Original: Amnesty International, with more info on how to help
Threats made against indigenous Defenders
Fifteen-year-old Génesis Giselle Gutiérrez Romero, a member of the Wayúu Indigenous Reservation of Zahíno, received a death threat on 5 May. She and her family are linked to a local human rights organization which campaigns on behalf of the Wayúu Indigenous communities and which has been the target of repeated paramilitary death threats. Their safety is at risk.
Génesis Gisselle Gutiérrez Romero, a 15-year-old member of the Wayúu Indigenous Reservation of Zahíno (Resguardo Indígena de Zahíno) in the municipality of Barrancas, department of La Guajira in north-eastern Colombia, received a telephone death threat on 5 May. An unidentified man told her: “Tell your family to take care of themselves and you, because we are going to kill you”, (Díle a tu familia que se cuide y a ti, porque te vamos a matar).
Génesis Gisselle is the daughter of Wayúu leader and human rights defender Jakeline Romero Epiayu. Both are linked to the non-governmental human rights organization Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu. This organization has been active in campaigning for respect of the right of Wayúu Indigenous communities to free, prior and informed consent in the south of La Guajira in relation to large-scale economic projects, including coal mining, on their land. As a result of this work, members of Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu have been the target of repeated paramilitary death threats. The threat came in the context of a visit to Europe of a Wayúu delegation, which included Jakeline Romero Epiayu, to raise issues related to the human rights situation faced by the Wayúu communities.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Expressing concern for the safety of Génesis Gisselle Gutiérrez Romero, her mother Jakeline Romero Epiayu and other members of her family, and members of Fuerza de Mujeres Wayúu;
Calling for a full and impartial investigation by the civilian justice system into the 5 May 2014 threat, for the results to be made public, for those responsible to be brought to justice and for authorities to take appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of those under threat;
Urging the authorities to take action against paramilitary forces and to break any links between them and the security forces, in line with repeated UN recommendations.