PBI-Colombia accompanies CREDHOS and FEDEPESAN at mobilization in defence of the environment and water
On July 13, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “We accompany @Credhos_Paz [the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights] and Fedepesán [the Federation of Santander Fishers for Tourism and Environment] at the mobilization in defense of life and the permanence in the territory. Fedepesán, and its president Yuli Velásquez, are exposed to very high risk for defending the environment and water in Barrancabermeja. Urgent guarantees.”
Just prior to that, CREDHOS tweeted: “Now. Credhos accompanies and supports the Mobilization called by Fedepesan of Artisanal Fishermen and Women for the Defense of Life and Permanence in the Territory. 35 years of defending life.”
PBI-Colombia also tweeted: “Read joint statement @Credhos_Paz and #Fedepesán who #hoy protest because there are no guarantees for the lives of those who, like environmental leader Yuli Velásquez, defend their uses, customs and fishing culture, water and the environment. Defender of water and life.”
The joint statement from CREDHOS and FEDEPESAN highlights: “We recognize that the protection and conservation of our bodies of water is not only guarantee for the welfare of the artisanal fishermen, but also for the good living of entire communities that take advantage of its ecosystem services.”
It also highlights: “The frequent presence of crude oil in Caño Rosario, a tributary of the San Silvestre swamp, product of the industrial activities of ECOPETROL [and] the expansion of agricultural and commercial activities in the water rounds and floodable lowlands of the San Silvestre swamp and its tributaries.”
And it concludes: “Taking into account the important role of the international community as observers in our country of the Human Rights situation, we respectfully request multilateral organizations (UN Mission 2, OAS, MAP OAS, IACHR), carry out monitoring of the situation of social and environmental leaders in Magdalena Medio.”
Third attack against Yuli
On the morning of Thursday June 30, PBI-Canada visited the San Silvestre wetland ecosystem in Barrancabermeja with Yuli, CREDHOS and PBI-Colombia and witnessed the impacts of Ecopetrol and large-scale agribusiness (buffalos and palm) on the water, wildlife and livelihoods of artisanal fishers.
On the afternoon of Tuesday July 5, we learned that Yuli had experienced an armed attack against and that her guard had been shot.
We continue to follow this situation closely.
“Peace Brigades International-Canada thank you very much for your unconditional support, sadly in Colombia we do not receive support. They stigmatize our work as human rights defenders. Protect and preserve life. The water belongs to more than 300,000 people in Barrancabermeja, not just fishermen.”