12/03/2019

Urgent Action: Thousands in Need of Urgent Protection (Colombia: UA 169.19)


2,250 Persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) are under siege by the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) – groups that are denying them access to food and basic healthcare services. On 17 November, the Ombudsman’s office reported that the armed groups threatened social leaders opposing their presence in the zone and were putting landmines around the few areas with phone coverage. We urge Colombian authorities to deploy a comprehensive protection plan to protect Bojayá’s communities’ rights.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 169.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Iván Duque Márquez
President of Colombia
c/o Minister of Interior
Carrera 8 No. 7-26, Bogotá
Colombia
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Francisco Santos
Embassy of Colombia
1724 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202 387 8338
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ColombiaEmbUSA @PachoSantosC
Facebook: @ColombiaEmbassyUS
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Mr. President,

I write you with the deepest concern about the situation of forced confinement of 2,250 people, including indigenous and afro-Colombian communities, in the municipality of Bojayá, Chocó.

The Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC) are sustaining hostilities in the region and have deployed landmines in the few areas with telephone coverage, which is restricting the communities’ access to healthcare, food, water and communication.

The governmental action on this situation has so far been focused on military response, which effectively deepens the vulnerability of these communities.

In order to guarantee the protection of these communities, I urge you to immediately deploy a comprehensive plan with the participation and agreement of the communities, that gives effective and urgent access to basic services and guarantees the communities’ protection against any attacks from armed groups.

Yours sincerely,

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