Comunicado AFRODES y NASGACC acerca del Curvaradó

AFRODES USA and the Network in Solidarity with Afro-Colombian
Grassroots Organizations in the U.S. (NASGACC) strongly condemns the
December 19th assassinations of Afrodescendants Manuel Moya, Graciano
Blandón and his son in the region of Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó
(Chocó). We ask that the Colombians authorities immediately
investigate this crime and that the perpetrators are brought to

These murders underscore the need for the Colombian government take
bolder actions to secure the physical safety of the inhabitants of
Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó, fully and effectively dismantle the
military, economic and social operational structures of illegal armed
groups operating in this area. This development shows that the
Colombian authorities have not taken the steps necessary to properly
resolve the illegal appropriation of lands by oil palm companies in
Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó.

The lack of resolution in this case, lack of physical return of lands
to their rightful owners and lack of political will on the part of
Colombian authorities to effectively combat paramilitarism in this
area has led to conflict among Afro-Colombians, violence and
insecurity. This greatly hampers the well being of all Afro-Colombian
and mestizo civilians living in the Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó area.
The lack of action on the part of the State is enabling criminal
activity to continue to expand in area. This activity greatly hampers
the advancement and economic development of Afro-Colombians in the
region. The persistent impunity in this case weakens the possibility
of local and regional institutions possibility to exert their
authority in the region.

Effective State action and resolution on all pending criminal and
human rights cases involving the inhabitants of Curvaradó and
Jiguamiandó including the case of 23 palm oil industrialists would not
only improve the security for Afro-Colombians living in the area but
it would also lead to a weakening of criminal structures and a
strengthening of local state institutions. Effective action would
also greatly reduce the existent security threats against members of
the Afro-Colombian community councils and the national and
international NGOs that accompany these communities namely the
Colombian NGO Justicia y Paz and international accompaniers Peace
Brigades International and PASC.

Given the above, we ask that you take immediate action by contacting
U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield in Colombia and informing him that
these developments are a violation of the human rights condition
pertaining to the rights of Afro-Colombians that the Secretary of
State must implement in order for Colombia to receive U.S. military
assistance. Ambassador Brownfield can be reached via email at

In order to rectify this situation and protect the rights of
Afro-Colombians, U.S. officials should insist that they ask the
Colombian authorities to do as follows:

1) Publicly pronounce themselves against the triple murder committed
against Afro-Colombians on December 19th, as well as, the murder of
Benjamin Munoz that took place earlier this year.

2) Urge the Attorney General promptly and effectively investigate
these murders and bring the perpetrators and intellectual authors of
this crime to justice.

3) Put a stop to false accusations in the media that insinuate that
the latest murders are in some way related to members of the Colombian
NGO Justicia y Paz (Abilio Pena and Danilo Rueda), as well as the
spokesperson for MOVICE and ex-columnist Iván Cepeda Castro. Such
accusations, in addition to being unfounded, greatly endanger the
lives of these individuals.

4) Support the self-protection initiatives developed by
Afro-Colombians and mestizos who inhabit the humanitarian and
biodiversity zones.

5) Effectively implement the decisions made by judicial and other
authorities in the case of Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó including Court
Order 222, the sentence of the Chocó tribunal, Incoder resolutions and
push forward the case against the 23 oil palm industrialists.