PBI-Colombia accompanied CREDHOS issues statement on attack against Yuli Velasquez, president of FEDEPESAN
Photo by CREDHOS.
On July 7, CREDHOS issued this statement that notes:
“Through this urgent action, we request the protection and guarantee of the rights to life, integrity, security and permanence in the territory of YULY ANDREA VELASQUEZ BRICEÑO, President of the Federation of Artisanal, Environmental and Tourist Fishermen of the Department of Santander (FEDEPESAN), who has been a victim of attack, threats and harassment for their work defending their culture, uses and customs, means of subsistence, of the territory, of the water tributaries and ecosystems of special ecological importance in the Middle Magdalena – Santanderean.
One of the main risks against her comes from having had the value of denouncing before the Attorney General’s Office the irregularities in the Public Works contract No. 003-00980-2019 signed by the UT San Silvestre and the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Santander (CAS). This complaint is in the office of the Prosecutor Second Specialized Mobile of the Public Administrative Unit of Bucaramanga. She emphasizes that these complaints to the authorities competent, affect the interests of mafia unions that act within of the public administration and in public and private companies that develop their activities in the District of Barrancabermeja, such is the case of Ecopetrol and Aguas de Barrancabermeja.”
Their statement also includes this message to the international community:
“We ask the Multilateral Human Rights Organizations (Inter-American System of Human Rights and UN) to assist by requesting the Colombian State guarantees for the protection of life, integrity, security and permanence in the territory of the artisanal fishermen of the District of Barrancabermeja and the Middle Magdalena region. Likewise, help is requested in this meaning to international accompaniment organizations.”
Velasquez says: “I had been asking the UNP for the high vulnerability that I am living together with my escort because I work in the rural area, rivers, swamps, pipes, the entire Middle Magdalena, but until today they have not responded because in the office they have a panorama but the leaders, social leaders, human rights defenders in the country have another reality.”
She adds: “We do not know what is happening, we as fishing communities simply do our jobs and we really do not know who or who is behind all this, but we call on the competent authorities who are investigating to find out what is happening.”
Alerta Santandares reports: “The attack against the leader and director of the Federation of Artisanal Fishermen of Santander (Fedepesan), this Tuesday, July 5 in the afternoon in Barrancabermeja, Santander, while meeting at the El Rancho stadium with the treasurer of Asopescan to deliver a report to the fishing community of the region, has the authorities of the Middle Magdalena on alert because it is already the third time that they attempt against the life of the environmental defender, in less than a year. His escort was injured.”
Enlace Television notes: “Human rights associations hope that this fact will be investigated and that the actors who are causing these intimidations will be found.”
And Contagio Radio adds: “The event now, which is also the third attack against the leader (the first was in 2021), occurs again after verifying the San Silvestre and Palotal Swamp. This action was accompanied by the Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights – CREDHOS and by Peace Brigades International – PBI (International Peace Brigades), who rejected the attack.”
We continue to follow this closely.
Photo from Vanguardia.