazon region as projected by the National Development Plan that is driving the current government, in the "regional development perspective from defining homogeneous zones in conditions of endogenous development "(DNP, 2010) or the impulse to IIRSA operations of dispossession or territorial social control in our territories claimed by the new phase of the paramilitarism within the Plan of Mejor Esquina de las Americas, ignoring indigenous and Afro-descendant people in this region who are sheltered according to the ILO 169 Convention.
Thus, in our territories, where now we are facing sociopolitical violence, the communities are living serious land problems product of incursion of national and multinational companies, some of them benefiting from the paramilitaries, to the mining , oil, water and biodiversity exploitation, ignoring the United Nations principles that have been formulated about its involvement in countries and nations.
Some of these strategic resources are part of the new government policies known as "the engines of development", and we insist, they do ignore our rights, we become victims of a development model that destroys the source of human life and nature. The unfortunate coincidence that in many of these regions state violence has been unleashed by the flouting of treaties and international conventions, the 1991 Constitution in order to promote " the development." These crimes are unpunished and are far from being punished, and when some sign of justice is perceived, the president objects the Supreme Court verdicts or the security agencies and the public forces do ignore them presenting false evidence, those that benefit the business of whom act in bad faith.
Similarly, the Congress of the Republic handled the bill of Fiscal Sustainability that makes unviable the full guarantees with financial support for the refund and does not encourage the return of more than 4 million internally displaced. During this government the situation of forced displacement has remained integrally unanswered as in the case of the Nonam indigenous community and the community of Algeria, displaced indigenous babies have died due to the lack of government response. Meanwhile, the law of victims is declining constitutional decisions as that of Law 387 that protects the displaced people.
The economistic background of the government exercise undermines the progress of the law. This also aims to take as part of the compensation process the humanitarian assistance and the social rights enshrined in the Constitution. In relation to the right to truth and memory, the law focuses on the government the responsibility of the right to truth with the Constitution of the Memory Center without victims, without our participation, deliberation, consent and without providing for a democratization of the use and ownership of electronic media and mass media for the collective memory.
Right now the financial and economic stability becomes a right, business protection for a few to the detriment of the rights to health, education, rural economy.
Historical and moral debt, as expressed by president Juan Manuel Santos, with truth, justice and reparation for the victims of the state war is not recognized and will not be solved with the law that will be sanctioned. A political will is required for a political dialogue with the guerrillas, but also with various communities, grassroots organizations, who since some time ago have been building democratic betting decisions, territorial protection systems from an agro-ecological point of view and structuring historical memory and dignity proposals . It requires a fundamental change of mentality that permeates a large part of the military, police and security agencies.
The historical and moral debt has to be carried out with the full implementation and not the partial one of the usurped lands, which are not 2 million hectares, but about 7 million. The situation of the Jiguamiandó and Curbaradó regions and the known paramilitary operations actuated by the brigade 17 and the business interests that rely on crime, unions such as Banacol and the CGT trade union sectors that ignore the realities are rendering the restitution impracticable, which is more than a legal problem.
But the situation of the 10 in Riosucio, of the Blanquicet in Turbo, in the Finca la Alemania in Sucre, in Santa Rosa del Limon and in Vigía in Curbaradó reflect that restitution is an illusion because it is protecting the perpetrators and there is not the will or the sufficient capacity to confront the beneficiaries of paramilitary violence who took the land. In addition, the government’s response should include the land titling that was unrecognized to the black communities of the lower Naya in the department of Valle, the legal recognition of the territory to 22 councils of the Putumayo Indigenous Nasa People who have been urging it since 2007; the improvement of the property of Ariari on which there is a plan of privatization of water sources and mining operations.
The law will not solve the historical problem of the land, because other laws will deepen exclusion. We are the 4th country in inequality, environmental destruction and denial of democratic rights by the absence of prior consultation, in accordance with ILO 169 Convention, ratified in Colombia by Act 21 or unwise projects against law causing serious social, environmental and global conditions. The exploitative operation by the Muriel Mining Corporation, nowadays the Rio Tinto and Canada’s Sunward Resources Ltd in the Embera Katío from Alto Guayabal Sacred Hill, the Cross of the Americas in Cacarica, in the north of Chocó affecting Chidima and Pescadito Embera communities, by IIRSA in the north of Chocó, the operating exploitation of oil affecting 22 thousand hectares in the Rural Reserve Area of the Amazon Perla in Puerto Asis, Putumayo Colombia performed by the companies Vetra Colombia SA and Amerisur, the people of the Alto Putumayo with the construction of the bypass Mocoa - San Francisco, which is part of the multimodal corridor Tumaco - Belem do Pará that was given in concession to the South Road Consortium comprising the companies Sonacol SA, Cass Builders & CIA, CSS Builders, Building Bridges Condor and Strands SA and SA, ignoring the presence of indigenous people Inga and Kamentsá ; the transportation infrastructure project in the fourth exit to the Pacific Ocean, hydropower construction in Algeria, Inza and Sucre Ullucos , interests of exploitation of mineral resources by Anglogold Ashanti.
The law in several articles is contrary to the international law of human rights, international principles of memory and the right to truth, the principles on restitution and combating impunity. The historical denial of state violence, victims of plunder before 1991 and the victims before 1985, the ignorance of the rights of the displaced enshrined in Law 387, as well as the implementation of law projects, such as public safety, fiscal adjustment, royalties, or laws of transition is a reversal of the rights of the victims without exception. The continuity of the civil war, paramilitary operations and improper and bad faith business protection, the definition of the use of the land for agribusiness, infrastructure operations, are structural factors that will make that this historic moment may deepen the possibilities for a social and environmental democracy, a democracy where everyone can recognize themselves in their dignity.
In that sense, Mr. Banki Mon, we ask you to take an active role with respect to the need for a transformation of the substance of the law of victims in accordance with the international law and human rights in relation to the peace that you can safeguard, if you act in accordance with the principles that humanity was building in consensus with the intention of avoiding the denial of human dignity and the rights of the people, the right to peace and the opportunity to live on this planet will be respected.
We invite you to listen to our proposals and initiatives in these times where the majority of us still remain unknown by power sectors and factors of power, that you know and know well.
Comunidades de Autodeterminación Vida y Dignidad – CAVIDA-Chocó
Comunidad de Vida y Trabajo “La Balsita”-Dabeiba
Asociación de Zonas Humanitarias y de Biodiversidad de la cuenca del Jiguamiandó, y Curvaradó-Chocó
Resguardo Indígena de Urada Jiguamiandó-Chocó
Asociación de Víctimas de la Violencia de Riosucio, CLAMORES
Comunidad indígena de Juin Phubuur-Chocó
Zona Humanitaria CIVIPAZ, Medellín del Ariari - Meta
Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Sostenible Perla Amazónica – ADISPA-Putumayo
Asociación de Productores y Procesadores “Semillas de Paz” - ASPROSEPAZ-Putumayo
Asociación de Productores y Procesadores “Camino al Futuro” - ASPROCAF-Putumayo
Asociación Campesina de Desarrollo Sostenible San Salvador.
Juventud Raíces de Dignidad Perla Amazónica. JURADIPA-Putumayo
Kwe´sx ksxa´w. Consejo Regional Nación Nasa del departamento del Putumayo.
Grupo porvenir–Zona de biodiversidad de Ancura–Putumayo. Familias campesinas vereda Puerto Playa, corregimiento Perla Amazónica–Putumayo.
Familias campesinas vereda Guadalupe, corregimiento Perla Amazónica–Putumayo.
Consejo comunitario de la comunidad negra del rio Naya-Valle
Resguardo indígena Santa Rosa Guayacán Pueblo Nonaam-Valle
Asociación agroecológica Esther Cayapú. ASUAESCA-Trujillo-Valle.
JUBCA. Jóvenes unidos por el Bajo Calima-Valle
Familiares de víctimas de San Antonio-Inzá-Cauca
Familias desplazadas pro-retorno de Argelia-Cauca
Asociación campesina “Huerto Renacer”-Tequendama-sucre-Cauca
Escuela-Taller Ullucos Zonas de Encuentro, Autonomía y Resistencia indígena nasa-Resguardo de San Francisco-Toribío-Cauca
Organización campesina de sucre BIENANDANTES-Cauca
Resguardo Urada Jiguamiandó, Pueblo Embera Katio
Espacio Humanitario Ambiental - So Bia Drua, Pueblo Embera Katio
Cabildo Mayor Indigena de los Resguardos Rio Murindo’ Y Turriquitado’ Chagerado Del Pueblo Embera Katio
Resguardo De Chidima- Tolo, Jurisdicción Acandi- Departamento Chocó, Pueblo Embera Katio
Juntas de Acción Comunal del Picudo-Putumayo