Colombia: Authorities must guarantee the safety of threatened communities

In the face of the serious situation of confinement of communities of people who live in the Naya river basin in the departments of Cauca and Valle de Cauca by multiple armed actors, and the lack of presence of the Colombian state, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

“The Colombian authorities must take immediate, effective and decisive action to guarantee the protection, safety and physical integrity of the Afro-descendant communities and Indigenous Peoples in the Naya area in the face of the alarming seizure of land by several armed groups. This action must be taken in consultation with the threatened communities.”

The state cannot allow the people who live in this region to continue to have to live with the constant threat of extreme violence
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International

“In addition, the authorities must provide the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2002. The state cannot allow the people who live in this region to continue to have to live with the constant threat of extreme violence.”

The people living in the communities of Concepción, Las Pavas, San Francisco, Puerto Merizalde and Juaquincito are facing constant risk and fear due to coercion and clashes between paramilitary armed groups and FARC dissidents. Since April of this year, five people from the Naya river basin area have been reported as disappeared, among them the social leader Iber Angulo Zamora, who was abducted while being escorted on a humanitarian mission in the region on 5 May.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Duncan Tucker: +52 (1) 55 4848 8266, duncan.tucker@amnesty.org