Afro-communities of Buenaventura speak out against Violence

28 April 2016 - 11:30am

Buenaventura, situated in the Pacific coast of Colombia is today experiencing a social and humanitarian crisis, amidst the boom of multimillion investments and the appropriation of territory. This is due to the port and transport infrastructure projects that are happening in order to meet the demands of international trade under the aegis of the continental trade treaty, The Pacific Alliance .

Our partners Nomadesc and PCN – Palenque el Congal which work to develop mechanisms for the defense of territorial and human rights in the Pacific Coast of Colombia, will today host a Public Commission on Human Rights in the Special District of Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca in Colombia: 'Victims of development and the unconstitutional state of affairs in Buenaventura'

The hearing has been jointly organized by the Congress of Colombia, the Commission on Human Rights of the Senate and social, popular organisations, trade unions and human rights defenders of Buenaventura. 

It has has been called to address the gross violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law in the territory of Buenaventura - populated mainly by afro-colombian communities - where a new cycle of violence, impunity and forced displacement has seen has been imposed on the principal city of the Colombian Pacific coast.

Other serious effects that are occurring in the Special District of Buenaventura will be addressed by the Public Commission. These include the violation of the fundamental rights of communities and citizen’s right to life, integrity, self-determination, participation, consultation, development and the exercise of community life under the rule of law; which in the case of ethnic communities in the Colombian Pacific, make up a set of legal rights of special constitutional protection.

These communities’ rights are under threat from a development model based on megaprojects oriented towards the expansion of the port in the short, medium and long-term, which have been disproportionately and negatively affecting a population of over 360,000 people in the urban and rural areas of the Special District of Buenaventura.

The Mayor of Buenaventura, Bachelor Eliecer Arboleda; the District Council, the Vallecaucana bench Congressmen, the Attorney General , the National Ombudsman, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, Dr Todd Howland; delegates from international and national human rights organizations and the Human Rights Senate Commission itself will be present at the Public Commission.


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