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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Anglo Gold Ashanti's new strategy

(Translated by Amy Rose Pekol, a CSN volunteer translator)

From Colombia we are re-sending the following announcement, sent by the Agro-mining Federation of the South of Bolivar and other social and human rights organizations, on the arbitrary detention of a local leader, TEOFILO MANUEL ACUÑA.  We reiterate a call for solidarity, not just for Manuel and his organization, but also for all social movements that fight on a daily basis to build peace with justice and dignity in Colombia, and for which are being systematically assaulted and persecuted by paramilitary structures or, as in this case, by government security organizations.
Movimiento Continental de Cristianos por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad -Colombia-
(Continental Movement of Christians for Peace with Justice and Dignity—Colombia)

The Case of Teofilo Manuel Acuña

The social and human rights organizations, signed below, denounce to the national and international community the arbitrary detention of TEOFILO MANUEL ACUÑA, president of the Agro-Mining Federation of the South of Bolivar.

1. As is nationally and internationally known, the Antiaéreo Nueva Granada Batallion, with its headquarters in the city of Barrancabermeja, has been committing serious attacks against the communities and leaders of the South of Bolivar.  These attacks vary from threats and stigmatizations to extra-judicial executions such as that which occurred on September 19, 2006 against ALEJANDRO URIBE CHACON, an agro-mining leader of the region.

2.  In the last month, members of the Antiaéreo Nueva Granada Batallion have been interrogated in the current trial on the assassination of Alejandro Uribe Chacón, in which TEOFILO ACUÑA is a witness of this FALSE POSITIVE of the Colombian Army.

3.  On April 12, 2007, the Public Prosecutor’s Office 28, of the municipality of Simití, South of Bolivar, ordered opened the investigation against TEOFILO ACUÑA, basing its decision on an intelligence report done by the Antiaéreo Nueva Granada Battallion and on the statement of a few supposedly demobilized guerillas.  This decision was not signed by the prosecutor in charge, meaning it does not exist legally or materially and is therefore nothing more than a project of determination.

4.  On April 14, 2007, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, on the basis of opening the non-existent investigation, ordered the capture of TEOFILO ACUÑA.  This violent and arbitrary operation was carried out by the Nueva Granada Battallion at the Agro-Mining Federation Headquarters in the South of Bolivar, located in the urban center of the Santa Rosa municipality.

The order of Teofilo Acuña’s capture is absolutely illegal since it was based upon the opening of an investigation that is really, materially and legally non-existent.

5.  Miltary intelligence of the Nueva Granada Batallion considers that ALEJANDRO URIBE CHACON and TEOFILO MANUEL ACUÑA acted outside the law in opposing the expulsion of more than 30,000 miners from their territories—land intended to be turned over to the company, Kedahda Inc., a subsidiary of Anglo Gold Ashanti.

Teofilo Acuña has been developing a strong accusation against these companies in the last few years.  International human rights organizations have pointed out how this South African company financed paramilitary groups.  Today this company is requesting that more than 4 million hectares of land in Colombia be turned over to them.  In 99% of the municipalities where this company intends to advance exploitation, its inhabitants have suffered forced displacement and the appropriation of their goods.  In 72% of these municipalities, inhabitants have been victims of serious human rights violations committed by paramilitary groups.


1.    Order the immediate release of the president of the Agro-Mining Federation of the South of Bolivar, TEOFILO MANUEL ACUNA RIBON.

2.    Investigate the arbitrary acts that led to TEOFILO ACUNA’s capture, as well as those which occurred during his detention. Guarantee the development of an independent and impartial investigation to inform the National Human Rights Unit of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office.

3.    Investigate the role of the company, Anglo Gold Ashanti—Kedahda Inc., in these human rights violations.

4.    Guarantee the life, liberty and physical integrity of the inhabitants of the South of Bolivar’s mining area.

April 27, 2007

Federación Agrominera del Sur de Bolívar
Corporación Sembrar
Coordinador Nacional Agrario
Proceso de Comunidades Negras – PCN
Fundación Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos
Red Europea de Hermandad y Solidaridad con Colombia
Red de Hermandad Colombia
Instituto Nacional Sindical
Campaña Prohibido Olvidar
Asociación Nomadesc

Movimiento Continental de Cristianos por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad -Colombia-
(Against militarism and the free market)

(Continental Movement of Christians for Peace with Justice and Dignity)

www.cristianosporlapaz.info <http://www.cristianosporlapaz.info>
incidencia@ cristianosporlapaz.info





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