PBI-Colombia accompanies CCALCP as it supports Catatumbo communities in their demand for the right to peace

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On November 13, the Luis Carlos Perez Lawyers’ Collective (CCALCP) tweeted: “In Bucaramanga during a visit by @christian_aid and @PBIColombia to @ccalcp progress was made in the construction of strategies in favor of Catatumbo communities in their demand for the right to peace, and actions to protect the work of human rights defenders.”

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) has explained: “Located in North Santander department in a geographically remote area along the Colombia-Venezuela border, inhabitants in Catatumbo have long suffered violence and displacement due to the presence of multiple illegal armed groups that fuel their violence with funds from illicit economies.”

WOLA has further noted: “[Colombian civil society is] calling on all the armed actors present in the region—including the FARC’s dissidents, EPL, ELN, paramilitaries and Colombian armed forces—to cease hostilities and abide by a humanitarian accord in Catatumbo, which would guarantee the security of the civilian population.”

Adam Isacson of WOLA has further cautioned that the resumption of fumigation could spur a wave of violent rural protests and blockades that could be as dramatic as the mass national strike protests this year.

Earlier this year CCALCP tweeted: “Breaches of the National Comprehensive Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops (PNIS) in Catatumbo will be studied by the Constitutional Court in a guardianship review filed by CCALCP together with [other organizations].”

Ten United Nations Special Rapporteurs have also told the Colombian government: “[Spraying poses] enormous risks for human rights and the environment, at the same time that it would not comply with the conditions established in the ruling T-236 of the Constitutional Court, nor with international obligations. in the matter.”

T-236 concluded there are elements to affirm, provisionally, that glyphosate is a toxic substance that, depending on the level of exposure, can cause cancer or have other health implications.

PBI accompaniment

The Colombia Caravana UK Lawyers Group has noted: In the period between 2005 and March 2013, CCALCP suffered 36 separate security incidents, including written and email death threats from paramilitary groups and the illegal interception of communications.”

The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project has accompanied CCALCP since 2006.

In November 2019, Julia Figueroa and Andrea Nocove from CCALCP along with Ivan Madero from CREDHOS visited Canada. You can read more about that at: Photo-journal of 8-day solidarity tour by Colombian human rights defenders from CCALCP and CREDHOS to Canada.

Earlier this week, CCALCP also tweeted: “We support the work of @AscamcatOficia [the Catatumbo Peasant Association] in defense of the territory, peace, a dignified life for the Catatumbo peasant women, victims and social leaders, Guarantees for the defense of human rights.”

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