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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

For Life, Peace and Democracy

(Translated by Peter Lenny, a volunteer CSN translator )

For Life, Peace and Democracy
Call to all victims of crimes against humanity in Colombia

We, the undersigned victims of crimes against humanity in Colombia, declare the following:


1. We repudiate all forms of crimes against humanity. In Colombia, massive and systematic violation of human rights by agents of the State and the paramilitary strategy has spawned crimes against humanity, including genocide, forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture and forced displacement. Also, insurgent groups have committed breaches of international humanitarian law, one of the most serious being kidnapping. This humanitarian crisis is closing off any possibility of building a civilized society where respect for life and human dignity are the key principles of living together.


2. All public justification of such crimes is inadmissible, whether for ideological reasons, reasons of State, on the pretext of national security, the purported right to self-defense, the accumulation of wealth and the plundering of lands or any other argument deployed to legitimate what, in the light of ethics and the inalienable right to life, is inhuman. We regard any expression or discourse that ignores human rights and humanitarian law as distancing us from the path of peace and democracy. Society, for its part, must act to demand respect for the right to truth, justice, full reparation and guarantees against any reoccurrence.


3. We call for the victims to be respected, for their suffering not to be manipulated and for them not to be used for political, electoral, economic or military ends. We call for their dignity not to be wounded in any way, for attempts to pit them against one another to be abandoned, and for their rights not to be undermined still more by making them the targets of further aggression. We call for their arguments and proposals to be admitted seriously and respectfully.


4. We call for a Humanitarian Agreement to permit kidnap victims to return to their families and to society, and for support for all national and international facilitation, monitoring and oversight endeavors that can contribute to these purposes. To be avoided at all cost is any type of military operation that could put their lives at risk or in any way jeopardize their wellbeing.


5. We demand truth, justice and reparation for all the victims of crimes against humanity and genocide; for the disappeared to be restored to their families and the displaced to their lands; for the paramilitary groups to be disbanded definitively, for their connections with the State, multinational corporations or political parties to be severed and for all those connected with the paramilitary policy responsible for the human rights violations to be sanctioned and their crimes brought to light before our country and the world.


6. After more than forty years of uninterrupted armed conflict it is urgent to find feasible avenues for us to advance without delay or procrastination towards a negotiated political settlement to the armed conflict which preserves the victims’ rights. We reiterate our conviction that the war plaguing Colombia can be surmounted only through a national dialogue that is broad, pluralist and conducted in concert with society.


Today we are united and assisted by the imperative need for all the victims and all sectors of Colombian society to come together to build a democratic society sustained by peace with social justice and full respect for human rights and human dignity.


Signed by:


Asociación Colombiana de Familiares de Miembros de la Fuerza Pública , Retenidos y Liberados por Grupos Guerrilleros, ASFAMIPAZ.

 Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado

 Yolanda Pulecio

Mother of Ingrid Betancourt

 Movimiento Hijos e Hijas por la Memoria y contra la Impunidad

 Familiares de los Desaparecidos del Palacio de Justicia

 Fundación “Manuel Cepeda Vargas”

 Víctimas y sobrevivientes de la Unión Patriótica y del Partido Comunista Colombiano

 Pueblo Kankuamo Desplazado en Bogotá.

 Zonas Humanitarias y Zonas de Biodiversidad de los Consejos Comunitarios del Jiguamiandó y Curvaradó

 Zonas Humanitarias y Zonas de Biodiversidad de las Comunidades de Autodeterminación, Vida, Dignidad del Cacarica, CAVIDA.

 Zona Humanitaria de la Comunidad de Vida y Trabajo de La Balsita , Dabeiba.

 Zona Humanitaria de la Comunidad Civil de Vida y Paz del Alto Ariari, CIVIPAZ.

 Consejo Comunitario del Río Bajo Naya, Valle del Cauca.

 Familiares de Víctimas de Trujillo, Valle.

 Familiares de Víctimas de Inzá, Cauca.

 Asociación de Familiares de Víctimas de la Violencia Política de Río Sucio, Chocó, CLAMORES.

 Movimiento Regional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado, Sucre.

 Movimiento Regional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado, Antioquia.

 Asociación Regional de Víctimas de la Violencia del Terrorismo de Estado en el Magdalena Medio, ASORVIM.

 Familiares de Desaparecidos forzadamente, Familiares Colombia.

 Fundación “Nidya Erika Bautista” para los Derechos Humanos.

 Carlos Lozano

Director of the weekly “Voz”

 Senator Gloria Inés Ramírez

 Gloria Cuartas

Former Mayoress of Apartadó

 Comunidad de Ullucos del Resguardo Indígena de San Francisco, Cauca.

 Asociación Tequendama de Sucre, Cauca.

 Asociación Nacional de Ayuda Solidaria, ANDAS.

Comité Ejecutivo Nacional

Seccional Barrancabermeja

 Acompañamiento Psicosocial y en Salud Mental a Víctimas de Violencia Política, AVRE.

 Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos

 Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

 Colectivo de Abogados “José Alvear Restrepo”

 Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos

 Fundación Afro y Cultura “ La Esperanza ”.

 Resguardo Indígena Emberá de Urada, Jiguamiandó, Coredocito.

 Asociación Campesina para el Desarrollo Integral del Sur del Putumayo, ACADISP.

 Corporación Vínculos.

 Red de Alternativas a la Impunidad y a la Globalización del Mercado.

 Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado (MOVICE)


Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI  53701-1505
phone:  (608) 257-8753
fax:  (608) 255-6621
e-mail:  csn@igc.org



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