The Strength of Wayuu Women movement with the indigenous Wayuu reserve of Zahino denounces nationally and internationally to the institutions of the Colombian State, Public Ministries, Non-governmental organizations, and different social organizations, the recent human rights violations being made to different leaders and human rights defenders in times of peace.
Facts: At 18:49 on December 13th, Ms. Jakeline Romero Epiayu, an indigenous Wayuu woman from the indigenous reserve of Zahino, received a death threat aimed at her and her family through a text message on her personal cell phone number.
“Do not get involved in things that are not your business, avoid problems, your daughters are very beautiful and think of them, *profanity* avoid problems because I will even make your mother disappear if you continue to talk…”
The harsh words from an unknown sender, just a cell phone number that sends the texts.
These acts occur during the victim´s participation in a working group for indigenous organizations, State entities and international cooperation in the city of Cartagena in a multi-sector dialogue regarding the right to prior consultation.
These acts have been notified to the Attorney General as well as all the other pertinent official entities in order to conduct an investigation. None the less it is very worrying these acts against indigenous women and human rights defenders in the south of the Guajira.
It is very worrying that in these times where indigenous peoples and especially women are making historical contributions in the construction of peace in different territories, that these heinous acts continue to occur and are increasing this year in the most vulnerable regions of the country.
It is worth recalling the prior systematic threats that the victim´s family has received since 2005 by paramilitary groups. In the year of 2012 direct threats were made to the victim and her sister and in 2014 the victim´s under age daughter Genesis Gutierrez, being the target of these threats. All of these situations have been denounced before all the competent entities and to date all of these acts remain in impunity. The Strength of Wayuu Women has continued to denounce these acts as well as the threats to other members before the competent state entities.
It is urgent to take necessary precautions regarding the vulnerable situation of the Wayuu women, leaders within their indigenous community, that have been targeted because of openly denouncing in public debates the different situations where the rights of the Wayuu People and Mother Earth have been violated, the situation of the Wayuu victims of the armed conflict, the conditions of impoverishment of the communities, the corruption that impacts Wayuu children and women, and other situations that have put people’s lives and wellbeing at risk.
Based on the above acts, the Strength of Wayuu Women and the indigenous Wayuu reserve of Zahino in the municipality of Barrancas in the South of La Guajira rejects these threats made against the life and wellbeing of the leader Jakeline Romero Epiayu and her family. We demand immediately that:
1: All the official, competent entities of control and investigation, such as the attorney General have been presented the denouncements regarding the acts. For these entities to conduct an immediate and urgent investigation of the origin of the threats made against Jakeline Romero Epiayu to find out the intellectual and material authors of the threats.
2: To the National Government of Colombia so that thought the Ministry of Interior and Justice and its program of protection, activate the necessary urgent measures for the collective protection of the members of the Strength of Wayuu Women, who have denounced threats in other moments yet continue to remain in imminent danger.
3: To International human rights organizations such as the High Commission of the United Nations for Human Rights in Colombia to follow its own mandate and demand that the Colombian State take the necessary measures to protect indigenous women and all human rights defenders.
4: We make a fraternal call to the National and international human rights organizations, the diplomatic missions and entities accredited in Colombia, to manifest themselves rejecting these acts and equally demanding that Colombian authorities for the immediate protection of the life of Jakeline Romero Epiayu and a permanent monitoring of the situation of Wayuu women who find themselves in a situation of imminent threat.
5: To the National Unity of Protection, to make effective as soon as possible all the necessary protection measures for the protection of Jakeline Romero Epiayu, taking in regards the Decree Law 4633 of 2011, the Decree 4912 of 2011 and the orders emitted by the Constitutional Court in the Auto 004 of 2009 and all other related autos.
6: To the National Unity of Protection to analyze the levels of risk being faced by our organization, the Strength of Wayuu Women and the indigenous Wayuu reserve of Zahino in the municipality of Barrancas in the south of La Guajira in framework of the process of the defense of territorial rights and the violations made to human rights and international humanitarian rights that have impacted the Wayuu people and to examine the possibility of granting protective measures in the context of grave risk being present.
7: To the Unity of Attention and Integral Reparation to Victims, so that in frame of its competencies and in following with the Decree Law 4633 of 2011, at the municipal and departmental level conduct all the necessary actions and the necessary measures to guarantee the rights and the personal integrity and wellbeing of Jakeline Romero Epiayu, that has been leading a process of inclusion for the indigenous Wayuu reserve of Zahino in the Register of Victims and recognition as collective subjects of reparations.
8: To the Public Ministries (Ombudsman’s Office, Public Defender, Attorney General and Municipal entities) to direct all the necessary efforts to guarantee that all corresponding entities and institutions direct the efforts to conduct with utmost diligence the necessary actions to protect the wellbeing and personal integrity of Jakeline Romero Epiayu and her family.
9: The Presidential Program for Human Rights to formulate a strategy and actions for the integral development of the indigenous peoples of Colombia, within the range of their functions so that competent entities in the present case address the impacted by the above mentioned actions.
10: The Constitutional Court to take the present report and examine it within the framework of Auto 004 of 2009, and recognizing the constant increase of victimization and clear violation of individual and collective rights of the Wayuu People.
11: To the international agencies and other social and civil society organizations that stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples facing these violations and attacks, to direct from their entities and organizations spaces and generate visibility, denouncement and solidarity regarding the present situation and demand that the Colombian State take the necessary actions to guarantee and protect the rights of those who have been threatened.
Indigenous Peoples, especially women, birth humans for the creation of peace in the world.