The Red de Hermandad y Solidaridad con Colombia (REDHER) and the Association of Campesinos and Landless Communities of Cesar denounce the following events:
On October 6 2016 at 8.30pm in the city of Valledupar, ELVIA JIMENEZ, legal representative of the Association of Victims of Cesar and member of the Fensuagro union, was travelling to her property in the Tierra Prometida district when she was assaulted by two hooded individuals on a motorbike without a licence plate who were carrying firearms. They threatened her and told her that she was a “guerrilla bitch”, “soon you’ll find out who we are”, “don’t keep fucking around” and “don’t get involved in things you have nothing to do with”. They hit her, they ripped her clothing, broke her bag and took her mobile phone, telling her “to leave the town and if not, they’d kill her”.
On October 6 2016 at 9.30pm in the city of Valledupar, GUILLERMO PEREZ RANGEL, a defender of human rights and regional spokesperson of the Congress of the Peoples, was travelling to his house in the Torres de Nando Marin district, when two hooded individuals on a motorbike with a covered licence plate, who were carrying firearms, attacked him and asked him for his mobile phone and USB sticks, and they forcibly took his backpack and they emptied his apartment. They took his mobile phone and told him, “we are going to show you we aren’t playing around”, “carry on sticking your nose where you have no right to and you’re going to regret it.” and “guerrilla son of a bitch we are going to exterminate you”. Guillermo Perez Rangel belongs to the Association of Campesinos and Landless Communities of Cesar, to Congress of the Peoples Caribbean and, from Valledupar, has been developing a process of organisation and accompaniment from various popular sectors that have been victims of the State and its apparatus. In the exercise of his work as a defender of human rights, he had been visiting campesino and indigenous communities in the region and carrying out public condemnations and leading opposition to the extension of the mining concession at Jagua de Ibirico and to the diversion of the San Antonio river, by the multinational Drummond.
– For a year now, members of the Association of Victims of Cesar, Elvia Jimenez and Guillermo Perez Rangel have been followed and intimidated, as has been confirmed by observations; likewise the presence of unknown people passing by the office; trucks with tinted glass taking photos passing alongside the office; threats such as those of October 6, all of which generates an atmosphere of intimidation:
On May 21 2016 at 1.45pm, via the email address email@example.com, a message was received with the following content: “Bastard guerrilla, are you not going to keep quiet, you keep azuzando the people to organise their strikes, and you fuck up the lives of good people. Now you’re linked up with the unions you’re shutting down businesses. Lead is going to rain down on you, son of a bitch. And you’re gringo friends aren’t going to save you either, you’ve got 24 hours to leave the city. We are going to exterminate all you rats, congress of the people, marcha patriotica, union members, and false defenders of human rights”.
On June 3, the defender of human rights Guillermo Perez Rangel received an email from the address firstname.lastname@example.org, in which it says: “HELLO SON OF A BITCH RAT, YOU SPENT THE NIGHT IN THE PLAZA ALFONSO LOPEZ, DID YOU SLEEP WELL? I HOPE YOU DID BECAUSE YOU’VE ONLY GOT A FEW HOURS LEFT BEFORE YOU GO OFF TO DO YOUR TEACHING IN HELL. I WON’T REPEAT IT AGAIN OUR ORGANIZATION DOESN’T WANT RATS LIKE YOU DRESSED UP AS A WORKER FOR THE PEOPLE, WHEN THE REALITY IS THAT YOU ARE ORGANIZING THE PEOPLE FOR THE GUERRILLA. WE DON’T WANT RATS NOR LACRAS COMMUNISTS IN THE TOWN, IF YOU WANT, STAY TO SEE WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU. WE’VE GOT YOU IDENTIFIED GUILLERMO PEREZ RANGEL, YOU’VE NOT GOT MUCH TIME LEFT TO LIVE JUST LIKE ALL THOSE RATS YOU GO AROUND DECEIVING THE POOR WITH, YOU WHAT YOU ARE IS GUERRILLA SONS OF BITCHES. GO OFF TO HAVANA OR CARACAS TO DO YOUR TEACHING THERE, BEFORE WE SEND YOU TO HELL, WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE OUT OF COLOMBIA COMMUNIST RATS, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE MY FACE IT WILL BE THE LAST ONE YOU EVER SEE, WE ARE GOING TO KILL YOU SON OF A BITCH, YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS.”
On July 28 2016 at 8am, GUILLERMO PEREZ RANGEL was arriving at the office of the Association of Victims of Cesar when do hooded individuals arrived carrying firearms who told him, “son of a bitch, we give you until three this afternoon to get out of town, and if no we are going to kill you”.
On July 22 at 2.16pm, the defender of human rights Guillermo Perez Rangel received a phone call from the number 3137752117, from an unknown man with a ‘paisa’ accent who told him “hello dog… for going around sticking your nose where you shouldn’t we are going to kill you” and “we know where you live, we are going to kill you”. To which the defender of human rights responded that if they had him located they should sit down to have a coffee and discuss, to which the man responded “I am going to make your family have coffee” and ended the call saying “I hope you come down to the Valley one of these days so I can kill you”.
In the course of the Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic and Popular Strike, social organisations from Valledupar and the north of Cesar occupied the Plaza Alfonso Lopez in the centre of Valledupar from May 30 to June 15. During the preparation and the mobilisation GUILLERMO PEREZ RANGEL received two intimidating messages (May 21 and June 3) for his participation and leadership in the mobilisation.
To the State Prosecutor’s Office, the Attorney General, the Ombudsman, to the Ministry of the Interior, to the Presidency of the Republic:
That they meet their obligations of providing guarantees and respect for human rights
That they guarantee the free exercise of political opposition and social protest, the defence of human rights and the physical integrity of social leaders threatened in the department of Cesar be protected.
To the National and International Organisations that Guarantee the Promotion, Prevention and Protections of Human Rights
That they monitor the grave situation in the region, and continue to demand that the Colombian state meet its obligations to guarantee and respect human rights.