Afro-Colombian communities under the gun in Buenaventura

Reposting a message from Charo Mina Rojas:

Armed and masked men preying on the neighborhoods in Buenaventura

A youth killed and 100 people forced to displacement

The Afro-Colombian Human Rights Defenders Project denounces the killing of a youth and the violent presence of armed men in the traditional neighborhood Puente de los Nayeros in the city-port of Buenaventura on Tuesday 5th, causing the internal displacement of at least 100 persons.

Local sources reported that on Tuesday 25 armed men with covered faces barged into the community, took over the community center and shot dead a young man, who was put into a plastic bag and taken by some of the men to an unknown place. In the process another person was injured in the leg and several including a pregnant women passed out as consequence of the terrifying situation. The group has posted armed men in strategic places controlling the neighbors’ transit and actions. Last weekend also, an armed confrontation in the area of Viento Libre where this neighborhood is located left three people killed.

These deplorable criminal acts happened in one of the neighborhoods that are part of the government’s ambitious large-scale tourist project in the context of infrastructure projects to suit the Free Trade Agreement with United States, while the local and national authorities insist on the improvements of human rights and the security situation in the city-port.

What is happening in the Nayeros neighborhood demonstrates an outrageous lack of State presence and governance in Buenaventura.

The Afro-Colombian Human Rights Defenders project calls for the immediate intervention of the authorities to regain control of the neighborhood and ensure the protection of the inhabitants.

ACHRD Project also exhorts the attorney general’s office to immediately initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assassination of the youth and bring those responsible to justice.

ACHRD Project exhorts the public ministry to provide humanitarian attention with the proper differentiated approach to those forced into displacement and to ensure that their properties and possessions are protected as well.

Afro-Colombian Human Rights Defenders Project strongly condemns the negligence and lack of capacity of the authorities to halt these criminal acts that have become common practice in Buenaventura.

This violence must stop!

For further information please contact Charo Mina Rojas at charominarojas@gmail.com or (57) 312-290- 4002.

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