Date: 2022 September 5

We condemn the attack against Rosana Mejía Caicedo, Senior Counsellor of ACONC, and demand that the facts of the case be clarified and the Senior Counsellor and her family be protected

Within the framework of AUZO(LAN)KIDEAK BAKEAN-Mesa Colombia, the Basque public institutions and human rights and solidarity organisations working with Colombia condemn the attack against Rosana Mejía Caicedo, Senior Counsellor of the Association of Community Councils of Northern Cauca (ACONC) and her immediate family. At 11.00 pm on Sunday, 21 August, shots were fired at the family dwelling on San Rosa Street, in the municipality of De Caloto, where Rosana Mejía Caicedo was currently staying with her family. Fortunately, the bullets fired through the windows of the dwelling lodged in the walls and no one was hurt or killed.

The Basque Government, the Basque Parliament and Basque human rights and solidarity organisations have a special relationship with the current Senior Counsellor of ACONC, Ms Mejía Caicedo, since ACONC is the key support entity through which AUZO(LAN)KIDEAK BAKEAN-Mesa Colombia has been organising the Inter-ethnic and Inter-cultural Territorial Council in Northern Cauca (abbreviated to CTIINC in Spanish). Both ACONC and Rosana Mejía herself have participated in other actions, activities and exchanges funded and promoted thanks to the support provided by the Basque Cooperation Agency for Development, eLankidetza, through diverse universities and human rights and solidarity organisations. Moreover, Rosana Mejía Caicedo, with the support of the Basque NGO Emigradxs Sin Fronteras, has participated in the Basque Programme to Protect Human Rights Defenders, which is led by the Basque Government Department of Human Rights, Victims and Diversity.

All the entities that make up AUZO(LAN)KIDEAK BAKEAN-Mesa Colombia are firmly committed to monitoring and following the human rights situation and the development of the peace-building process in Colombia. In accordance with this mandate, we reiterate our concern over these events and the physical and psychological integrity of all members of ACONC, particularly the Senior Counsellor, Ms Mejía Caicedo. We express our most energetic condemnation of both this attack and all attacks suffered on a daily basis by human rights defenders in Colombia.

We condemn the attack against Ms Mejía Caicedo and ASK the competent authorities to:

  1. Clarify the events by means of an impartial investigation designed to identify the material and intellectual perpetrators of the attack.

  2. Strengthen and implement real and effective individual and collective guarantees for the protection of life and territory of all African-descent, indigenous and peasant communities in Cauca and the rest of the country.

  3. Recognise and promote the Humanitarian Agreements that have been established on the basis of a consensus among rural communities, have the support of broad social and institutional sectors and constitute a safeguard for the civil population in light of the presence of different armed actors who are currently in conflict.

Finally, we reiterate our SUPPORT and SOLIDARITY of/with all human rights defenders, the black population, indigenous peoples and peasant communities, who are the principal victims of violence and conflict in the country. We acknowledge their commitment to the construction of a country at peace, based on social justice, and demand respect for their LIVES and their right to REMAIN on their ancestral land.

In Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country), 26 August 2022.

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