European Coordination Via Campesina condemns the violent repression against peasants in Tumaco, Nariño, Colombia

Brussels, October 9, 2017 – The European Coordination Via Campesina [ECVC] condemns the violent repression carried out these last few days against thousands of peasants in Tumaco, Nariño, Colombia. They were peacefully demonstrating, calling for compliance with the peace agreements signed between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP, when military and police personnel opened fire, perpetrating a brutal massacre that cost 9 people their lives and seriously injured 52.

We, European peasants, express our solidarity with our fellow-Colombian peasants, as well as with their organizations, who condemn the non-compliance with the National Comprehensive Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops (Programa Nacional Integral de Sustitución de Cultivos de Uso Ilícito – PNIS). In violation of the peace agreement, the Colombian government is not ensuring the voluntary substitution of coca crops through participatory planning and structural reforms that eradicate poverty and offer genuine productive opportunities for producers. Instead, it’s proceeding to the forced eradication of crops and leaving peasant communities without alternatives.

We urge the government to put an end to its violent and repressive policy, to demilitarize the different areas and to ensure the implementation of the peace agreements by guaranteeing the safety of rural populations and implement, with a proper budget, the Comprehensive Rural Reform and the Comprehensive Program for Substitution. It is also crucial to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this massacre.

We also urge the international organizations taking part in the implementation of the peace agreements (as the FAO and the UN) to urgently condemn these acts and demand accountability from the Colombian government in regard to these tragic events. We want to address the European Union in particular for its role in supporting the implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Reform in relation to the Program for Substitution, and urge it to take immediate action to protect the human rights of the victims and the effective implementation of the agreements.

We also call on European civil society to condemn the institutional violence carried out, to demand compliance with the peace agreements and to remain alert to future repression or violations of human rights in Colombia.

In defense of life and territories, food sovereignty, peace and the fundamental human rights of all people and Communities, ECVC is committed to monitoring this situation closely and to promote the actions and campaigns necessary to support and accompany the people of Colombia on their path to peace, with rights and guarantees.

– Coordinating Committee of the European Coordination Via Campesina