Action Request

Death Threat Against Community Leader
report from Church Commission for Justice and Peace

“My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes.
Yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.
Oh earth, do not cover my blood, May my cry never be laid to rest.”
Job 16: 16-18

On Saturday 17 of March – 6:30 p.m. ENRIQUE PETRO and all his family were threatened by paramilitary groups that operate under the name of “Black Eagles”. The telephone threat came days after the destruction of the Ethical Commission’s Monument of Memory and the boundary fences of the Humanitarian Zones and the Zones of Biodiversity. While these actions against the afro-descendants and mestizos happen, the ex or demobilized groups operate with side-arms and radios of communication, and illegally occupy the titled estates of individuals and collectives within Curvaradó.

ENRIQUE PETRO witnessed the crime against the afro-colombian leader, Orlando Valencia in October of 2005. ENRIQUE PETRO has been an inhabitant and the legitimate owner of 130 hectares of land within the Collective Territory of the Curvaradó, for more than 46 years. His land was taken by the paramilitary and was planted with palm by Urapalma, after his forced displacement, a crime against one of his children and an attempt on his life. Within his property and in agreement with the Law he has managed to avoid having 30 hectares of land planted with palm. Since April of 2006, this has been a Humanitarian Zone to protect the life of the inhabitants.

REQUESTS – To urgently contact by fax/email the following:

FRANCISCO SANTOS, Vice-president of the Republic
fax: 011-571-334-1138

FERNANDO ARAUJO, Minister of Foreign Relations
fax: 011-571-282-5802

CARLOS HOLGUIN SARDI, Minister of the Interior & Justice
fax: 011- 571-560-4630

ANDRES FELIPE ARIAS LEIVA, Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development

JUAN LOZANO, Minister of the Environment

Demand the adoption of immediate measures of protection for the life and personal integrity of ENRIQUE PETRO, his family and the inhabitants of the Curvaradó including:

– Confrontation of the paramilitary structures that are in Belen de Bajirá, Mutatá, Brisas, Andalucia and Caño Claro.
– Relieving the state agents of 17th Brigade and Police of Urabá of their duties and commands and modifying the institutional structures that operate in complicity with the new criminal structures.
– Immediate cessation of the planting and extraction of palm and its transport to Mutatá with administrative and police measures of the Ministry of Agriculture, Interior and Environment
– Restitution of the individual and collective property to the legitimate owners of the Curvaradó.

Bogota, D.C. March 22 of 2007


About Sarah

I serve with Presbyterian World Mission as liaison to the Andean region. This blog is a place to share stories, experiences, and observations, both my own and those of friends and colleagues and the occasional item of news.
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