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19 de enero | | | | |

Colombia: social leader of Catatumbo murdered

Social leader Nelly Amaya Pérez was shot and murdered last January 16 while she was working in her commercial establishment.

The Peasant Association of Catatumbo (Ascamcat), an organization created in 2005 by inhabitants of the rural areas of Convencion, Teorama, El Tarra and El Carmen municipalities, which are part of the Catatumbo region, in Norte de Santander department (Colombia), repudiated the murder of the leader.

Ascamcat was created as an association proposal to rebuild the social network in a way that allowed to generate dignified living conditions and development for the people of Catatumbo, the respect to indigenous communities, the elders, children and women; against the fumigation of crops and the eradication of socioeconomic factors that gave way to the planting of coca; the defense of natural resources and the environment; the saving of their cultural traditions; participation in decision making processes involving the countryside and respect for life and the fundamental rights of Catatumbo inhabitants.

Nelly Amaya Pérez was the President of the Community Action Board of Guamalito neighborhood, in San Calixto municipality. A political activist, survivor of the Patriotic Union, mother of three children, trader and social fighter for San Calixto.

Ascamcat expressed its concern over the violence in the region, especially in the framework of the peace process between the national government and the armed insurgency. They stated that they "firmly believe that all these efforts for peace should lead to respect and ensure the life of all the citizens, to give guarantees to social leaders and human rights defenders in their work towards peace with social justice, demanding dignity and the defense of the territory. Peace is not consolidated by the signing of an agreement, but by ensuring and respecting the rights of all people, starting for the most fundamental right: life".

Ascamcat members expressed their solidarity with the family of the activist in these difficult times and also called all State institutions in charge of investigating, judging and redressing, to honor their constitutional duty to clarify and condemn what happened so that these acts are not left unpunished.

Source: Prensa Rural


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