Santiago de Cali, 12 of April 2016
THE POLITICAL PRISONER’S SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE’S ASSOCIATION, SECTION OF VALLE DEL CAUCA, denounces to the national and international community the new threats received against the social and human rights organizations in the region. These threats have been coming in a consistent way, intimidating and stigmatizing the labour of human rights defenders, social organizations and the social movements in general. These last threats were uttered by paramilitary groups that act under the name of gaitanista movement of Colombia and that maintain presence in the Valle del Cauca zone. The threats have been denounced to the competent authorities, but to this moment the responsible of these threats have no yet been found.
On April 11th this year, some packages containing threatening pamphlets sent by the paramilitary group Gaitanista de Colombia’s Autodefense, were found in the offices of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), the Political Prisoner’s Solidarity Committee (CSPP) and the Movice section of Valle del Cauca.
The packages were left under the doors of the organizations’ offices named above and were directed to the specific names of the Movice Valle del Cauca’s technical Secretary, Martha Giraldo; to José Milciades Sanchez, of the Sintraunicol; Walter Agredo, of the CSPP, and Wilson Sanchez, of the CUT.
In the threats distributed by the paramilitary group, the following individuals are mentioned: Walter Agredo, Rodrigo Vargas, Hernán Arciniegas, Wilson Sáenz, Julián Lozano, José Milciades Sánchez, Martha Giraldo, Ariel Díaz, Edison Méndez, Carlos Murcia, Ismael Hurtado, Henry Domínguez, Jorge Iván Vélez, Albert Quintero y Antonio Gutiérrez. Similarly, the People’s Congress is mentioned in the threats.
Our association, samely as the other organizations involved in those facts, denounces that these new threats constitute an attack to the social movement, union movement and to the defenders of human rights in the region that have the issue of social justice and rights of the victims in the Valle del Cauca region at heart.
This paramilitary groups underlines that this new action obeys to a national strategy: to intimidate through threats, but also assassinate the leaders of social movements in Colombia. We recall that in the first months of 2016, according to the SOMOS DEFENSORES (we are defenders) program, 113 aggressions against human rights defenders have been recorded, 81 of which were threats and 19 were assassinations.
Of theses assassinations, we underline that 6 occurred in the suroccidental region, taking the life away from: Maricela Tombe, William Alexander Oimé Alarcón, James Balanta, Víctor Andrés Flórez, Johan Alexis Vargas, Adrián Quintero, Samuel Caicedo Portocarrero.
“We reiterate our position on the national, departmental and municipal levels… we have already moved
forward in exterminating all those rats full of gonorrhea sons of bitches of the left, activists, defenders of
human rights and of the peace process, indigenous leaders, activists of the People’s Congress, collaborators of
the guerrilla, unionists, collaborators of the guerrilla, and we know they conceal themselves… we declare as
military objectives all of those that disguise themselves as defenders of laborers grouped as different labour
organizations… also we recommend to the community to stay away from these people, seeing all those who
follow them also become shot objectives.”
· That all possible actions be taken to protect the lives of the individuals threatened and that a follow up be made to the instances in charge of initiating investigations.
. That the Colombian State recognize the continuity of paramilitarism in our country, and that it reacts to it with appropriate mechanisms, in order to dismantle it completely, including its military structure and financial structures.
· The respect of to the right to life and the guarantees for the exercise of the defense of human rights; that the comrades receiving threats have their fundamental rights respected as mentioned in the Political Constitution of Colombia.
Political Prisoner’s Solidarity Committee- Section Valle del Cauca.
Santiago de Cali, April 12th 2016.