Colombia: End the State-sanctioned Violence, Investigate the Crimes of the Colombian State!

Colombia: A Month into the National Strike We Demand the End of State-sanctioned Violence and an International Investigation into the Crimes of the Colombian State

(28 May 2021) A month into the National Strike against the neoliberal reforms that seek to undermine rights, promote privatization and labor flexibilization, the undersigned social organizations and movements express their solidarity with the people of Colombia and demand an immediate halt of the brutal state and parastatal violence exerted on young people, women, farmers, workers and indigenous peoples who have been manifesting tirelessly in defense of their rights.

The unwavering resistance has reaped benefits, but will not stop until they achieve the reversal of the latest ultra-neoliberal attack from the government. The Colombian people will not desist from the implementation of the Peace Accords, today called into question by the detrimental actions of the government and the non-compliance of its obligation to protect the lives of social leaders, who are pillars in building peace in Colombia and today face constant massacres at the hands of illegal armed groups, mainly paramilitary groups involved in drug trafficking.

No More Human Rights Violations!

The undersigned demand that the Duque government comply with its international human rights obligations and immediately cease all state violence against the Colombian people. More than 40 protestors have been assassinated, there are hundreds of disappeared, girls and young women have been sexually abused, summary executions and ultra-violent repression are rampant. We demand a serious and effective investigation into the actions of state security forces as well as of civilians who have violently joined in the repression, particularly against indigenous people.

Like the Colombian people, we do not trust the words or arguments of the authorities from the government of Ivan Duque. For this reason, we consider it urgent to organize an international investigation, with the participation of delegates from social and human rights organizations and movements. As such, we join the call of unions, individuals and institutions who have expressed their agreement with the involvement of international human right institutions.

We demand that the government of Ivan Duque comply with the commitments adopted in the Peace Accords. The implementation of good faith of the Accords is not only an internationally acknowledged obligation for the state, but also the response to many of the demands of the mobilized people: democratic opening, political inclusion, democratization of the access to land, dismantling paramilitarism, dignity to the victims and building a collective historical memory.

We call on the European Union to commit to its role as international observer and its responsibility in the implementation of the Peace Accords. We urge you to cancel the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia as a result to its lack of compliance with international regulations in regards to human rights. We make the same appeal to all governments –including the United States of America and South Korea. It is essential to open a discussion about relevance of free trade agreements that benefit only big capital to the detriment of local economies, farmers, labor rights and contributing to increasing poverty.

It is also urgent to stop all arms sales to Colombia. We urge the countries concerned to stop the sale of all kind of weaponry, ammunition and equipment used by public forces in Colombia to repress and attack protestors.

In the context of the third wave of the pandemic currently sweeping Colombia, it is vital to stop at once all measures detrimental to protection included in the reform and start an urgent process of national negotiation to meet the needs of the people in the areas of health, food and basic rights; to ensure decent living conditions especially to those most affected by the pandemic.

It is proven that austerity measures and deregulation only worsen social crisis, and that, especially in situations like the one we are living today, the role of the state as guarantor of rights –and not as an agent of repression– is essential for people’s lives.

For an end to state and parastatal violence, an end to the neoliberal reform package and for peace, truth and justice and reparations for the Colombian people!

Implementation of the Peace Accords NOW!

Cancel all FTAs with Colombia!

Stop all arm sales to the Colombian state!

Signed by (Last updated 31 May)

  • La Via Campesina
  • Friends of the Earth International
  • Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity
  • Transnational Institute (TNI)
  • Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations (CLOC-LVC)
  • European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC)
  • Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC)
  • CENSAT Agua Viva – Friends of the Earth Colombia
  • Friends of the Earth Brazil
  • Federación Nacional Sindical Unitaria Agropecuaria (FENSUAGRO) – Colombia
  • Sindicato de Pequeños Agricultores de Cundinamarca (SINPEAGRICUN) – Colombia
  • Intersindical de la Agroindustria y la Alimentación – Colombia
  • Federación Nacional de Cooperativas Agropecuarias (FENACOA) – Colombia
  • Asociación Nacional de Usuarios Campesinos de Colombia (ANUC-CGT) – Colombia
  • Asociación Presbiteras Católicas – Colombia
  • La Vía Campesina México
  • Movimento Protejo – Portugal
  • Bizilur. Asociación para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo de los Pueblos – Euskalherria
  • InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia – EEUU

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