WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
11 May 2011 | | News

ACSN Deeply Saddened by the FARC Guerilla’s Massacre of Five Afro-Colombians

The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) strongly condemns the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)’s massacre of five Afro-Colombian members of the Community Council of the Lower Naya River (Valle del Cauca). The five victims of this calamity belonged to the same family. They were forcibly taken by the 30th Front of the FARC on May 7th and their bodies later found. Their names are Jose Elder Viveros Delgado (24 years old), Gueimar Alexis Viveros Delgado (36 years old), Jose Eimer Viveros Delgado (30 years old), Jaime Viveros Delgado (40 years old), and Romulo Viveros (58 years old). ACSN expresses its deepest condolences to the Viveros Delgado family and the Community Council of the Lower Naya River.

ACSN calls upon the FARC insurgency to immediately cease all hostilities towards civilians and to respect international humanitarian law. It also urges the FARC guerillas to respect the autonomy, self-determination, human rights and collective land rights of the Afro-Colombian people. Colombian judicial authorities should immediately investigate these murders and bring those responsible for these deaths to justice.  International and national institutions ought to publicly denounce this massacre and take bold steps to guarantee that the remaining members of this family and Community Council’s lives are protected.

This latest tragedy should serve as a wakeup call to national, international and inter-governmental authorities that Colombia’s five decades long conflict is far from over. This conflict continues to put at risk Colombia’s rich Afrodescendant and indigenous cultures. Violence and displacement disproportionately affects ethnic minorities and generates victims from all walks of life.

ACSN respectfully requests that the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), Colombia’s allied countries prioritize supporting a politically negotiated solution to the conflict. The Colombian government, the FARC and ELN insurgent groups and the “new” paramilitaries should end hostilities and take steps towards negotiating peace. U.S. and Colombian policymakers are strongly urged to put in place protection measures for Afrodescendants and indigenous communities living in collective territories.

For further information please contact Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, WOLA at (202) 797-2171 or gsanchez@wola.org

*The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) includes the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), TransAfrica Forum (TAF), Global Rights, Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), U.S. Office on Colombia (USOC), International Working Group of PCN, and activists and scholars Joseph Jordan, Roland Roebuck, Eunice Escobar and Arturo Escobar