The Alliance for Global Justice has received word that the popular occupation of Piñuña Negro continues and is in dire need of international support. Indigenous, AfroColombian and farming community members have amassed at the Police Inspector’s office–the highest governmental authority in the area–to demand negotiations to stop coca eradication efforts until the government makes good on its promises to build the infrastructure for a meaningful crop replacement program.
Read an in-depth analysis of the situation, by AFGJ.
The popular occupation is also demanding that basic educational, health and other social services be established in the area, and that the safety of protest leaders and negotiators be guaranteed. Last week, the Colombian Ministry of the Interior and Justice visited Piñuña Negro, but made no substantive commitments to negotiations to resolve the humanitarian crisis there. The military has blockaded the community from receiving imports of food and other necessities and threats from paramilitary death squads have been received on numerous occasions.
Eradication efforts in Putumayo are co-administered by the US Department of State as a part of Plan Colombia as is direct military aid, which accounts for the majority of its spending. The US government has given over $7 billion for this plan, which is really a war plan against rural communities and labor organizations in order to displace people from lands coveted by transnational corporations. In this area of Putumayo, there are rich deposits of gold, silver and platinum.
Please take a moment to contact the Colombian Embassy, the Colombian Ministry of the Interior and Justice, the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as your US Representative about this urgent matter. Make the following demands:
1) An end to coca eradications in Putumayo until authorities have negotiated and enacted a plan with Colombian authorities that includes an adequate and just crop replacement component;
2) A guarantee of safety for protest leaders and community negotiators;
3) An end to Plan Colombia and the triple threat of military and paramilitary repression and eradication programs that are the root causes of displacement of indigenous, AfroColombian and farming communities.
PLEASE EMAIL OR CALL THE FOLLOWING:
CLICK HERE FOR YOUR US REPRESENTATIVE’S CONTACT INFO
Colombian Embassy in the US:
Colombian Ministry of the Interior and Justice:
Interamerican Commission on Human Rights:
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: