New death threats against CREDHOS president Iván Madero Vergel
Although the progress of the peace agreements shows that building peace is possible and the end of the war is closer than ever, the Human Rights situation remains critical throughout the country and especially in the Magdalena Medio region, where it remains difficult for human rights defenders to carry out their work. The denouncements that we continue to make against armed groups and particularly against criminal gangs – which today represent the new expression of paramilitarism in the region – are evidence of the acts of surveillance, harassment, intimidation and death threats that have been occurring against members of the CREDHOS corporation.
Aggressions have increased in 2016 as the palm oil company Aportes San Isidro continues to harass and threaten the community of Las Pavas adding to their tactics the offering of monetary handouts, housing alternatives, signing lease contracts, and money towards agricultural projects with the promise to let them cultivate in peace.
The farming community’s association ASOCAB continues to denounce these aggressions to no avail. Even though there has been judicial and administrative movement that would appear to favour the community, the reality on the ground remains the same. For this reason ASOCAB has published a public denouncement of the most recent events in hopes that the authorities will put an end to the impunity.
On August 6th the Las Pavas community met with the mayor of El Peñon, the Police Inspector, the Police...
The community of Las Pavas has seen significant rise in attacks over the last month by security personnel from palm oil company Aportes San Isidro. Since mid-march company security head, Mario Marmol and about 70 other company workers have harassed community members preventing them from preparing the land for the planting season. They continue to prevent free movement and have even begun constructing a company house right next to where the community members are cultivating new land. The police continue to call this a neighborly dispute and have refrained from taking effective action.
La Asociación de Campesinos de Buenos Aires – ASOCAB
En ejercicio de nuestros derechos como víctimas de desplazamiento forzado en proceso de retorno a nuestro territorio y con el ánimo de volver las cosas a como eran antes del despojo que se nos hiciera el 14 de julio de 2009, tras decisiones judiciales ilegales que fueron dejadas sin efecto por la Corte Constitucional en su sentencia T-267 de 2011, en los primeros días del mes de marzo iniciamos labores agrícolas en varios sectores de la Hacienda Las Pavas que no estaban siendo explotados de nuestras tierras, una vez estuvimos allí fuimos agredidos por trabajadores de la empresa liderados por el señor MARIO MARMOL MONTERO, como pusimos resistencia fueron aumentando el número de jornaleros hasta llegar a alrededor de 70 hombres, contratando campesinos de la región para ponerlos a chocar con nosotros.
I want to describe the most beautiful place on earth: a place where milk and honey flows, a rural community comprised of approximately 250 families, a place on the banks of the Grand Magdalena River where one breathes peace and harmony, where people share their pain, sorrows, and joys, and where love is reflected in the faces of the people who live there.
A town like this, called El Guayabo, was born from the ashes and grew like a mustard seed that although very small grew into a large, healthy tree. Today, this tree is threatened to be cut and sold as wood to industry.
On August 4th, the community of Las Pavas publicly denounced constant aggressions committed by the palm company Aportes San Isidro and the lack of government response regarding the actions of this company. The community, to whom the government has allocated the Las Pavas farm (2012) and who are legally recognized as having been displaced by paramilitaries in 2003 (2013), continue to be affected by the palm company’s disregard for the legal system. Aportes San Isidro has committed various attacks against the community which generate terror, despair, and social breakdown in the community. The community of Las Pavas also denounces the lack of guarantees from the State, to whom they have reported many times their vulnerable situation and the violence enacted against their members.
CPT Accompaniment of CAHUCOPANA
Later this week, CPT Colombia will be accompanying CAHUCOPANA to a gathering of the First Regional Meeting of Women of Northeast Antioquia “In defence of the territory and dignity” in Dos Quebradas. As CAHUCOPANA prepares for the upcoming workshop, their members have received threats and harassment from masked men, armed and wearing uniforms with no identification, presumed to be the Colombian military.
The following denouncement describes the harassment against Carlos Alfredo Palacio Usuga of CAHUCOPANA and Noemí Durango Pérez of the regional Women’s Team for Humanitarian Action and makes three demands:
- Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos and his government must act accordingly to ensure the respect of human rights in the region;
- Respective authorities need to investigate the case and those guilty be penalized according to the infractions of International Humanitarian Law and the violations of the human rights of the communities;
- UN High Commission for Human Rights in Colombia should monitor the situation and recommend a course of action for the Colombian government.
Following the recent attacks on the community of Las Pavas, ASOCAB, the farmers association released the following denouncement.
THE FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF BUENOS AIRES “ASOCAB” denounces, before the national and international community, the acts of terrorism to which we are victims, which we add to our previous complaints of assaults by the private security department of the palm company APORTES SAN ISIDRO S.A.S.
On several occasions we have denounced the attacks carried out by private security department of the palm company APORTES SAN ISIDRO against the ASOCAB farming community, ranging from threats, crop damage, shots fired at community members, physical and verbal aggression’s, all of which we have related to agencies such as the Attorney General’s Office and the National Police, at local, regional and national levels.
Since their return to the land on April 4th 2011 the community of Las Pavas has suffered dozens of attacks and threats from employees of oil palm company Aportes San Isidro (ASI). These threats have involved burning of homes, theft of fence materials, gunshots fired at community members and continual verbal harassment. Earlier this week the Las Pavas community sent out a denouncement of the most recent threats and attacks made by ASI workers which include threats to rape adolescent daughters of Las Pavas families.
On April 4th 2011, the Las Pavas families returned to the land with the backing of a Constitutional Court decision overturning the July 14, 2009 eviction.