COSPACC rejects the capture of social leader Miguel Yesid Daza who defends the rights of communities against oil projects

Published by Brent Patterson on

On February 23, COSPACC tweeted: “We reject the capture of Miguel Daza, human rights defender from [the Social Corporation for Community Advice and Training – COSPACC] and [the National Peasant Association José Antonio Galán Zorro – ASONALCA] because Being a Social Leader is Not a Crime. No more judicial setups against social leaders.”

Colombia Informa further reports that Daza was captured in his home at around 4 am on February 23 in the municipality of Aguazul, Casanare.

That article highlights: “Daza has promoted mobilizations for the defense of its territory and for the rights of communities in the area of influence of oil projects.”

The organizations also affirm: “The capture is within the framework of a policy of political extermination through the judicialization of the social movement in Casanare. The extermination seeks to dismantle the social fabric and clear the territory so that the oil companies carry out their policies without any opposition and so that they continue with the breaches towards the communities and social compensation.”

And Violeta FM adds: “Unofficially, it is said that the person in charge of the investigation is the Prosecutor, Harles Max Cortés, who specializes in issues against organized crime. …It is the same Prosecutor who largely led the process of the eight social leaders of the municipality of San Luis de Palenque…”

Following the capture of Daza, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted this report by COSPACC, the Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) and allies titled: Criminalization of the defence of human rights in Colombia: The judicialization of defenders of land, territory, environment and peace.

PBI-Colombia commented in that tweet: “Alarming the figures of judicialization of the defense of human rights defenders in Colombia. Of the 249 defenders prosecuted between 2012-19, 74% of them exercised environmental leadership.”

That report highlights the “emblematic case” of the eight social leaders in San Luis de Palenque, Casanare criminalized by Toronto-based Frontera Energy:

Excerpts from this report also note:

The full report can be read here.

PBI-Colombia has accompanied COSPACC since 2009.

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