WOLA and other organizations expressed concern this month in a letter to foreign policy aides of members of the U.S. Congress regarding the recent rise in cases of serious human violations against Afro-Colombian leaders in the Departments of Nariño, Valle del Cauca and Chocó, Colombia.
Within the past three weeks, a paramilitary group known as "New Generation" caused the internal displacement of 50 families in the northern region of Nariño and also illegally detained several members of the Afro-Colombian Community Council.
In addition, Martha Cecilia Obando Ramos, President of the Association of Displaced Women of San Francisco (ASODESFRAN) was shot and killed on June 29, 2008. WOLA asks that Congress to take steps to ensure the protection of Afro-Colombian leaders in the area. Their work and the ability to operate without being harmed or becoming internally displaced is vital for ensuring that Afro-Colombian collective land rights and the human rights of their rural communities are safeguarded.
To read the letter, click here.
Contact: Rachel Robb, WOLA, (202) 797 2171, [email protected]