PBI-Colombia helps to visibilize the recent wave of intensified violence in the port city of Buenaventura

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: PBI-Colombia visiting Buenaventura earlier this year.

On July 23, PBI-Colombia tweeted an article by the Justice and Peace Commission and noted: “In the midst of terror, media silence and absence of state institutions in Buenaventura, 6 people have been murdered, in less than 7 days.”

The Justice and Peace article highlights: “In the midst of the terror experienced by the population for territorial social control in the low-sea neighborhoods and the media silence in the face of a reality of violent death due to criminality, six people have been killed, including two young people in less than seven days.”

It adds: “Buenaventura continues to be under the control of criminal structures that determine the lives of its inhabitants, generating terror in neighborhoods where thousands of people have had to move.”

A representative from the Embassy of Canada in Colombia visited Buenaventura in September 2019 alongside other missions and PBI-Colombia.

After the visit, the Embassy tweeted: “We had the privilege of being able to hear the testimonies of social leaders from Buenaventura to get to know first-hand your worries and challenges. We will continue to monitor the situation and thank @PBIColombia for facilitating the visit.”

A subsequent delegation of embassies also visited Buenaventura earlier this year.

Justice and Peace notes: “The visit of a diplomatic corps together with international organizations and human rights organizations in February confirmed this reality, walking through the streets of sectors and dialogue with people, communities and organizations affected by the violation of human rights that is undiscoverable.”

Buenaventura was also briefly mentioned in this year’s human rights report on the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement:

That report notes: “One written submission was received in response to the public call for submissions. This submission highlighted the increased violence and forced displacements in the city of Buenaventura, as well as the negative impact of the city’s port activities and infrastructure development on human rights and the living conditions of the local community. The information shared has been taken into consideration in the elaboration of the relevant section of this report.”

That submission to Global Affairs Canada, facilitated by PBI-Canada, included concerns documented by the PBI-Colombia accompanied Justice and Peace Commission, the Association for Research and Social Action (NOMADESC) and the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation for Human Rights (FNEB).

The article by Justice and Peace concludes: “Buenaventura, a macabre coincidence between the expansion of transnational investment projects with serious rates of violence that in no way blushes investors.”

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Justice and Peace Commission since 1994.

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