A protest by coca leaf growers against the forced eradication of their plantations ended with the killing of six farmers and left several people wounded, in the rural area of Tumaco (Colombia) on Thursday October 5th.
A few days later, a humanitarian commission of human rights activists and local journalists was stopped several times in their attempt to reach the area were the violence had happened.
On Monday (9th October), President Juan Manuel Santos called the episode “regrettable” and promised a thorough investigation of both incidents.
SOLIDAR members have a long standing presence in the Tumaco, a region characterised by high levels of poverty, discrimination, racism, social exclusion, marginality and little presence of the Colombian state.
Members have expressed their deep concern that the risk of violence facing the Afro-descendant communities in Tumaco is confronted.
They have highlighted five areas of concern:
The situation of women in this context is highly worrisome, as in both rural and urban areas, the cases of violence and sexual exploitation, threats to female leaders, and the forced disappearance of women continue.“
In this context, SOLIDAR supports its members’ call on local, regional and national authorities, Colombian civil society organisations and the EU to:
Read the full communication of our member MPDL (in Spanish)