Original in Spanish: https://comiteambiental.com/comunicado-la-opinion-publica-nacional-e-internacional/
On 3 June in the department of Tolima over 120,000 people mobilised for the 8th Great Carnival March. In the departments of Caquetá and Quindío there were also cultural demonstrations against large scale mining projects (part of the Colombian government pro-mining policy known as the Mining Locomotive).
In a peaceful, cheerful, cultural but firm manner, we rejected the national government’s dictatorial imposition of an economic model based on extraction, the spread of which would affect the right to water of those of us living in this land of Colombia, and of future generations.
Our slogans, which call for the guarantee of the right to water, to a healthy environment, but above all the universal right to life of human beings and nature in general, continue to lead to persecution and stigmatisation, not only by the government, but also by armed groups that wish to perpetuate Colombia’s socio-environmental conflicts.
We reject the threats, made through pamphlets, that the self-proclaimed Águilas Negras (Black Eagles) paramilitary group are purportedly making against the Environmental Committee of Tolima, against the Congress of Peoples, the Patriotic March, the Regional Indigenous Council of Tolima (CRIT), the National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia (ONIC), the Agrarian, Campesino, Ethnic and Popular Summit, organisations defending human rights and the mayor of Ibagué, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo.
- We call on the Colombian government to guarantee the safety of every member of the Network of Environmental Committees in Tolima, and the other organisations mentioned in the threatening pamphlet.
- We call on the Attorney General of Colombia to quickly move to investigate and establish the facts.
- We call on the Colombian government to grant the measures of protection necessary to safeguard the work, integrity and honour of those working to protect water, life and territory.
Following is the translated text of the message sent by the Águilas Negras:
2 June 2016
CENTRAL COLOMBIAN BLOC
Our armed group is well aware of your intention to keep blocking roads, organising marches and misinforming the public, solely to impede progress in ideology and the development projects in Tolima and across our country.
For these reasons, the principal leaders of the following are hereby declared military targets: the Patriotic March, those in the Environmental Committee, those in the Regional Indigenous Council of Tolima (CRIT) and ONIC, the Agrarian Summit, the Congress of Peoples, that beauty of a mayor in Ibagué, and anyone who insists on going along with the story about human rights, which, along with the stupid mess of a peace process by Santos, means that all of you sons of bitches on the left are no more than collaborators with the guerrillas of the FARC-EP.
You are ordered to cease your activities NOW! No more strikes, because we have you where we want you, and our fighters will make you fall, one by one.
THERE WILL BE NO COMPASSION!
Send letters of support demanding the safety of those threatened in Tolima, calling for an investigation to establish the facts, and measures to guarantee the work, integrity and honour of those working to protect water, life and territory.
Please send your messages to:
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS CALDERÓN President of the Republic, Carrera 8 No. 7 -26 Palacio de Cauca Bogotá Fax. 5662071 Fax: (+571) 566.20.71 Email: email@example.com
JUAN FERNANDO CRISTO Minister of the Interior, Carrera 9a. No. 14-10 – Bogotá, D.C.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PBX: (+57) 444 31 00 Ext. 1820
ALEJANDRO ORDOÑEZ MALDONADO General Inspector of the Nation, Cra. 5 No.15 – 80F Bogotá D.C. anticorrupción@presidencia.gov.co, reygon@procuraduría.gov.co
COLOMBIA OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Calle 114 No. 9-45 Torre B Oficina 1101 Edificio Teleport Business Park – Bogotá, Colombia PBX: (57-1) 629 3636 (57-1) 629 3636 Fax: (57-1) 629 3637 E-mail: email@example.com