EVER GONZALEZ CIMA LEADER ASSASSINATED
The Committee For the Integration of the Mountain Region of Colombia
Social, Civic, and Peasant Organization
Plan for Life, Water, and Dignity
We are fighting an uphill struggle for a life of dignity, regional integration and self-development in the southern and mountain region of Colombia
Ever González, the CIMA leader, defender of human rights, was assassinated on Saturday September 20, at about noon, by two hired assassins on a motorcycle. He was working in the village of Guachicono in the township of Bolívar, a crossroads between the towns of Sucre and Patía.
Since 1994, our peasant leader Ever González had been defending the human rights of the people of the mountains, especially in the township of Sucre. In 2000 he had begun to be protected by the Ministry of the Interior, because of the multiple threats against the social organization CIMA, its leaders, and its communities, who were constantly fighting for a life of dignity, regional integration, and self-development. Since 2003 he had been helped as well by the precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Colombia.
In May 2004, he fell victim to the policy of mass arrests and trials. That exacerbated the risk to him and his vulnerability since the designations began from the time that that policy began to be applied. In his case, his innocence, the frame-up, and his social leadership of peasants were proved.
Currently he had been helping the families of victims and the District Attorney of the town of Cauca with clarifying some cases of extrajudicial executions that had occurred in the town of Sucre in 2007.
The social peasant organization Committee For the Integration of the Colombian Mountains (CIMA) demands that the Colombian government, civil and military authorities, Public Ministry, Attorney General, and Ministry of the Interior investigate, clarify, and punish those responsible for this crime, committed against the peasant leader, defender of human rights, Ever González, who had been given the protection of the Ministry of the Interior and precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
We call upon national and international human rights organizations to stand in solidarity for the defense of a life of dignity for these communities and their leaders, and for the right to defend and strengthen our social organization of peasants. We request that letters be sent to the appropriate government and state agencies demanding clarification of the facts.
Our gratitude to, recognition and eternal memory of Ever González and our peasant compañeros and compañeras assassinated in our constant struggle for a life of dignity, regional integration, and self-development in the mountains.
The Committee For the Integration of the Mountain Region of Colombia (CIMA)
Foundation Orographic Star/Basin of the Colombian Mountains—(FUNDECIMA)
Popayán, September 21, 2008
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621