Fensuagro Unionists Murdered in Cauca, Colombia – Stop the US/Colombia Terror!

Genocide is happening in Colombia. There is no other way to put it. In just one terrible day, July 16, 2018, six social movement leaders were killed. Since the June 17 election of Ivan Duque as Colombia’s president, social movement leaders have been killed at the rate of more than one a day. Duque is a disciple of former president and death squad patron Álvaro Uribe, whom he calls Colombia’s “eternal president”.

Last weekend, two Fensuagro affiliates were murdered in the most brutal ways imaginable, beaten to death with rocks, one of them literally decapitated by repeated blunt force trauma. These men were from the sister towns of Miranda, Corinto, and Caloto, villages AfGJ has been visiting since our first trip to the area in 2009. We must not let their voices be lost, even though their lives have been taken! We must lend our own voices and make their demands for peace and justice our own!

LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA, PRESENTE! JOSE BAYARDO MONTOYA, PRESENTE!

TWO ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE!

1) Click HERE to send an email to Colombian authorities demanding an end to violence targeting our union sisters and brothers in Fensuagro!

2) Send an email to James@AFGJ.org to learn more about the August 7 Day for Peace in Colombia – Stop the US/Colombian State and Military Terror!

Luis Eduardo Dagua Conda, victim of US/Colombia sponsored paramilitary and state terrorism in Cauca, Colombia

There is a systematic effort to destroy Colombia’s Left through murder and mayhem and forced displacement. The communities most affected are indigenous, Afro-Colombian, and rural populations. Human rights defenders, socialists, environmental defenders, student activists, unionists, and social movement leaders are all declared military objects by paramilitary death squads. These death squads operate with impunity, including in areas where there is an established military and police presence. Colombian Armed Forces are following policies urged by the Trump administration and attacking communities demanding just development. Colombia is in a state of humanitarian crisis.

Alliance for Global Justice has close ties to some of the most targeted of Colombia’s social movements. Our comrades from the Marcha Patriótica make up over 40% of the victims of political assassinations in Colombia right now. The largest labor organization in the Marcha Patriótica, the farm workers union, Fensuagro, continues to be the most persecuted union in Colombia. Its members have recently suffered a series of threats, murders, and forced displacements.

What’s going on in Colombia is terrorism, and the US government is behind it. In 1962, the Pentagon urged the Colombian government to “…execute paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist activities…backed by the United States”. Since then, the US has paid for and directed war and repression in Colombia, including more than $11 billion in US taxes since 1998 for Plan Colombia. Plan Colombia has even rewarded paramilitaries leaders with our public monies, an example being hundreds of thousands given to support palm oil megafarms owned by death squad commanders. The administration of Donald Trump has waged a campaign on multiple fronts to unravel Colombia’s peace.  Since his election, the president, vice president, secretary of state, ambassador, and Pentagon officials have all pressed the Colombian government to abandon rural development and crop substitution programs to stop illicit crop cultivation, in favor of violent eradication with no rural development. The forced eradication favored by the White House has resulted in killings and all-out massacres of communities protesting and demanding that the peace accords be honored.

For those of us who live in the United States, we should recognize that Colombian blood is on our hands already. There’s only one way to wash it off, and that’s with solidarity and resistance.

COME CLEAN AND TAKE A STAND FOR PEACE IN COLOMBIA!


FOLLOWING IS A TRANSLATION (read the original Spanish here) OF THE ALERT WE RECEIVED FROM THE FRANCISCO ISAIAS CIFUENTES HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK REGARDING THE MURDERS OF FENSUAGRO MEMBERS LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA AND JOSE BAYARDO MONTOYA:

www.reddhfic.org

URGENT

TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

THE HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK OF SOUTHWESTERN COLOMBIA FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

“Francisco Isaías Cifuentes”

(La Red de Derechos Humanos del Suroccidente Colombiano “Francisco Isaías Cifuentes”)

NATIONAL NETWORK OF GUARANTEES AND HUMAN RIGHTS FOR THE MARCHA PATRIÓTICA SOCIAL AND POLITICAL COORDINATION

(RED NACIONAL DE GARANTÍAS Y DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LA COORDINACIÓN SOCIAL Y POLÍTICA MARHCA PATRIÓTICA)

PUBLIC DENUNCIATION

[We denounce] the Murder in a zone with ample military presence and control by the Colombian State, of the social leader, human rights defender and victim of the Armed Conflict LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA, member of the Comunal Action Council of the Village El Carmelo, Senior Adult Coordinator and active associate of the Pro-Constitution Association of Workers of the Peasant Reserve Zone of Caloto – ASTRAZONACAL, affiliate of the National Unitary Federation of Agricultural Workers Unions – FENSUAGRO-CUT, and member of the Popular Unity Process of Southwest Colombia (PUPSOC) and of the Social and Political Coordination of the Marcha Patriótica of Cauca, and father of an ex-combatant of the FARC-EP in process of reincorporation.

IN ACCORD WITH RECENTLY RECEIVED DECLARATIONS

FACTS

Southwest Colombia, Department of Cauca, Municipality of Caloto

Monday, July 16, 2018

Village of El Carmelo, around 7:00 in the morning a group of campesinos that had been convened to undertake a community work project encountered the lifeless body of social leader and Human Rights defender LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA.

It is necessary to point out that the lifeless body had signs of torture in the neck and face. By the immediate elements encountered, the murder appeared to be caused by blows from rocks.

Versions of what happened from the community agree that on July 15 (in the evening hours) a group of soldiers of the Colombian state were camped on the farm owned by LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA and maintaining their presence in the place where Mr. Luis Eduardo was murdered.

It is necessary to point out that the homicide of LUIS EDUARDO is the second case in two days of the same kind of murder in the northern zone of the Department of Cauca, due to the fact that on the day of July 15 in the Municipality of Miranda (Cauca), the lifeless body of the young JOSE BAYARDO MONTOYA was found, the skull destroyed with rocks.

Indications:

LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA, with the identification number (cédula) of 10630716 of Corinto, Cauca, senior adult and victim of armed conflict, was a prominent social leader and defender of Human Rights, was one of the founders of the Carmelo village of the Municipality of Caloto, Cauca, and was currently a member of the Community Action Council of the Village of El Carmelo, member of the communal Action Council of the Village El Carmelo, Senior Adult Coordinator and active associate of the Pro-Constitution Association of Workers of the Peasant Reserve Zone of Caloto – ASTRAZONACAL, affiliate of the National Unitary Federation of Agricultural Workers Unions – FENSUAGRO-CUT, and member of the Popular Unity Process of Southwest Colombia (PUPSOC), and of the Social and Political Coordination of the Marcha Patriótica of Cauca. Equally, he was the father of EDUARDO DAGUA, ex-combatant of the FARC-EP.

IN THE FACE OF THE WELL-FOUNDED FEAR FOR THE LIFE AND INTEGRITY OF THE NUCLEAR FAMILY OF LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA AND THE SOCIAL LEADERS AND DEFENDERS OF HUMAN RIGHTS THAT MAKE PART OF THE COMMUNITY ACTION COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF EL CARMELO, MUNICIPALITY OF CALOTO, THE PRO-CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION OF WORKERS OF THE PEASANT RESERVE ZONE OF CALOTO – ASTRAZONACAL, THE NATIONAL UNITARY FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURAL WORKERS UNIONS – FENSUAGRO-CUT, THE POPULAR UNITY PROCESS OF SOUTHWEST COLOMIBA – PUPSOC, AND THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL COORDINATION OF THE MARCHA PATRIOTICA IN CAUCA, LIKEWISE, THE MEMBERS OF THE ALTERNATIVE REVOLUTIONARY COMMON FORCE – FARC, AND THE EX-COMBATANTS OF THE FARC-EP IN PROCESS OF REINCORPORATION [INTO CIVIL SOCIETY], AND THEIR FAMILIES, AND IN REJECTION OF THE ACTIONS OF THE IRREGULAR ARMED FORCES IN AREAS OF MILITARY OPERATIONS OF THE COLOMBIAN STATE, 

WE HOLD RESPONSIBLE:

The Colombian State headed by Mr. JUAN MANUEL SANTOS CALDERON, the Government of the Department of Cauca, headed by OSCAR RODRIGO CAMPO HURTADO, the Brigadier General JORGE HORACIO ROMERO PINZON, Commander of the Third Division of the National Army, the Coronel SANDRO GRAJALES, Commander of the Apollo Work Force, and the Coronel FABIO ALEXANDER ROJAS GARCÍA, Commander of the Cauca Department of Police, for the violations of International Human Rights Law, committed by members of the irregular armed forces in the zone of operations of the military and police units that direct them.

WE DEMAND:

That the necessary and conducive measures be advanced for the clarification of the truth faced with the homicide committed against the social leader and defender of Human Rights LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA and the state responsibility with respect to the rights to life, liberty, personal security, physical and psychological integrity, personal, familial, and domestic intimacy, and the honor and reputation and work of the friends, family, and comrades of the assassinated leader, and of the social leaders and Human Rights defenders that are part of the Community Action Council of the Village of El Carmelo, Municipality of El Carmelo, Caoloto, the Pro-Constitution Association of Workers of the Peasant Reserve Zone of Caloto – ASTRAZONACAL, the National Unitary Federation of Agricultural Workers Unions – FENSUAGRO-CUT, the Popular Unity Process of Southwest Colombia – PUPSOC, and the Social and Political Coordination of the Marcha Patriótica in Cauca, likewise the members of the Alternative Revolutionary Common Force – FARC, and the ex-combatants of the FARC-EP in process of reincorporation [into civil society], and their families.

WE DEMAND THAT THE COLOMBIAN STATE, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CAUCA, AND THE PEOPLE’S DEFENDER’S OFFICE:

 

  • Develop the necessary legal actions to determine the collective and individual responsibilities for the homicide committed against the social leader, Human Rights Defender, and victim of the Armed Conflict LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA established in the facts of this Public Denunciation.
  • Immediately comply with the recommendations of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS, and the other international organisms reiterated concerning the respect and observance of International Human Rights Law.
  • Advance the necessary measures to achieve the guarantee for the rights to life, liberty, personal safety, free movement, physical and psychological integrity, and the personal intimacy of the nuclear family of the social leader, Human Rights Defender, and victim of the Armed Conflict LUIS EDUARDO DAGUA CONDA, and of the social leaders and Human Rights defenders that make up the Community Action Council of El Carmelo, Municipality of Caloto, the Pro-Constitution Association of Workers of the Peasant Reserve Zone of Caloto – ASTRAZONACAL, the National Unitary Federation of Agricultural Workers Unions – FENSUAGRO-CUT, the Popular Unity Process of Southwest Colombia – PUPSOC, and the Social and Political coordination of the Marcha Patriótica in Cauca, likewise the members of the Alternative Revolutionary Common Force – FARC, and the ex-combatants of the FARC-EP in process of reincorporation and their families, who are being seen affected by the arbitrary action of the irregular armed forces in areas of operation of the Military and police of the Colombian State.

WE SOLICIT

THAT THE HIGH COMMISSION OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

In the context of its mandate, lend all its direction so that the implementations of the Colombian State adhere to the internal and external norms which it has committed to respect, and that it initiate investigations wherever there these may be unrecognized.

WE URGE THE ORGANISMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE POPULAR ORGANIZATIONS TO MAINTAIN ATTENTION AND STAY ALERT TO THE CRITICAL HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF CAUCA IS FACING.

THE HUMAN RIGHTS SOUTHWEST COLOMBIAN NETWORK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

“Francisco Isaías Cifuentes”

(La Red de Derechos Humanos del Suroccidente Colombiano “Francisco Isaías Cifuentes”)

NATIONAL NETWORK OF GUARANTEES AND HUMAN RIGHTS FOR THE MARCHA PATRIOTICA SOCIAL AND POLITICAL COORDINATION

(RED NACIONAL DE GARANTÍAS Y DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LA COORDINACIÓN SOCIAL Y POLÍTICA MARHCA PATRIÓTICA)