Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie

The 17th Brigade threatens the Returnof the Afrocolombians

14 Marzo 2006

Serious signaling against the international observers. Leaders of the Humanitarian Zones of the Jiguamiendo put in judicial processes

While in the areas around Bajira, they collect 100 000 Colombian pesos ($35 US) of the resources financed by the Forest Guard Program, and they are under the control of the Military and Police authorities, Mr. HERMAN DE JESUS MUNOZ GONZALEZ, nicknamed “Diomedes”, was detained on the 17th of February in Apartado, as one of the persons responsible for the crime against ORLANDO VALENCIA and for having already acted in an illegal manner toward ANDRES MORENO.

At the same time the military units of the 17th Brigade have falsely affirmed that in the farm of the senior ENRIQUE PETRO, armed men of the guerrilla have entered, that the international observers/accompaniment are guerrilla, like the displaced families the wish to affirm their right of return to Curvarado.

The expressions used by the 17th Brigade are grave and worrying, the same that can justify Paramilitary operations against the life and integrity of the afrocolombians and mixed race peoples, and give an atmosphere to new armed actions against the life integrity of whom wish to create and return to a Humanitarian Zone in Curvarado, protected by provisional measures of the Interamerican Court of Human Rights. These false affirmations are a refusal to the Governing Principles of the right to international humanitarian presence.

During the last 5 months, international delegate/observers of the United States, Canada, Europe, and members of the presbyterian church and persons of the Colombian religious catholic life, have accompanied the communities of afrocolombians and mixed race peoples, protecting a space of dialogue in which the displaced families affected by the planting of African Palm in the violently usurped lands (usurped by state/paramilitary actuations), have taken the decision to return to an area and construct a Humanitarian Zone.

REQUESTS

To the organizations of solidarity and of human rights of the United States and Europe request of your governments information about:

1. If they are giving resources of Plan Colombia to the Forest Guard families in the region of Uraba Antioqueno and the Bajo Atrato, and if it is so, how much of these resources are destined for the people of Belen de Bajira, Mutata, Carmen del Darien, Pavarando and Riosucio and for which reasons is a percentage is taken of 100 000 Colombian pesos in order to be given to networks of cooperatives.

2. For which reasons the 17th Brigade continue threatening, signaling out, making serious threats towards people and organizations of protection and observation from the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Christian Church supported by their churches in the United States and Europe.

Direct your communications to:

1. The Vice President of the Republic, FRANCISCO SANTOS, fsantos@presidencia.gov.co; rdh@presidencia.gov.co demanding the unrestricted respect of the Provisional Measures of the Interamerican Court of Human Rights which concern the return of displaced families: the administrative sanction of the military units of the 17th Brigade that have made death threats against the afrocolombians and mixed race peoples since October of last year, the unrestricted respect of the humanitarian work of human rights and of the national
and international Christian churches.

2. To the General Public Investigation of the Nation, MARIO IGUARAN ARANA contacto@fiscalia.gov.co; denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co demanding:

- that the Public Investigator HECTOR CRUZ CARVAJAL responsible for the process 2022 in respect to the afrodescendents and mixed race peoples of the basins of Curvarado and Jiguamiendo, act rightly, respecting the procedural guarantees, a proper process, the right to defense, the presumption of innocence and all other governing norms of penal rights.

- inform the state of the investigations of 15 forced displacements, 13 of which were institutionally caused, 1 of armed confrontation and 1 by guerrilla activity; the state of the investigations into 113 crimes committed since the massacre of Brisas in 1996 until today; and for the illegal appropriation of land and planting of African Palm within individual lands and within the collective territory of Curvarado of where 15 hamlets were displaced due to military or paramilitary action.

Bogota, D.C. The 14th of March of 2006
Intereclesial Commission of Justice and Peace