Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network* Statement
April 22, 2011
Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network Condemns Murders and Displacement of Afro-Colombian Community in Timbiqui, Cauca
The Coordination of Community Councils and Grassroots Organizations of the Black Communities of the Colombian Pacific in Cauca (COCOCAUCA) recently reported on actions of military and guerilla forces which have lead to the death of 3 Afro-Colombian civilians. On Monday April 18, community council members of Timbiqui reported armed confrontations between FARC and paramilitary forces causing the displacement of between 800-1,000 people. This mass displacement includes approximately 175 families made up primarily of children, women and older adults. These attacks present a threat to the livelihoods of those living in Corozal and Chacon.
Colombia remains a country in civil conflict where Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by the violence. US Military funding to Colombia requires that armed forces distinguish the difference between civilians and combatants within their operations.
It is unacceptable for the US to consider moving forward with an FTA as concerns including internal armed conflict and forced displacement persist.
ACSN and our partners call upon all armed groups to respect international humanitarian law guaranteeing the protection of civilians. ACSN recommends that the Colombian authorities investigate these deaths and that Accion Social provide emergency relief and services to the displaced civilians.
*The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) includes the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), TransAfrica Forum (TAF), Global Rights, Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), Peace Brigades International (PBI), U.S. Office on Colombia (USOC), International Working Group of PCN, and activists and scholars Joseph Jordan, Roland Roebuck, Eunice Escobar and Arturo Escobar.