• Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Communities in Boyaja, Choco (western Colombia) Threatened by Armed Groups (Colombia: UA 169.19)

January 6, 2020

Human Rights Defender Leyner Palacios has been vocal about the presence of these illegal armed groups in the territories of the communities of Bojayá. On December 31, 2019, 300 members of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia placed four communities of Bojayá under forced confinement. On January 3, 2020, the AGC threatened Leyner Palacios and gave him two hours to leave the territory of Bojayá or they would kill him. We urge the Colombian government to take immediate action to guarantee his protection.

  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

Your Excellency Mr. President, I am writing you to express my serious concern about the situation of forced confinement that the communities of Bojayá are currently facing, as well as the death threats that Leyner Palacios, a human rights defender from Bojayá, received on January 3, 2020. Mr. Palacios has advocated against the presence of illegal armed groups in the territory of Bojayá. On December 31, 2019, 300 members of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas (AGC) arrived in the community of Pogue and placed this and other communities under forced confinement. Furthermore, on January 3, 2020, they threatened Mr. Palacios, urging him to leave Bojayá or he would be killed. Although I am aware that the Colombian army has taken some steps to address the situation in Bojayá, this action requires further attention. This is why I urge you to take immediate action to ensure collective measures for the communities of Bojaya and to guarantee the safety of Leyner Palacios from threats made by the AGC. Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES