Human Rights Bulletin
Human Rights and Life Defence Network Cxhab Wala Kiwe – ACIN 9 May 2021
The ACIN Network for the Defence of Life and Human Rights informs the community in general and national and international public opinion about the serious events of this afternoon in Jamundí, department of Valle del Cauca.
Following the armed attack on the minga in the Cañasgordas sector of Jamundí, which so far has left 9 people wounded by ammunition projectiles, the harassment by armed civilians continues, with the complicit accompaniment of the army, the police and the ESMAD. The indigenous guard of the different zones of the CRIC [Cauca Indigenous Regional Council] has established a humanitarian cordon to remove the wounded and the rest of the personnel who are still in the vicinity of the attack with firearms against the unarmed population.
In the morning, statements were made by the Mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, in which he secretly instigated discriminatory actions against the indigenous peoples participating in the Indefinite National Strike, whom he accused of not belonging to the region and blamed for the critical situation in the city. At the same time, several disinformation claims have been circulating on social networks since 8 May, also instigating attacks on the mobilised community. One of them, the most visible and mainly responsible for the bloodshed of the last 10 days, Alvaro Uribe Vélez, who has not ceased to invite the elite to act with weapons against the protesting people.
Since the night of 8 May and the early hours of 9 May, armed people are reported to be present on the Pan-American Highway in the Jamundí sector, demanding that the road blockade be lifted, ignoring the demands of the National Strike. As they are backed by the security forces, in the morning hours they restrict the transit of chivas (double level buses) carrying community members and food to the concentration point at the Meléndez campus of the University of Valle.
Several individuals dressed in white and mobilised in high-end vans set up at various points on the road that connects Jamundí with Cali, blocking the passage of delegations from the different communities that were on their way to reinforce the Indefinite National Strike. There was an attempt at dialogue with the individuals, who claimed to be inhabitants of the area and to be against the strike. However, there was a racist and offensive attitude towards the minga members, which led to tempers flaring. They also held an ACIN thuthenas (councillor), whom they threatened with
violence. At 2:20pm, the start of the gun attack was recorded, which was carried out jointly by police and armed civilians (as shown in Image 1 and Image 2).
This type of paramilitary action resulted in 9 people being wounded by firearms. One of them, Daniela Soto, is a leader of the CRIC Youth Movement, with a serious wound in the abdomen. Jerson Tálaga, an indigenous authority of the López Adentro reserve, was also wounded by firearms.
When the wounded were taken to the health centres, the police were already waiting for them, which demonstrates a clear plan of aggression and coordinated repression. In the same way, several vehicles belonging to the leaders’ protection schemes were hit by bullets, which also demonstrates the seriousness of the attack against protected persons.
AFTER THE ATTACK:
Shortly after the attack, numerous units of ESMAD [anti-mutiny robocops], the army and more police arrived and proceeded to hide and protect the armed civilian attackers. While this was happening, the presence of public forces increased around the Meléndez campus of the Universidad del Valle, from where several delegations left to support the cowardly wounded colleagues in the south of Cali. There were numerous overflights over the university facilities, as well as over the site of the armed attack.
Videos circulating on social networks show, in the same way, how the police removed patrolmen dressed in civilian clothes from the scene of the attacks. And it is precisely the police who are the first to blame the mobilisation by means of a communiqué full of falsehoods and create their own fictional story, where mysteriously it is the indigenous community members who attack the defenceless population of the south of Cali and at the same time it is the same community members who are injured.
An hour later, President Iván Duque appeared in the national media to blame the minga and the CRIC directly for the murderous attack, justifying the attackers and legitimising their paramilitary actions, in a clear case of connivance that should have legal consequences.
To public opinion, to our sister organisations, to the young people that we accompany in the struggle, to the alternative media that still cling to the truth, to the international community, to the UN Human Rights, to the regional officials of the Ombudsman’s Office who will not let their institution give in, and to the other international human rights organisations, we denounce this barbarity that we are experiencing today in Valle del Cauca: we are facing a paramilitary threat as we have rarely known before, and only unity and determination in defence of life and urban and rural territories will allow us to survive these dark times.
Cxhab Wala Kiwe-ACIN [Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca]
Defence Network for Life and Human Rights
9 May 2021
[translated Colombia Solidarity Campaign www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk]