PBI-Colombia accompanies NOMADESC at verification mission meeting with embassies in Buenaventura

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo by NOMADESC.

On February 22, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project accompanied the Association for Research and Social Action (NOMADESC) on a verification mission meeting in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca.

NOMADESC tweeted: “National and International On-site Verification Mission that expects to follow up on the commitments made by the State and take legal, political and social measures to overcome the current humanitarian crisis in the main port of Buenaventura.”

NOMADESC adds the verification mission includes representatives from the embassies of France, Germany, Norway, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Sweden as well as the European Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner.

It also notes that the Civic Unemployment Committee, dhColombia and the Equipo Jurídico Pueblos are participating with Oxfam and Peace Brigades International present.

Earlier this month, WOLA had highlighted in this tweet: “Social justice groups are asking [Colombian president] Ivan Duque, the UN and the OAS to support creating an international mission that would document how state neglect and structural racism are behind the crises of violence and poverty in Colombia’s biggest port city Buenaventura.”

Ten days ago, PBI-Colombia also accompanied NOMADESC on a march in Cali (the capital city of Valle del Cauca) calling attention to the situation of escalating violence and human rights violations in Buenaventura.

PBI-Colombia has also previously noted that NOMADESC has undertaken research “to show how the current port expansion and infrastructure development are linked to the human rights violations” and that a report by the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace explains how living conditions in Buenaventura have deteriorated due to the development and continued expansion of the port.

In May 2017, Buenaventura residents held a 22-day civic strike to protest investment in the port rather than the spending needed to build a local hospital and provide access to potable water. The Colombian government responded with the ESMAD riot police.

Canadian organizations – including CUPE, PSAC, CUPW and the Steelworkers – have worked in solidarity with the leaders of that strike.

PBI-Colombia has accompanied NOMADESC since 1999.

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