Indigenous Colombians Face Extinction: 128 Political, Social and Environmental Activists Assassinated So Far this Year

July 16th, 2018 - by admin

teleSUR – 2018-07-16 01:40:14

Study: Over 10,000 Indigenous
Colombians Rights Violated


(July 11, 2018) — Through a press release, on Monday, Colombia’s National Indigenous Organization (ONIC) denounced “the continuous and systematic Human Rights violations, and the physical and cultural extermination of Indigenous Peoples of Colombia.”

Since the beginning of 2018, a total of 128 social and political leaders have been killed in Colombia. Several Indigenous peoples were among that figure. The ONIC stated that the “figures of rights violation of Indigenous Peoples and Communities . . . go as high as 10,599, between January 1 to July 5, 2018.”

Since November 2016, about 68 community leaders have been killed. The release indicated that the statistics are part of the “criminalization of social protest in the country.”

The “legal and illegal armed groups” that perpetrate these violations are, according to the ONIC, “the ELN (National Liberation Army), the EPL (Popular Liberation Army), the dissidence of the FARC EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the heirs of the paramilitaries (Clan del Golfo, Aguilas Negras, Los Rastrojos, Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) and the Public Force.”

The organization asked that government institutions guarantee compliance with the Colombian Peace agreements which were signed in Havana while urging “the international community to stand in solidarity and to make the respective follow-up and verifications through oversight of the serious situation of human rights violations against Indigenous peoples in Colombia.”

The number of Social and Indigenous leaders who have been killed is systematically high in Colombia in the past few years, with Human Rights violations against Indigenous people almost doubling in 2018, so far, according to the ONIC document.

In 2010, the ONIC disclosed that in Colombia “66% of Indigenous peoples are facing extinction,” due to an over-50-year-old armed conflict. This means that 64 out of the 102 Indigenous Peoples of Colombia were vulnerable: either had less than a 100 members, were in danger due to the armed conflict or were victims of extreme poverty and institutional abandonment.

Colombia: More Social Leaders
Murdered Despite Government Promises


(July 7, 2018) — The assassinations were carried out just hours after the release of a report detailing the 123 victims killed between January 1 and July 4. Two more social leaders have been murdered in Colombia as thousands of people protested the ongoing violence in simultaneous demonstrations around the world.

The latest murders bring the number of Colombian social leaders assassinated since January 1 this year to 125, just hours after the release of a report detailing the 123 victims that had been killed up until July 4.

Jose Fernando Jaramillo Oquendo, of Pascuita’s Community Action Assembly, was murdered July 6 in Ituango, Antioquia. Local reports say armed people came to Jaramillo’s house and shot him dead.

His murder is the third reported in Antioquia in the past two weeks and the 16th since January. Jose Abraham Garcia, his brother-in-law and president of the same assembly, was murdered late June.

The region of Ituango is threatened by the presence of several armed paramilitary groups, such as the Gulf Clan, which targets local people and community leaders.

In Caqueta, Cartagena del Chaira, Alexander Castellano was murdered by men wearing balaclavas and riding a motorcycle while he was on his way to a meeting. The second social leader murdered in the town in one week, he was vice president of the Campesino Asociation for Environmental Protection.

“He was a well-known campesino in the region . . . he was in talks for possible agreements with the national government to make viable some projects promoting investment in remote communities . . . looking for alternatives to cutting down tress in the jungle,” said Luis Francisco Vargas, mayor of Cartagena del Chaira.

Jaime Gutierrez, of the National Confederation of Community Action, told El Espectador: “Why do they kill leaders? Because we’re against illegal mining, because it’s us who denounce the drug routes.”

The confederation asked outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos and President-Elect Ivan Duque for a meeting to discuss how to halt the murder of social leaders in Colombia. Several human rights organizations called for a vigil late July 6 to reject the systematic killings.

“We scream in silence that we don’t tolerate one more murder, no more violence, no more aggression against our human rights defenders, no more paramilitary structures trying to silence us. #TheyWon’tSilenceUs #TheCountryFirst @CountryFirst,” activist Mafe Carrascal tweeted.

The protests were organized after a particularly deadly week, during which at least seven social leaders — including Ana Maria Cortes, coordinator of Gustavo Petro’s presidential campaign in the city of Caceres, Antioquia — were assassinated.

The global vigils were held in Paris, Valencia, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, London, New York, Rome and Buenos Aires.

The number of victims differs depending on the source. According to the Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia, 311 leaders have been killed since January 2016.

The Institute of Studies for Development and Peace has registered 385 murders since the Colombian government signed a peace treaty with the demobilized FARC in November 2016. If the 20 murders since May 2018 are added, the total death toll now stands at 405.

According to the All The Names, All The Faces report published on July 5, 123 leaders and human rights defender had been murdered in Colombia between January 1 and July 4 of this year. Adding the two most recent killings, that total is now 125.

Leaders Assassinated in Colombia
Between January 4 and July 4, 2018:

Hector Everson Hernandez: Artist [January 4 – Bogota]
Alirio Sanchez: Indigenous leader [January 6 – Cauca]
Diana Luz Romero Mogales: Campesino leader [January 9 – Putumayo]
Diana Luz Solano: Indigenous leader [January 17 – Antioquia]
Victor Manuel Morato: Campesino leader [January 17 – Antioquia]
Jorge Yimmi Celis: Social leader [January 17 – Santander]
Plinio Pulgarin: Campesino leader, Marcha Patriotica [January 18 – Cordoba]
Luis Diaz Lopez: Indigenous leader [January 19 – Arauca]
Miller Diaz Lopez: Indigenous leader [January 19 – Arauca]
Leidy Xiomara Pe̱a Naveo: Teacher and protester [January 19 РArauca]
Victor Manuel Barrera: Union leader [January 21 – Arauca]
Jose Olmedo Obando: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [January 22 РNari̱o]
Harley Johanny Mogollon Becerra: Campesino leader [January 22 – Arauca]
Fares Carabali Carbonero: Miner, union leader, Afro-Colombian community leader [January 23 – Cauca]
Jose Fernando Castillo: Afro-Colombian community leader [January 23 – Cauca]
Berber Valasquez Vitola: Community leader, dance teacher [January 24 – Antioquia]
Humberto Manuel Escobar Mercado: Land defender [January 25 – Sucre]
Prisciliano Manuel Mercado Garcia: Land defender [January 25 – Sucre]
Manuel Eusebio Osorio Escobar: Land defender [January 25 – Sucre]
Miguel Eduardo Parra Rondon: Campesino leader [January 25 – Santander]
Eleazar Tequia Bitucay: Indigenous leader [January 26 – Choco]
Mario Elias Carrascal Nader: Political leader, former mayor [January 26 – Cordoba]
Temistocles Machado: Afro-Colombian community leader, environmentalist [January 27 – Valle]
Nicomedes Payan: Community and political leader [January 29 – Caucasia]
Nixon Mutis Sossa: Campesino and human rights leader [January 30 – Bolivar]
Leidy Amaya Ramirez: Health activist [January 20 – Santander]
Antonio Maria Vargas Madrid: Campesino leader, Marcha Patriotica [January 31 – Cordoba]
Maria Yolanda Maturana: Campesino leader and environmentalist [February 1 – Rosaralda]
Diana Patricia Mejia Fonseca: Community leader and teacher [February 3 – Bogota]
Carlos Eduardo Melo Ramirez: Neighborhood leader [February 5 – Bogota]
Sandra Yaneth: Campesino organization leader [February 5 – Santander]
David Alexis Narvaez: Campesino leader, crop-substitution program participant [February 8 – Antioquia]
Jesus Orlando Grueso Obregon: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [February 9 – Cauca]
Jonathan Cundumi Anchino: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [February 9 – Cauca]
Deiver Quintero Perez: Community leader [February 11 – Santander]
Omar Arbey Martinez: Campesino leader [February 12 – Arauca]
Elkin Fabian Toro: Campesino leader [February 17 – Santander]
Cristian Camilo Toro Rodas: Community leader, running for local office [February 17 – Quindio]
Gaby Lili Ordonez: Teacher [February 19 – Cauca]
Flover Sapuyes Gaviria: Marcha Patriotica [February 23 – Caucasia]
Juan Emilio Abran Solano: Community leader [February 23 – Santander]
Cristian Emilio Jaimes Triana: Youth leader [February 26 – Santander]
Soneyda Figueroa Duarte: Public defender [February 26 – Putumayo]
Berlinda Gomez: Indiginous leader [February 27 – Meta]
Julio Cesar Urango Sanchez: Indiginous leader [March 1 – Antioquia]
Hermilsun Larraonda Rendon: Community leader [March 3 – Putumayo]
Eider Arley Campo Hurtado: Indigenous leader [March 5 – Cauca]
Luis Arturo Royet Campo: Campesino leader [March 6 – Cordoba]
Victor Hugo Martinez Barragan: Campesino leader, legal representative [March 6 – Santander]
Tomas Barreto Moreno: Afro-Colombian community leader [March 7 – Cordoba]
Juan Gabriel Pascal Taicus: 15-year-old Indigenous leader [March 17 РNari̱o]
Luis Fernando Hernandez Hernandez: Indigenous leader [March 17 – Antioquia]
Juan Mena: Community leader [March 19 – Narino]
Silvio Duban Ortiz: Afro-Colombian community leader with Afrodes [March 19 – Narino]
Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortiz: Afro-Colombian community leader with Afrodes [March 19 РNari̱o]
Jose Anibal Herrera: Campesino leader, human rights activist, Marcha Patriotica [March 20 – Antioquia]
Jose Alcides Ospina Arango: Campesino leader [March 22 – Caldas]
Lisandro Antonio Hernandez Trivi̱o: Patriotic Union, Campesino leader [March 24 РCauca]
Jose Wilson Escue Vitonco: Indigenous leader [March 25 – Cauca]
Victor Alfonso Zabaleta Oviedo: Campesino leader [March 25 – Antioquia]
Jorge Miguel Polanco Avila: Campesino leader [March 25 – Antioquia]
Israel Fajardo: Campesino leader [March 27 – Meta]
Maria Magdalena Cruz Rojas: Crop-substitution participant [March 30 – Meta]
Hector Janer Latin: Indigenous leader, environmentalist [March 30 – Cauca]
Belisario Benavidez Ordo̱ez: Social leader, victims justice activist [March 31 РCauca]
Alvaro Perez: Campesino leader, Marcha Patriotica [April 4 – Santander]
Saul Mendieta: Community leader [April 4 – Atlantico]
Ferney Lozada: Union leader [April 3 – Caqueta]
Yovany Velasco Ariza: Campesino leader [April 7 – Guaviare]
Wilson Anulfo Quetama: Victims justice activist [April 8 – Choco]
Claudio Chaves: Campesino leader [April 9 – Choco]
Efren Zu̱iga Dorado: Teacher, union member [April 14 РCauca]
Obdulio Angulo Zamora: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [April 17 – Valle del Cauca]
Hermes Angulo Zamora: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [April 17 – Valle del Cauca]
Simeon Olave Angulo: Marcha Patriotica [April 17 – Valle del Cauca]
James Luis Jimenez Estrada: Campesino leader [April 20 – Antioquia]
Maria del Carmen Moreno: Community leader [April 28 – Arauca]
Hugo Albeiro George Perez: Campesino leader and environmentalist [May 2 – Antioquia]
Luis Alberto Torres Montoya: Campesino leader and environmentalist [Mary 5 – Antioquia]
Iber Antonio Angulo Zamora: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [May 5 – Valle del Cauca]
Harold Lerma Palacio: Campesino leader [May 13 РNari̱o]
Ramon Ascue: Indigenous leader and environmentalist [May 14 – Cauca]
Pablo Emilio Moreno: Indigenous leader [May 17 – Narino]
Felix Casta̱eda: Community leader [May 18 РBolivar]
Yadira Sucerquia Macias: Campesino leader [May 19 – Cordoba]
Victor Correa: Miner [May 23 – Antioquia]
Cristian Andres Lozano: Union leader [May 23 – Valle del Cauca]
Luis Eduardo Dominguez: Union leader [May 23 – Valle del Cauca]
Gabriel Muñoz Munoz: Campesino leader of Colombia Humana [May 26]
Pablo Emilio Dagua Taquinas: Indigenous leader [May 26 – Valle del Cauca]
Adriana Montero Parra: Indigenous leader [May 26 – Valle del Cauca]
Jefferson Monroy: Campesino leader [May 28 – Caqueta]
Juvenal Silva: Campesino leader [May 28 – Caqueta]
Amilcar Yagari Siagama: Indigenous leader, former governor [May 28 – Valle del Cauca]
Dalmayro Reyes: Teacher and community leader [May 30 – Valle del Cauca]
Orlando Negrete: Campesino leader [June 2 – Cordoba]
Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo: Marcha Patriotica [June 4 – Narino]
Julio Cesar Montalvo: Brother of Indigenous governor [June 2 – Cordoba]
Yeison Ramirez: Campesino leader [June 11 – Putumayo]
Francisco Jose Guerra Guerra: Community leader [June 11 – Antioquia]
Holman Mamian: Teacher [June 12 – Cauca]
Arnulfo Catimay Blanco: Indigenous leader [June 19 – Vichada]
Cristian Andrey Rodriguez Sanchez: Campesino leader [June 20 – Santander]
Luis Carlos Cabrera Segura: Community leader [June 20 – Caqueta]
Evelia Francisca Atencia Perez: Unionized teacher and member of Colombia Humana [June 21 – Guajira]
Hector Santiago Anteliz: Campesino leader [June 21 – Santander]
Janer Alberto Correa Arboleda: Campesino leader [June 23 – Santander]
Adrian Perez: Land defender [June 23 – Choco]
Jose Abraham Garcia: Campesino leader [June 25 – Antioquia]
Jamer Albeiro Idrobo Navia: Campesino leader [June 26 – Cauca]
Julio Cesar Sucerquia: Miner [June 27 – Antioquia]
Luis Erardo Fernandez Velasco: Indigenous leader, community leader and social worker [June 28 – Cauca]
Ivan de Jesus Lazaro Mazo: Marcha Patriotica [June 29 – Cordoba]
Leonedis Aleiser Sierra Ortiz: Campesino leader [July 2 – Antioquia]
Gabriel Adolfo Correa Chavestan: Green Party and Colombia Humana [July 2 – Cauca]
David Mejia Prieto: Campesino leader [July 2 – Caqueta]
Santa Felicinda Santamaria: Community and neighborhood leader [July 3 – Choco]
Luis Barrios Machado: Community leader [July 3 – Atlantico]
Margarita Estupi̱an Uscategui: Community leader [July 4 РNarino]
Ana Maria Cortez Mena: Colombia Humana [July 4 -Antioquia]
Ancisar Cifuentes: Social leader [July 4 – Tolima]
Francisco Dobigama: Indigenous leader [July 4 – Putumayo]
Dario Dobigama: Indigenous leader [July 4 – Putumayo]

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