Leaders of La Toma threaten by paramilitaries.
Yesterday on October 22nd, a death threat from the paramilitary groups “Las Aguilas Negras” and “Nueva Generacion” was received by Afro-Colombian leader of the Community Council of La Toma, leaders of the Black Communities Process (PCN), trade unionists of the CUT and human rights defenders including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial human rights laureate Berenice Celeyta’s organization NOMADESC, who are working to uphold the territorial rights of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Communities in Cauca Department.
The death threat states the following:
“You are all defenders of the guerillas, asking for land to produce coca to strengthen the indigenous and guerilla groups that don’t understand the efforts of the President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe.
With the help of “Familias en Accion” “Guardabosques” and the country’s Democratic Security policy, a group of men and women worried about the state of the country. We have decided that it is necessary to start a fight against those that camouflage themselves as social organizations such as the CUT Valle, NOMADESC, Human Rights Defenders, NGOs, enemies of our democracy.
Those bureaucrats don’t allow us to progress in CAUCA, where they don’t allow multinationals to enter which would benefit the communities of SUAREZ, MORALES and BUENOS AIRES.
Some of these organizations have made agreements with owners of mining companies asking that they leave mining zones in exchange for money as occurred in the town of La Toma and we have the documents to prove it.
Today we have decided to declare as military targets those (SOB) bureaucrats, human rights defenders, NOMADESC, CUT VALLE, PCN, The Community Council of La Toma, Cerro Tijeras, Licifredy, Eduar Villegas, Jose Goyes, Diego Escobar, Recheche, Plutarco, Meraldiño Consejal”
Signed by Black Eagles New Generation.
Please contact the in the Department of State, Benjamin Montañez, Colombia Desk Office of Andean Affairs, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (Tel: 202.647.3076; Fax: 202.647.2628) and Steve Moody, Foreign Affairs Officer - Human Rights and Labor, Asia and Western Hemisphere Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (Tel: 202.647.8301 and Susan Sanford, Colombia Desk Officer of Andean Affairs, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (Tel: 202-647-3142), and ask them to:
§ Contacting the Colombian Ministry of Interior and Justice and urging this office to take bold steps to guarantee protection for Afro-Colombian, Indigenous leaders and human rights organizations working in the municipalities of Suarez, Morales and Buenos Aires (Cauca Department).
§ Contact the Carlos Franco of the Colombian Vice President’s office and urge them to work with PCN in implementing their proposal of collective protection measures for Afro-Colombian leaders and communities.
§ Contact the Colombian authorities and urge that they carry out an investigation into these threats, clarify the facts and sanction those responsible for these threats and harassment.