Asociación para la Investigación y la Acción Social
URGENT ACTION MASSACRE, PERSECUTION, THREATS AND ILEGAL COLLECTION OF TAXES IN THE “BRISAS DE COMUNEROS” SECTOR OF CALI’S POOR DISTRICT OF “AGUAS BLANCAS”
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MASSACRE, PERSECUTION, THREATS AND ILEGALCOLLECTION OF TAXES IN THE “BRISAS DE COMUNEROS” SECTOR OF CALI’S POOR DISTRICT OF “AGUAS BLANCAS”
The undersigned organizations denounce before the national and international community the serious acts committed against victims living Cali’s “Aguas Blancas” District, and request national and international organizations respond with the utmost urgency.
Violence, poverty and inequality
The “Brisas de Comuneros” community is shocked and living in high anxiety after the events which occurred in the early hours of May 19, 2013 and for the systematic actions of armed groups who are killing, threatening, controlling, and taxing the inhabitants of marginalized neighborhoods of “Aguas Blancas” District. According to residents of the area, several acts of violence have occurred in recent months.
The incident occurred on May 19 at approximately 12:30 am. The victims were departing a neighboring house, when masked men came and shot them, proceeded to decapitate one of their corpses, then left a note saying «We do this so you respect us.»
The victims of the massacre are:
1.Mr. OSCAR EBERTO IZAZA, a 59 year old mason, locksmith, and member of the work team PRÓVIDAS (organized by the CEPIA community center), who had been displaced from the north of Valle del Cauca.
2.40 year old JORGE ENRIQUE ANGULO, displaced from the department of Nariño, was worked as a radio and TV repairman
3.VICENTE RODRIGUEZ ESTUPIÑAN, of 64 years, displaced from the municipality of Tumaco, in the department of Nariño (Vereda Robles)
4.ALVARO TEÓDULO TENORIO RINCÓN, of 42 years.
Witnesses say that so far in 2013 there have been a series of events committed by armed groups calling themselves «Los de Buenaventura«, «The Urabeños» and «The Haitians«, in which several people from the neighborhood have been killed.
Today, May 21, 2013 members of these armed groups attempted to abduct two children, students of the Gabriel García Márquez School and children of people with whom they say «have to
square accounts» The members of the armed group came to the school, located in the Brisas neighborhood, threatening the group of teachers that prevented them from and called the police to report the incident.
These groups have spread fear and anxiety and are responsible for constant armed confrontations in which several children, adolescents and seniors have been victims of stray bullets. The majority of the victims and their families have been displaced and quietly forced into other sectors of the city, never reporting the incidents for fear of reprisals.
It is important to note that the population of this area lives in extreme poverty; 70% of the inhabitants are from communities displaced by political violence from the 80s and on, and come from the Pacific coasts of Nariño, Valle del Cauca and Chocó. 80% are of Afro-Colombian descent.
On May 6, MRS. MARY VALENCIA was fatally wounded. The events occurred during a clash between armed groups vying for the sector. Mrs. Valencia was fixing the roof of her house which was damaged due to the storm that had hit the city that day.
On May 12 this year, while families were gathered celebrating Mother’s Day, gunmen shot indiscriminately into a family, killing JOSE URRUTIA and injuring MRS. TOMASA VALLECILLA and another elderly woman named IRENE. That same day a local man named DANIEL was murdered.
On Friday, May 17, a group of armed men shot against three young kids, murdering a child named JHON, whom the community knew as «PAPA», and causing serious injuries to two others.
One of the things that most shocked the community was the death of a 9-year-old girl named MARCELA, who was murdered nine revolver shots.
It is estimated that in the last three months at least 40 families in the area have been forcibly displaced. Some, to escape threats and fear of being caught in the crossfire, and others because they were victims of these groups that many believe are part of the new paramilitary groups today referred to by state institutions only as “criminal gangs”.
The presence of these groups affects all citizens of Cali. It is important to note that these events are recurrent in the most marginalized neighborhoods and where assassins, small-scale narcotics dealers, and arms traffickers have established bases.
Considering the grave situation described above, we call on the national and international human rights organizations to act with the utmost urgency and demand a clear and timely response from the Colombian government to prevent further acts of violence that threaten the integrity of the poorest communities in the city of Cali.
We ask all of you to demand that the Colombian government to take preventative measures to protect the physical integrity of the community of “Brisas de Comuneros” and demand:
• To the National Government and all state institutions, recognize the vulnerability of communities inhabiting the “Aguas Blancas” District in the city of Cali and thus take measures to protect human rights and guarantee the security and respect for life of its inhabitants
• Provide guarantees of protection for social organizations and human rights defenders of the Brisas Community.
• To the State Research Organizations, carry out in a timely manner, the necessary investigation to clarify the facts and punish those responsible for these atrocities, and publicly show your results.
Valle del Cauca, Colombia, May 2013
NOMADESC Association for Research and Social Action MOVICE – Valle del Cauca Chapter SINTRAUNICOL Subdirectiva Cali.
Campaña Prohibido Olvidar
(Campaign to Never Forget)
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC Carrera 8 No. 7 -26 Palacio de Nariño Bogotá. Fax. 5662071 www.presidencia.gov.co
CARRILLO FERNANDO FLOREZ MINISTRY OF INTERIOR AND JUSTICE Race 9. No. 14-10 D.C.-Bogota-Colombia South America PBX: 57 + (1) 444 31 00 – www.correo.minjusticia.gov.co
Eduardo Montealegre, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE NATION Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 (Ciudad Salitre) Switch: 57 (1) 570 20 00 – 57 (1) 414 90 00 www.fiscalia.gov.co
JORGE ARMANDO OTÁLORA, COLOMBIA OMBUDSMAN Offices in Bogotá: Calle 55 N º 10-32 firstname.lastname@example.org
ANDRES SANTA MARIA Cali municipal Personero CAM, 13th Floor City Hall Tower Tel: 661 79 99 extension 141 Fax: 885 78 50 www.personeriacali.gov.co
LUIS ANTONIO GRANADOS OSORIO Valley Regional OMBUDSMAN Avenida 2N-75 – Barrio San Vicente (Cali www.defensoria.org.co