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8 April 2011 | | | |

For Sandra and Everybody

With Sandra in our hearts: world day against forced disappearances

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This Friday, there will be activities at world level to support the search of Colombian environmentalist and teacher Sandra Viviana Cuéllar, who disappeared 50 days ago outside Cali, Valle del Cauca department. “Against disappearances. With Sandra in our Hearts”, is the motto of the action.

Several activities, protests and demonstrations will take place in several Colombian cities and in countries such as Belgium, Canada, Mexico and Argentina, among other Latin American countries.

One of the main goals is to talk with people about the issue of disappearances. This world day goes beyond Sandra’s disappearance, according to the organizers. We don’t want more people missing, said Colombian environmentalist Hildebrando Velez in an interview with Real World Radio. He is part of the group of people who is most actively looking Sandra in Colombia.

Sandra is a 26-year-old environmentalist engineer, who works on issues related to the struggle for water and the protection of basins and wetlands, for instance. She has also followed processes related to the access of genetic resources of the country, and tried to ensure the equal participation of local communities in the use and managements of these resources. Lately, the environmentalist has been devoting time to her spiritual education.

On February 17th, Sandra was supposed to take the public bus from Cali to Palmira, where she had to give a lecture. She never arrived to the university. Her ID card and cellphone were found two days later near the place where she was supposed to take the bus, outside Cali. We haven’t had news from Sandra ever since.

“We haven’t Heard anything from the authorities about where Sandra is”, said Hildebrando Velez to Real World Radio. “Our search capacity is limited”, he acknowledged, and the authorities “do not contribute with information that helps to solve this situation”, he added.

Velez has been working with a group of friends of Sandra and her family, leading the search without infrastructure or funds. People and organizations from Colombia and other countries support them. This group is the center of the efforts to find Sandra, and it is working with one idea in mind: that finding Sandra alive is possible.

Photo: http://www.valledelcauca.gov.co

(CC) 2011 Real World Radio


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