PBI-Colombia accompanies CREDHOS at press conference on attacks against Afro-descendant settlement at El Llanito in Barrancabermeja

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On August 3, CREDHOS tweeted: “Press conference #Credhos due to the events that occurred in the El Llanito district of #Barrancabermeja against the attacks against the Humano Eucalipto settlement, by the National Police and Esmad.”

CREDHOS has previously highlighted in this Urgent Action:

On Friday July 23, there was an attempt by the national police and ESMAD to evict the Afro-descendant and fishing population of the El Llanito district of Barrancabermeja. There was the indiscriminate use of force and arbitrary acts on the part of the public force resulting in several people injured, including human rights defenders from CREDHOS.

This is a population exercising the right to social protest to avoid the eviction of approximately 350 families that have established a settlement on what they argue is part of their ancestral and collective territory.

The leaders at El Llanito claim that their ancestral and collective territory has been damaged, mainly to the water sources (such as the Llanito ciénaga/wetland), by the hydrocarbon industry and are the responsibility of Ecopetrol. This impacts their fundamental right of subsistence.

Then on Saturday July 24 at 8:30 pm there was an attack with firearms against the community. The attackers wounded 50-year-old Rosmira Olaya Cabarca in her right leg. She is an Afro-descendant woman and fisherwoman at the protest. At the time of the attack, four people entered the sector on two motorcycles taking advantage of the nighttime and the inexplicable shutdown of public lighting.

CREDHOS has demanded that the commanders of the police forces stop the repression and abuse of authority against the protest

It has also asked international human rights organizations, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations, that they inform the Colombian state that they are monitoring this action and ensure the life and integrity of the population of El Llanito exercising their right to social protest and right to territory along with the human rights defenders who accompany them.

The full Urgent Action by CREDHOS can be read here.

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