Colombia: Call for Life, Democracy and Peace!

La Via Campesina stands in solidarity with the struggles and protests of the Colombian people in the NATIONAL STRIKE that began on April 28th and remains active even now.

The protests unleashed against a proposed tax reform linked to the pandemic have become a national demonstration against the increase in poverty, unemployment, the failure to implement the Peace Accord and the worsening of the violence expressed in the increase of massacres, forced disappearances, displacements and the murder of 1,167 social leaders since the signing of the Accord.

The Colombian people express their indignation at these historical injustices and once again share age-old demands of PEACE, LIFE, WORK and LAND; they protest against the mismanagement of the pandemic by the Government of Ivan Duque, which prioritized economic interests and disregarded the lives of humble Colombians.

We express our solidarity with the Colombian people who are today exercising their legitimate right to protest. We stand in solidarity especially with the peasant, indigenous and Afro-descendant organisations that are mobilising from the territories most affected by violence in defense of life, land and territory.

We ratify our repudiation of the violence exercised by the state and its security forces who criminalise people’s movements, and against the state agents who illegally detain, rape, kill, and disappear.

Today the state violence in Colombia is reflected in the murder of 37 demonstrators, 831 arbitrary detentions, 222 cases of physical violence, 22 victims of aggression in the eyes, 10 victims of sexual violence by the security forces and 86 people disappeared, all in the context of the National Strike.

We demand from the government of Iván Duque:

  • an immediate ceasefire against those who demonstrate;
  • guarantees for the exercise of the right to protest and social mobilisation;
  • the immediate release of those detained for political reasons;
  • the investigation and condemnation of murderers and rapists;
  • the construction of a process of a dialogue with the population;
  • the implementation of the Peace Accords.

We call on the international community and human rights organisations to demand that the necessary measures be taken to stop the violence and advance in the construction of peace.

We call on the organizations that are part of La Via Campesina, as well as allied organizations, to raise awareness on the situation, to express our rejection of the governmental actions and stand in solidarity, to strengthen our unity and struggle.