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REPRESIÓN CONTRA CODECA: LA PELIGROSA VOCACION DE EJERCER Y DEFENDER DERECHOS EN GUATEMALA

De acuerdo con un nuevo informe de CODECA 14 miembros de la organización han sido asesinados desde enero de 2018, en el contexto de una campaña de amenazas y ataques directos.

La represión es un mecanismo para frenar las luchas de los pueblos que defienden sus derechos frente a los intereses voraces de sectores de poder económico. En Guatemala CODECA es el movimiento social más perseguido y criminalizado en los últimos años.

En menos de dos años (de Enero 2018 a Septiembre 2019) 14 personas defensoras de DDHH integrantes de CODECA han sido asesinadas. En este mismo lapso de tiempo un total de 5748 personas defensoras han recibido diferentes tipos de agresiones. Los casos más frecuentes son criminalización,

amenazas colectivas a comunidades, amenazas directas a la integridad de defensores o sus familias y encarcelamientos. No se cuantifica en este documento las víctimas de las campañas de difamación y estigmatización, estos afectan masivamente a todas las familias organizadas en CODECA.

Todos los casos de represión contra CODECA siguen en la impunidad. Casi siempre, el sistema de justicia en Guatemala es utilizado por los sectores de poder para perseguir y criminalizar a defensores/as y organizaciones que defienden

DDHH. La respuesta estatal a la represión, siempre ha sido nula. El mismo gobierno central de Guatemala es uno de los actores que ha estigmatizado a las organizaciones y a las personas defensoras de DDHH. No hay voluntad política por

parte del gobierno de atender esta problemática.

Como mecanismo de defensa por parte de CODECA ante la represión, se han implementado diferentes estrategias, una de ellas es que se a seguido muy bien la consigna que dice “Ante mayor represión, mayor organización”. Se ha implementado una estrategia de comunicación mediante una red nacional

de comunicadores comunitarios que trabajan redes sociales y una Radio, Radio Victoria la Voz de los Pueblos. A nivel nacional también se ha articulado una red de defensores/as comunitarios para generar mecanismos de apoyo mutuo y respuestas ante la represión.

A pesar de la adversidad, CODECA ha logrado crecer a nivel nacional. Ha fortalecido su lucha por la defensa de los DDHH, la Madre Tierra y el Territorio. Ha avanzado cada vez más en el posicionamiento público de la propuesta de construcción del Estado Plurinacional y el Buen Vivir de los pueblos, mediante

un proceso de Asamblea Constituyente Popular y Plurinacional (ACPP). Una apuesta es lograr que los pueblos y sectores históricamente excluidos sean sujetos/as de derechos, y la Madre Tierra sea concebida y protegida como fuente de vida y no como recurso para ser explotado.

Two Years On, The Death of Santiago Maldonado Opens Old Wounds for Argentina

By Ligimat Perez for Front line Defenders

Santiago Maldonado disappeared while protesting for the right to land. Not for his own, since he was born into a prosperous family in the province of Buenos Aires. Two years ago, on the 1st of August 2017, he was protesting for the right of the Mapuche people to a piece of Argentinian Patagonia.

His body was only found months later, on October 17, but the actual circumstances of his death remain a mystery for many people. The judge in the case, Gustavo Lleral, found that there was no crime: “Maldonado drowned due to immersion in water aggravated by hypothermia. However he omitted to mention that the autopsy had also determined that this was a case of “violent death”.

Various witnesses and family members have stated that this was a case of forced disappearance. They have given evidence that the 28 year-old was arrested by members of the gendarmerie (a military police unit) near the Chabut River where he was seen for the last time during the police clamp down on the protest organised by the members of the “Pu Lof en Resistencia” community.

The case has caused a lot of controversy in Argentina, where it has awoken memories of the forced disappearances that took place during the military dictatorship and intensified the existing political polarisation in the country.

There have been numerous protests, some with the participation of former president Cristina Kirchner. There have also been discussions on television, editorials in the newspapers, posters and paintings with the picture of Santiago in the streets and on social media.

In no way could he be considered a typical human rights defender. El Lechuga, as he was known in the University of Plata where he studied fine art, was a handsome backpacker, who wore dreadlocks and made his living doing tattoos and craftwork. He was a nomad who got involved in many different causes, which inspired the murals he used to paint in the streets.

There was a theme connecting all the work that he did during his life: “He believed that we all have a right to a small piece of the earth where we were born”, says his older brother Sergio Maldonado, who has been leading the campaign and acts as the main spokesperson for the Maldonado family. Some of his murals speak of this, as well as his opposition to the use of pesticides and the rights of indigenous peoples to the land.

Maldonado, who since April 2017 was living in the Patagonian region of El Bolsón, had gone to Cuchamen where he joined the protest of the “Pu Lof en Resistencia” community. Since 2015 the Mapuche people have occupied a piece of the large lot of land bought by businessman Luciano Benetton, of the famous Italian clothing company. The Mapuche consider these their ancestral lands.

The land dispute between the Mapuche and Benetton has been going on for two decades. In 2002, a Mapuche community was accused of usurpation after returning to their ancestral land (625 hectares of the 900,000 that Benetton bought in four Argentine provinces). After unsuccessful attempts to resolve the conflict, they were evicted. The same story was repeated in 2007, and again in 2015.

These years of conflict have not paid off for the Mapuche. Their leaders have been persecuted both in Chile and in Argentina, they have been described as terrorists and their protest on both sides of the border has been criminalized and repressed with an excess of violence which has been the subject of repeated official complaints.

The same pattern of excessive use of force was repeated on the 1 August 2017 in Chubut when the police clamped down on the protest and when Santiago Maldonado was seen for the last time.

Although the death of Santiago remains a mystery, there is no doubt about the struggle that the Mapuche and many other indigenous peoples are fighting today in Latin America in the face of mega projects, monoculture and engineering works that threaten what remains of their ancestral lands.

According to figures from Front Line Defenders, in the last year alone approximately 250 people have been killed around the world for their work in defending the rights of indigenous peoples, the right to land and environmental rights.

“It’s not that Santiago’s life is worth more than another life. It’s just that if his death goes unpunished, you feel that it is setting a bad precedent”, says Sergio Maldonado. “In Argentina there has been a long fight to defend human rights and combat disappearances. This is a step backwards.”

India: Government contractors, lobbyists, and politicians, responsible for most RTI related killings in India. 82 activists killed for asking questions under the Right to Information Act

Author Ligimat Perez for Front Line Defenders

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In March 2018 Nanjibhai Sondharva, a villager in the Indian state of Gujarat, was killed for asking too many questions. Assailants dragged the 35-year-old from his car and clubbed and slashed him to death in Manekwada, a village in the Rajkot district of Gujarat.

Just over a year later, in May 2019, his teenage son Rajesh (pictured below) was killed for seeking justice for his father’s death. The science student was on his way home when a group of men ambushed and beat him to death.

The murder was the latest, brutal reminder of the dangers of using India’s right to information (RTI) law.

The law, passed in 2005, gives private citizens the right to demand written answers from state institutions including the police and the army. It has become a widely used tool to expose corruption and hold authorities to account. According to CHRI —an NGO which works towards the practical realization of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth— people submit between 5.3 and 5.6 million RTI applications every year. Thousands remain unanswered.

But for whistleblowers the consequences can be deadly. Dozens of RTI activists, as they are known, have been murdered – an epidemic of targeted assassinations to silence awkward questions that may expose lucrative and non transparent deeds involving public servants.

Generally, the attackers are government contractors, lobbies with strong political backing and local politicians”, says Tahmina Laskar, Senior Program Officer for CHRI.

This makes the Whistleblower Protection Act crucial. According to this law, passed in 2014, the identities of the complainant and public servant would be concealed and a competent authority would conduct a discreet inquiry. But five years after its approval, this law has not been implemented.

The Sondharva family – Dalits from India’s “lowest” caste – has paid an exceptionally heavy price in losing a father and a son to the fight for the right to information in India.

Nanjibhai Sondharva had a record of filing RTI requests to fight corruption in his village. He was savagely attacked and killed by six persons after demanding transparency and asking for details about funds spent on the construction of a road.

Four years earlier Nanjibhai had used RTI to obtain documents and file a court case challenging the diversion of funds for water projects related to sanitation and the construction of toilets in his village. This time Nanjibhai was called to a meeting by the local officials and beaten in front of a development officer. Nanjinhai filed three complaints, but the police didn’t act.

After his death in March 2018, the six accused men were arrested, but they were recently freed on bail. Sondharva’s eldest son, Rajesh spotted one of them roaming in his village, thus breaking a condition of his bail.

According to one officer linked to the investigation, Rajesh had been trying to get the man’s bail cancelled when he was murdered.

Rajesh was returning home to Manekwada village when he was attacked. He was riding a motorbike with a friend, when a group of people intercepted them and started beating Rajesh with sticks and pipes. The adolescent was taken to the local hospital where he later died.

As reported by The Wire, a non-profit Indian news outlet, before Rajesh passed out said he had been attacked by the same men who had murdered his father and who had been threatening his family to not pursue the case.

-Nanjibhai-Sondharvas-wife-Meghabai-is-trying-to-continue-the-fight – Copyright The Wire

The source, who spoke anonymously, added that the majority of the accused had criminal records. Local reports note that one of the accused in both murder cases is the husband of a sitting Congress member and the son of a government official from the village.

CHRI, which keeps track of the killings and assaults on RTI activists, says Rajesh became the 12th victim killed in Gujrat in connection to RTI use. Since the law passed in 2005 CHRI has counted 82 RTI activists and users killed and 166 assaulted nationwide.

A rampant increase in attacks on whistleblowers in India, and a slow and ineffective response by the authorities to these cases, denounced by international NGOs, bring fear of more of these targeted killings, unless the Whistleblower Act is implemented.

 

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Guatemala:UDEFEGUA Annual Report 2018 documents 392 attacks on HRDs including 26 killings

UDEFEGUA Annual Report 2018 in Spanish

In terms of democratic regression and human rights abuses the situation recorded in 2018 has shown a clear increase in the level of violence against human rights defenders. In 2018 the Unit for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights Defenders – Guatemala (UDEFEGUA) recorded a total of 392 attacks against human rights defenders.

Of particular concern is the number of 26 murders of human rights defenders, of which 21 were recorded from May onwards. To this barbarism, we must add the 18 attempted killings also recorded in 2018.

The Unit for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights -Guatemala (UDEFEGUA) presents the Situation Report of individuals, communities and organizations that defend human rights in 2018.

This report is the product of the work of the areas of the Unit, which in addition to documenting assaults on human rights defenders, also work to assess the overall situation, support those who are pursuing legal complaints and who in various ways work to help those who were victims of violence .

For the last 18 years UDEFEGUA has been publishing reports on the different struggles and resistances, promoting and defending the human rights of the Guatemalan people. Based on this analysis UDEFEGUA wishes to highlight the trend of increasing violence against the community of human rights defenders.

This increase in attacks against individuals, organisations and human rights communities is also a reflection of the emergence of a strong movement to defend human rights in the country and, along with that, the growth of struggles and resistance of the peoples and communities who are demanding the construction of a society based on the values of adignified life, democracy, transparency, freedom, justice, truth, inclusion and equity.

UDEFEGUA wishes to acknowledge, through this report, all the people, collectives, organizations, communities, movements and peoples that day by day fight in favor of human rights, in a context of adversity, violence and repression.

We hope that the information contained in this report will also be useful for the generation of protection strategies and mechanisms, as well as national and international advocacy actions.

Jorge Santos

BRAZIL: INTENSIFICATION OF THE VIOLENCE PROVOKED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAUSED THE NUMBER OF FAMILIES EXPELLED TO EXPLODE

The Pastoral Land Commission

National Communication Office

The Number of People involved in Rural Conflicts increased, and Conflicts over Water hit a New Record in 2018

Approximately one million people were involved in rural conflicts in Brazil in 2018; more specifically 960,630 people were involved in conflicts compared to 708,520 people in 2017, a significant increase of 35.6%. In particular, there were 118,080 families involved in land conflicts in 2018, while in 2017, there were 106,180 families, hence an increase of 11%.

The level of families involved in conflicts has increased significantly from 2013 onwards. The increase in the number of people involved in conflicts was not homogeneous throughout the national territory. There was a marked increase, of 119.7%, in the number of people involved in conflicts in the northern region of Brazil in 2018, compared to 2017, the main factor in the general increase in the number of people involved in conflicts in the country. This gives us strong indications of the advance / invasion of the Amazon region, which will be corroborated by the other indicators of the conflicts.

INTENSIFICATION OF THE VIOLENCE PROVOKED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAUSED THE NUMBER OF FAMILIES EXPELLED TO EXPLODE

In only 2018, private forces were responsible for the expulsion of 2,307 families and the public power for evicting 11,235 families. The number of families expelled by private forces in the rural areas increased by 59% over 2017. Three regions were responsible for most of the expulsions, namely the north, with 36.3% of families expelled; the southeast with 35.6% and the mid-west with 24.9%.

2019 AND THE ALREADY APPARENT INCREASE IN MURDERS

2018 had a substantial drop in the number of murders. A decline from 71, in 2017, when there were 5 massacres, to 28 in 2018. The CPT has observed that electoral years tend to have a decrease in this type of violence. However, 2019 already indicates a rise in the number of murders. In the first four months of the year, the CPT recorded 11 confirmed
murders in rural conflicts and this number may be even higher. In an attack in the state of Amazonas on March 30, 1 person was killed and 3 or more people may be missing, according to reports from local residents, as families have not yet felt safe to return home. The total recorded so far already represents 40% of the deaths registered in 2018.

LAND CONFLICTS

In 2018 the occurrences of rural conflicts increased by 3.9%, compared to 2017, rising from 1,431 occurrences to 1,489. The occurrence of specifically land conflicts has increased significantly since 2016, as well as in the period of political breakdown (2015-2018). Finally, the recent years of 2016, 2017 and 2018 are the ones that had the most land conflicts in Brazil, despite the fall in numbers between 2017 and 2018.

482 WOMEN SUFFER VIOLENCE IN RURAL CONFLICTS

The importance of women in the context of the struggles of the peoples and communities in rural areas is bec oming ever more evident and shocking. And due to their their brave action they suffer the consequences of the repression sponsored by landowners, land grabbers and businessmen, and executed by gunmen, hired assassins, security companies and by the repressive organs of the State itself – Civil and Military Police and the Federal Police.According to the data registered in CPT’s database, 1,409 women suffered some type of violence between 2009 and 2018. This number could be multiplied many times, for example, because in cases of eviction or forcible expulsion, the number of families was computed, but not the specific number of women involved. Despite the lack of that information, in 2018, the number of women who suffered some form of violence, 482, was the highest since 2008.

CONFLICTS OVER WATER BREAK A NEW RECORD WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER SINCE 2002

In 2018, the CPT registered 276 conflicts over water, involving 73,693 families, thus breaking the record set in 2017, which had the largest number of water conflicts since 2002, when the CPT began to register this type of conflict separately. Among the victims, 85% of them are traditional communities. The number of conflicts is 40% higher and that of the families involved, 108%. 48.1% of the cases, 133, were concentrated in the Northeast; in the Southeast, 85, 30.8% of the cases; in the North, 18.8% of the cases, 52. Bahia and Minas Gerais were the states with the most conflicts over water in 2018, each with 65 cases (23.55%).

Mining companies account for 50.36% of conflicts (139). International mining companies caused 111 of the conflicts, and national mining companies, 28. Every day mining is responsible for many of the conflicts and violence suffered by the rural communities. The violence is not restricted to the specific mine being explored. Mining requires an entire
infrastructure of venues, camps, sheds, highways, railways, pipelines, condominiums or company-towns), which “presuppose different forms of domination over geographical space”. New territories are used, causing overlapping and conflicts with the peoples and communities that live and work in those same spaces. Conflicts involving mining have reached different peoples and communities in the field through various categories of workers. They are people who depend on water, forests and land to socially reproduce their own existence with dignity. CPT records show that from 2004 to 2018 there were 1,123 conflicts involving mining.

LABOR CONFLICTS: WORKERS HOSTAGES OF SILENCE

In 2017, 66 cases of slave labor were recorded, involving a total of 530 people, and 386 were released. In 2018, 86 cases were registered, with of 1,465 people reported in the complaints and 945 people released. This corresponds to a 30% increase in the number of cases, 176% in the number of workers reported in the complaints, and 144.8% in the
number of people released. Adding to the 3 occurrences of superexploitation of labor, in 2018 there are 89 cases of labor disputes – 35% more than in 2017, and with 1,477 people involved – 178.8% more than in 2017. Two people were murdered in these conflicts.

AGROCHEMICALS: THE FEAR THAT SILENCES

But other situations, equally serious, reveal different ways of exploiting work in the field, which the CPT registers. For example, the cases of workers intoxicated by agrochemicals. From 2000 to 2018, CPT registered 363 victims in conflicts involving pesticides, people who died or whose lives were threatened by contact with them. The numbers registered by the CPT are small in the face of reality. Most likely, most people who seek the doctor because of intoxication are diagnosed with other health problems, thus failing to relate the problem to the pesticide.

Most of the workers who suffer intoxication do not denounce the fact, as they fear being punished with loss of employment. Their source of sustenance is at stake. The fear of losing their job, makes the workers, the quietest group. They are hostages of silence.

You can buy a full hard copy of the report HERE

More information:
Cristiane Passos: +55 62 4008-6406 / 99307-4305
Elvis Marques: +55 62 4008-6414 / 99309-6781
Mário Manzi: +55 62 4008-6412
www.cptnacional.org.br / @cptnacional

Colombia: 2018 ha sido uno de los peores años para defensores de derechos humanos con un total de 805 agresiones y dentro de ellas 155 asesinatos

Descargue el informe aquí 👉 https://somosdefensores.org/2019/04/23/la-naranja-mecanica/
Video de lanzamiento 👉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLF33QXV_L0

El 2018 ha sido uno de los peores años en materia de Derechos Humanos para las personas defensoras y líderes sociales en Colombia. Con un total de 805 agresiones y dentro de ellas 155 asesinatos, podemos decir que las cifras de violaciones a la vida de estos activistas alcanzaron niveles nunca antes registrados por el Sistema de Información sobre Agresiones contra personas Defensoras de Derechos Humanos –SIADDHH– del Programa Somos Defensores.

Desde el 2016 las cifras han venido en aumento pero, de manera especial, preocupa que este último año haya quedado marcado como el más violento para las personas defensoras de derechos humanos, pues en relación con el 2017 el incremento de las agresiones fue del 43,7%. Diferentes causas se encuentran detrás de este incremento de la violencia, entre ellas, identificamos como una de las principales, el reordenamiento de los grupos armados en los territorios después de la firma del Acuerdo de Paz con las FARC y de la desmovilización de esta guerrilla.

De otro lado, y mientras no paran de presentarse casos de agresiones contra defensoras y defensores, la Fiscalía General de la Nación ha optado por hacer referencia a un “esclarecimiento histórico” en las investigaciones de asesinatos, a partir de una distorsión del concepto de esclarecimiento con el que nombra como tal los avances en las investigaciones. De esta manera, por ejemplo, en enero del presente año la Fiscalía señaló que de 250 casos priorizados tenía esclarecimiento en el 54,8%, cuando en realidad solo se había realizado 22 condenas, es decir, un esclarecimiento del 8,8%.

Con estos pocos avances en las investigaciones y la exclusión de muchos otros casos de violación a la vida y derechos, tenemos que la impunidad sigue siendo un factor de preocupación en las agresiones contra personas defensoras de derechos humanos; además, las indagaciones muchas veces se concentran en identificar el autor material, cuando detrás de cada agresión o asesinato se pueden encontrar responsabilidades a un nivel más profundo.

Inquietan los altos niveles de violencia, frente a unas políticas de Gobierno poco efectivas para garantizar la vida y derechos de los defensores, y de cara a un próximo escenario electoral en el que se ponen en riesgo los liderazgos en los territorios.


Sirley Yesenia Muñoz Murillo
Coordinadora Comunicaciones, Incidencia y Sistema de Información – SIADDHH
Programa Somos Defensores-PNGPDDH
Cel. (057) 3176677053
Tel.(057 1) 2814010
Calle 19 No.4-88 Oficina 1302
Bogotá, D.C. Colombia
www.somosdefensores.org

LA

Colombia: Nuevo informe confirma que sí- sistematicidad, un hecho probado en el asesinato de líderes sociales

 

Un informe de la Comisión Colombiana de Juristas, la Universidad Nacional y varias organizaciones sociales ilustra cómo el asesinato de líderes sociales en Colombia es el resultado de “una violencia metódica y no aleatoria”, desde la firma del Acuerdo de Paz con las Farc en 2016.

Con respecto a los crímenes que configuran violaciones al derecho a la vida e integridad contra defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos y líderes y lideresas sociales, los hallazgos de este informe definen patrones concretos en lo referente a las violaciones a los derechos a la vida e integridad en cuanto a: su localización dentro de un determinado ámbito geográfico, las personas contra las que se perpetran las violaciones, el modo en el que estas violaciones se llevan a cabo, su frecuencia y sus posibles perpetradores.

Para elaborar la construcción de patrones se tomará como base el concepto de “Moda estadística”, entendida como el factor o condición que más se repite en una muestra o estudio.

Naturaleza de los crímenes: Este fenómeno de violencia evidencia una naturaleza repetitiva, invariable y continua; es una violencia perpetrada de manera reiterada, metódica y no aleatoria. Es un ejercicio de violencia no accidental ni fortuito ejercido de manera ilegal contra una población civil concreta. Las víctimas presentan unas características comunes determinadas por sus cualidades y sus luchas.

Se tomará como base el concepto de “Moda estadística”, entendida como el factor o condición que más se repite en una muestra o estudio. Naturaleza de los crímenes: Este fenómeno de violencia evidencia una naturaleza repetitiva, invariable y continua; es una violencia perpetrada de manera reiterada, metódica y no aleatoria. Es un ejercicio de violencia no accidental ni fortuito ejercido de manera ilegal contra una población civil concreta. Las víctimas presentan unas características comunes determinadas por sus cualidades y sus luchas.

Características de las víctimas: El perfil de los líderes sociales y defensores de derechos humanos asesinados se elabora por su condición más activa o evidente, que puede estar vinculada con los móviles de su asesinato. Las víctimas, en su mayoría, son personas en condición de vulnerabilidad socioeconómica ubicadas en una posición de desventaja en las relaciones asimétricas de poder

regionales, pertenecientes a grupos étnicos históricamente discriminados, de extracción campesina y algunas de ellas eran o son (los sobrevivientes) víctimas del desplazamiento forzado o de otras acciones propias del conflicto armado. Las víctimas de asesinatos y desapariciones forzadas, en su mayoría son dignatarios y dignatarias de JAC, líderes(as) Indígenas, líderes(as) de organizaciones campesinas, de Consejos Comunitarios, de procesos de restitución de tierras, de organizaciones de víctimas, líderes(as) Ambientales y líderes(as) de población LGBTI.

En 2017 y 2018 se evidencia un incremento en violaciones al derecho a la vida y la integridad de líderes(as) de procesos de sustitución de cultivos de uso ilícito, directivos sindicales y de miembros de los partidos políticos FARC y Colombia Humana. Algunas de las víctimas no hacían parte de una organización y otras sí. La frecuencia de violaciones al derecho a la vida contra miembros de las organizaciones mencionadas en el informe apunta a demostrar que existen patrones de violencia contra estas organizaciones. El que miembros de estas organizaciones hayan sido víctimas de agresiones de manera reiterada también puede indicar la posible existencia de niveles de planeación de estos crímenes.

Luchas de las víctimas: En general, las víctimas de violaciones al derecho a la vida llevaban a cabo ejercicios de poder contra-hegemónico en el ámbito local 218 que afectan intereses de grupos ilegales, pero también de grupos económicos, empresas o personas que son consideradas por el Estado y la sociedad como inscritos en la legalidad. Las víctimas eran un obstáculo para determinados actores que detentan el poder económico, político o armado en las regiones afectadas. Las acciones y luchas más evidenciadas de las víctimas registradas se centran en: defensa de los derechos a la tierra y el territorio, veeduría y denuncia de crímenes de actores hegemónicos, denuncias de despojo de tierras, de actos de corrupción de funcionarios estatales, de presencia de actores armados, de reclutamiento forzado y de microtráfico. Otras víctimas hacían oposición a megaproyectos económicos, de explotación o de industrias extractivas que afectan negativamente a la comunidad (de petroleras, minería legal e ilegal, construcción de represas), hacían defensa de derechos sexuales y reproductivos o trabajaban en proyectos de sustitución de cultivos de uso ilícito y otros referentes a la implementación del Acuerdo de Paz entre el Estado y la antigua guerrilla de las FARC.

A ver tambien analisis a fondo en El Espectador

Philippines: Cold-blooded murders signal the start of 2019 under Duterte

Source Karapatan

“If this is an indication of what is to come, then anyone from the communities, the ranks of human rights and peace advocates, and the poor and marginalized sectors are all at an even greater risk. The Duterte regime’s kill, kill, kill program under ruthless campaigns have resulted in cold-blooded, cowardly killings that target individuals who have given their lives to the pursuit of justice, peace, and defense of people’s rights. We are extremely enraged at the extent of which this government can outrightly violate our rights. The Duterte regime and its legion of ruthless murderers have sunk to an all-time low, into a bottomless pit of dastardly crimes that can only be masterminded and executed by the most brutal and cruel butchers,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, citing the recent killings of peace consultant Randy Felix Malayao and peasant leader Sergio Atay.
On January 29, Sergio Atay, 35, a member of local peasant group Magbabaul, was gunned down in San Roque, Rizal town, Zamboanga del Norte. The victim was last seen alive at the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) checkpoint in the highway of Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental, and Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte on the evening of January 28. Atay was later found the next day, riddled with 5 bullets to the head. Medico-legal examination also revealed that he had torture marks and was hogtied.
Prior to his killing, Atay’s family reported that they were surveilled and were even visited by elements of the military several times in 2018. The peasant advocate was presumably targeted because of his active involvement as member of Magbabaul, which is also affiliated to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), an organization of farmers and advocates red-tagged by the government.
A day later, on January 30, 2019, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randy Felix Malayao, 49, was killed while onboard a bus in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. According to initial reports, the gunmen boarded the bus and shot Malayao twice while he was asleep. He was killed on the spot.
Malayao participated in the formal peace talks between the NDFP and the GRP. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of SELDA- Northern Luzon, and the current Vice President of Makabayan Coalition. He was also among the more than 600 individuals falsely implicated in the proscription petition of the Department of Justice in February 2018.
“We lay the blame of these killings to the Duterte government, which has unceasingly threatened human rights and peace advocates and incite the commission of these dastardly crimes against them and their communities. The victims have been repeatedly harassed prior to their deaths, and they were no doubt targeted because of their advocacies on people’s rights and for just and lasting peace. Extrajudicial killings executed by riding-in-tandem assailants have been prevalent during the Arroyo regime, but have also been seamlessly adopted and have been escalated by Duterte and his band of murderers. We demand justice for Atay, Malayao, and all the victims of rights violations under this murderous regime,” said Palabay.
The Karapatan leader also mentioned the case of an Anakpawis member in Mexico, Pampanga, who was also brutally killed on October 17, 2018. Cesar Carreon, 41, was abducted by eight armed men inside his residence in Brgy. Laug, Mexico, Pampanga. Gemma, the victim’s wife, then reported the incident to the barangay hall and filed a blotter report. On October 19, Gemma was informed that a cadaver was found in Candaba, Pampanga. She went to the police station to identify if it was her husband. Gemma saw Cesar’s face, which the police described was wrapped with packaging tape; Cesar’s hands were tied behind his back, his feet and neck were tied with wire and plastic straw. The police also described that when the packaging tape was removed, Cesar’s mouth was filled with cloth. The victim was shot on the right side of his forehead and on his lower back. Cesar was brought to a funeral parlor in Bulacan. He is survived by eight children.
“These killings are unconscionable. We have lost good, selfless men who never thought twice about service to the Filipino people, about uplifting the lives of the marginalized, of changing the political and economic system that have led to the crisis and poverty of the Filipino people. We salute their courage as we vehemently condemn the cowardice of this regime. Along with the victims’ families, advocates, organizations, and the Filipino people, we will hold accountable the Duterte regime on its lengthy list of crimes. The lives of Atay, Malayao, and Carreon, and other victims of Duterte, will not be in vain. As we condole with the families of the victims, we raise our banners high and loudly repeat our call for justice,” she concluded.
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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org 

Colombia: Six human rights defenders killed during the first week of 2019

Six human rights defenders, Maritza Quiroz Leiva, Wilson Pérez Ascanio, José Rafael Solano, Wilmer Antonio Miranda, Jesús Adier Perafán, and Gilberto Valencia were killed in violent attacks in Colombia during the first week of 2019.

Maritza Quiroz Leiva was a woman human rights defender, deputy of the Victims Committee of Santa Marta (Mesa de Víctimas of Santa Marta) and the leader of a group of Afro-Colombian women who have been victims of enforced displacement in rural areas. She advocated for the rights of all victims of the Colombian conflict, especially regarding situations of enforced displacement, which she suffered herself, and of the Afro-community that she was a part of.

At 3am on 7 January 2019, Maritza Quiroz Leiva was killed by unidentified armed men who broke into her rural property in San Isidro, in Sierra Nevada, Santa Marta. Before the armed men entered her house, Maritza Quiroz Leiva asked her son Luis Camilo Bermúdez Quiroz to hide under the bed, from were he heard the shots. He ran to a police station as soon as the killers left.

Wilson Pérez Ascanio was a human rights defender, social leader, and member of the Movement for the Popular Constituent (Movimiento por la Constituyente Popular, MCP). On 5 January 2019, he was shot by unidentified armed men on a motorcycle in Hacarí, Norte de Santander. He was transferred to a nearby hospital in La Playa de Belén, but died in the early hours of 6 January 2019.

José Rafael Solano was a human rights defender, president of the Community Action Board (Junta de Acción Comunal) and social leader. At 5pm on 4 January 2019, unidentified armed men shot him dead in front of his house, between the municipalities of Zaragoza and Caucasia, in Bajo Cauca, Antioquia. His family witnessed the crime.

Wilmer Antonio Miranda was a human rights defender and member of the Cajibio Peasant Workers Association (Asociación de Trabajadores Campesinos de Cajibio), of the National Asociation of Peasant Reserves (Asociación Nacional de Zonas de Reserva Campesina), the National Coordination of Coca, Amapola and Marijuana Cultivators (Coordinadora Nacional de Cultivadores de Coca, Amapola y Marihuana), and the Social and Political Coordination Patriotic March in the Cauca region. At 6pm on 4 January 2019, he was shot by four unidentified men, dressed as civilians, and died immediately.

Jesús Adier Perafán was a social leader and citizen inspector of the Caicedonia municipality, as well as the founder of the Courage Caicedonia (Coraje Caicedonia) political organisation and president of the Community Action Board (Junta de Acción Comunal) of the Valle del Cauca neighbourhood. On 1 January 2019, he was shot at repeatedly while he was at the grocery store by unidentified armed men, who subsequently escaped on motorcycles. Jesús Adier Perafán was taken to the Santander de Caicedonia Hospital, where he died of his gunshot wounds. The investigations are facing difficulties due to the lack of witnesses to the attack.

Gilberto Valencia was a human rights defender, social leader, peace-builder and cultural manager of the Suárez municipality in Cauca, who worked to disseminate the terms of the Colombian Peace Agreement through music. He was also the leader of the “Los Herderos” group, and won an award in 2015 for his social enterpreneurship. He was shot dead during a New Year’s Eve celebration with his family and friends in the municipality of Suárez, Cauca. A lone gunman, believed to have been known to Gilberto Valencia in the context of his social work, is understood to have carried out the attack with an altered firearm.

Colombia has seen an increase in violence against human rights defenders since the signing of the Peace Agreement with the FARC-EP. Two years on, the State has failed to implement most of its obligations, including establishing an integrated presence in rural regions. This has has led to a number of illegal armed groups fighting for control of the areas previously occupied by FARC-EP, which puts human rights defenders at an increased risk.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the wave of killings of human rights defenders in Colombia, which witnessed more killings of defenders than any other country worldwide in 2018. The epidemic has already reached extremely worrying heights during the first week of 2019. Front Line Defenders is noticing a pattern of killings against defenders in the country, which often feature armed attacks by unidentified armed men.