The social and political movement “Marcha Patriotica”, Cauca, has denounced the serious situation faced by the Department of Cauca in what refers to human rights.
The Movement said in a statement to be “concerned and sad after the event occurred on 19 October when Esneider Gonzales, a member of our Movement, was shot eight times by an unknown assailant at the door of his house”. Despite the serious wounds, likely Gonzales is now out of danger and recovering in hospital.
In its statement, it underlines that “episodes like this will not affect our commitment to peace”, and adds that “the agreements between the Government and the FARC-EP and the establishment of a negotiation table with the ELN has filled of hope and optimism all people working hard to reach peace with social justice”.
The Movement also underlines that “we cannot talks of peace when the policy of the ‘enemy within’ is kept alive, that is to say when persecution and repression of social and community leaders, human rights defenders continue and when paramilitary structures are kept alive and keep spreading death and war in our territories”.
The Movement calls on polítical forces, social movements and the community in general “to support the implementation of the Havana agreements, the opening of the negotiation table with the ELN and to have an agenda of unitary mobilization that will allow all of us to express the desire for peace of the whole people of Colombia”.
19 Human Rights Defenders killed between July and September
According to the Information System on Attacks on Human Rights Defenders 19 activists have been killed and there have been a total of 63 individual attacks, in the period between July and September 2016.
The report reveals that the number of murders and attacks grew in the same period of 2015.
The report notes that “in September 2016 we reported 54 killings of social leaders and human rights defenders, while in the same period in 2015 the killings were 51”.
The document also highlights that the main departments in which there have been attacks against human rights defenders are Antioquia with 11 cases, Santander with 6, Cauca and Choco with 5 each. It also reiterated that paramilitaries are the main responsible for the attacks with responsibility in 15 cases, i.e. 24% of the attacks.
As for the guerrillas, one action would be attributable to the ELN, while the security forces were responsible for 4 attacks, or 6% of the total.
The report also noted that several attacks were carried out during the campaign for the referendum and highlighted that these intimidation also contributed to the victory of the NO camp by a small margin.