Cesar Garcia , environmental and farmers rights activist, murdered
PUBLIC NOTICE TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
WE REJECT THE HOMICIDE OF OUR FRIEND AND STAUNCH DEFENDER OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE , WATER AND LAND CESAR GARCIA
CESAR GARCIA was a peasant worker, territory defender , environmental leader, renowned opponent of mega-mining La Colosa project driven by company Anglogold Ashanti, president of the Board of Community Organisation of the community of Cajon La Leona CAJAMARCA , a member of the committee Cajamarca Environmental and Rural and Environmental Network Committees and Farmers of Tolima.
FACTS - CESAR GARCIA , today (November 2, 2013) between 5 and 6 pm, was assassinated from a shot to the head while he arrived to his farm located in the village of Cajon in the municipality of Cajamarca Leone.
Leaders of the Environment and Rural committee have been pointed and stigmatized as enemies to progress in the region, also tagged as guerrillas, in the past months several incidents that have occurred in Cajamarca have created an atmosphere of anxiety, for example, the unfortunate bombing last week in the village of Potosi.
On October the 25th Radio Caracol expressed the following: "The commission formed by 6 people plus the driver travlling through the Potosi way when they were impacted by two improvised explosive devices that were apparently thrown from the mountain". Although authorities believe the commission could have been mistaken for a mining company, the Institute steering group does not rule out that the attack was related to the activity taking place in the area for delimitation of moorland "
Consequently the IGAC said in a public statement : The first pieces of information point out that the IGAC commission of staff was confused with the Gold Fields Mining Company , which has been rejected by some sectors of the community, "so it is important to reiterate that the IGAC work is developed in the framework of an agreement that has nothing to do with what the mining company said . We carry the delimitation to achieve protection in this area. Generating input to the competent authorities for decision - making that may be required" the director of the IGAC indicated.
The October 27, 2013 in the editorial The Spectator, they referred to the facts as follows: - " What we lacked " (ironically) "But it is not enough to reject this. We must pause and reflect. Because more than perhaps an unexpected form of the same intolerance that characterizes us, it could be an extreme indication that something is wrong in the way decision making is being made that affects the environment and the territories of local community life. It could be the first time in our land, another of the evils that accuses contemporary society: the violent protests of those who feel that the social and environmental values are thus at stake amid economic growth can only be solved by the way of the facts "
During the days of the AGRARIAN STRIKE (August 2013), several farmers and environmental leaders in Cajamarca and members of the Environmental and Rural Committee received threats in which public force is involved.
On February 22, 2013 , as part of a panel convened by Cortolima (Environmental Agency of Tolima) between citizens, the communications director of the multinational company ANGLO GOLD ASHANTI - AGA , sent a text message to RAFAEL HERTZ (then director of the AGA), in which affirmed : IDENTIFIED IN THE PUBLIC AUDIENCE OF OPPONENTS SEVERAL GUERRILLEROS OF Anaime.
CAJAMARCA and TOLIMA are now configured in a disputed territory between those who defend the right to decide on the fate of the region, water and life and those who benefit from events whose aim is to destabilize public order , murder and harass processes of resistance and all its members.
BECAUSE OF THE GRAVITY OF FACTS IT IS URGENTLY - DEMANDED
The Ombudsman through the Early Warning System, document and issue an imminent warning about the risks in which leaders of the Cajamarca Environmental committee are in.
The Ministry of Interior and Protection unit - coordinate with the Ombusman protection measures of the committee and leaders in order to prevent possible murders and forced disappearances.
The Nations Attorney General, Human Rights Unit and Humanitarian Law and International Law, commence a legal investigation for the murder of peasant leader CESAR GARCIA, immediately assigning an investigator to clarify the action and mobile of the crime and to capture (the) responsible.
The Governing body of Tolima to assume as the regional authority the request for a strong and transparent investigation about all the relevant facts to the competent bodies, that will allow to establish both the assassins of CESAR GARCIA and the intellectual actors behind as well to allow investigate those who benefit of this incident responsible for it.
To the international community, support the disclosure of the statement and submit letters to the federal government requesting the protection of life, integrity and security of the committee leaders, meanwhile promoting the closure of mining activity in the area to all citizens of Tolima, the region and country to make delegations through the presence in Cajamarca, Tolima, in the event that they decide not to leave unpunished the death of our colleague CESAR GARCIA .
NETWORK OF RURAL ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEES Tolima
Credit: Colombia Solidarity Campaign