FENSUAGRO Open Letter to President Santos Regarding Putumayo Mobilisations
News from Colombia |
on: Thursday, 19 July 2012
FENSUAGRO, the agricultural workers' union has written to President Santos to request that he attend to the petitions of a 4,000 march being led from Puerto Asis to the Departmental capital of Mocoa. The marchers have spent 5 days on the road with demands that are partially outlined in the letter below.
Bogotá 18 July 2012
Juan Manuel Santos
President of Colombia
We are addressing you in the name of the National Executive Committee of the National Agricultural Workers’ Federation, FENSUAGRO, with the goal of informing you of the difficult and serious situation that the indigenous and peasant communities of Putumayo are living through, who have since July 14th begun peacefully mobilising towards their capital, Mocoa demanding among other things, the following:
- The immediate end to accusations and persecution by security and investigative organs of the state (military forces, police and attorney general’s office) of social leaders of the peasant and indigenous communities of Putumayo.
- The investigation by the authorities and the national government of the denunciations made by agrarian organisations of killings, jailings, forced displacements, disappearances among other things, in which military authorities are presumably involved.
- An urgent report by the departmental, and national government authorities and police on the forced disappearance of Herman Henry Diaz, whose whereabouts have been unknown since 18 April 2012, when he was last seen in Puerto Asis.
- Immediate freedom for detained peasant leaders, among them Climaco de la Cruz, Faustino Carabali, and Elogio Tapiero, members of organisations affiliated to FENSUAGRO who have been put on trial after being set up with false witness testimony.
- The demilitarisation of the territories of indigenous people and peasants who are those who suffer the consequences of a war they have not created.
- Agreement with rural peasant and indigenous organisations and rural communities over the development of megaprojects, and mining and oil exploitation which among others seriously affect the population of Putumayo.
- The encouragement of social investment in agreement with rural communities and based on their life plans.
- The development of an agricultural policy based on the support of peasant agriculture and the peasant economy, which is the guarantee of our food security.
Finally, Mr President, we expect that you attend urgently to the petitions of the rural communities of the department, who are overwhelmed by the poverty and social exclusion to which they have been subjected.
“It is time to stop the war and start building peace”
National Executive Committee
EBERTO DIAZ MONTES ALIRIO GARCIA
President General Secretary
AIDEE MORENO IBAGUÈ
Human rights secretary