Defend Happiness like a trench
Defend her from the scandal and the routine
of misery and those who are miserable
from the transitory absences
and the sure things.
CONTINUING PERSECUTION AGAINST THE MINGA OF SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY RESISTANCE
Santiago de Cali, 17 May 2009.
Amidst the pain and indignation of the criminal action against the indigenous movement of Cauca, the organizations which have signed below, express our condemnation of the assassination of ROBERT DE JESÚS GUACHETA the indigenous vice governor of Honduras Council located in the Municipality of Morales, Cauca. We send all our strength and solidarity to his family at this hard time.
Indigenous leader ROBERT DE JESÚS GUACHETA, lover of life, dignity and dedicated defender of respect for human rights held the position of vice governor of the Honduras Council, was part of the Political Commission of the Regional Advisory Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC), and was outstanding in his active participation in the Minga of Social and Community Resistance.
The indigenous leader had suffered various death threats, which we had made known to the Risk Evaluation Committee of the Interior Ministry and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR). On 18th September 2008 the IACHR was informed, and through its mediation the Colombian Foreign Office and the Interior Ministry were told the serious situation which the indigenous authorities were facing. The IACHR raised a formal request for information, but the Colombian state did not assume its obligation to take all possible measures to protect Robert Guacheta’s safety, nor that of other indigenous leaders in the eastern zone and their families who were the object of multiple threats, in the form of text messages, leaflets and phone calls.
In this request for Protection Measures on behalf of the 20 indigenous leaders, the seriousness of the threats against Vice-governor ROBERT DE JESÚS GUACHETA stand out; the indigenous leader and member of the Political Commission of the Regional Advisory Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) and previous Vice Governor of the Honduras Reserve, JOSÉ GOYES SANTA CRUZ, who was a victim of an assassination attempt on 5th June 2008 in the Municipality of Morales; the ex – governor and member of the Elders Council ANTONINO GUACHETA, and indigenous leader and member of the Municipal Administration of Morales LUIS EIDER ZAMBRANO.
After this request there were various meetings with the Interior Ministry who have still not managed to come up with a coherent proposal of protection for the vulnerable circumstances which the threatened indigenous leaders face in the department of Cauca, particularly in the eastern zone.
We are holding the national government responsible for the serious violation of human rights against the indigenous peoples and the direct incidents of persecution against the Minga of Social and Community Resistance which has left hundreds of victims in its wake with irreparable consequences, such as the assassinations of TAURINO RAMOS, EDWIN LEGARDA and ROBERT GUACHETA.
In conclusion we ask the national and international community to make itself known and request that the Colombian government comply with the internal and international norms of protection and respect for the ancestral rights of the indigenous communities and for all communities.
ASOCIACION NOMADESC, CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR, CORPORACION JURIDICA UTOPIA, SINTRAUNICOL VALLE DEL CAUCA Y NACIONAL, ASOCIACIÓN PARA EL DESARROLLO SOCIAL INTEGRAL – ECATE, RED DE HERMANDAD Y SOLIDARIDAD – COLOMBIA, CORPORACION SEMBRAR
Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds
Condemning the assassination of ROBERT DE JESÚS GUACHETA, vice governor of the indigenous Honduras Council located in the Municipality of Morales, Cauca.
Demanding full and effective Protection Measures for JOSÉ GOYES SANTA CRUZ, ANTONINO GUACHETA, LUIS EIDER ZAMBRANO and all 20 indigenous leaders in the eastern zone of Cauca Department, as cited in the IACHR formal request.
Send messages of support via NOMADESC at email: email@example.com