Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) reiterates its concern about the weakening of the rule of law, as well as the continuous, structural and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Colombian government, especially against indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and peasants.
It expresses its concern at the various forms of state repression in response to the demands arising from the National Strike that began on 28 April 2021, and heeded the urgent call made by various Colombian human rights organisations. FPP participated in the International Observation Mission for the Guarantees of Social Protest and Against Impunity in Colombia, which took place from the 3rd to the 12th of July. It compiled testimonies and background information that constitute concrete and well-founded allegations of repression of social protest, including violence and indiscriminate killings of demonstrators by state agents, as in the massacre of May 3rd in the Siloé neighbourhood of the city of Cali, all of which gave rise to the present report.
The report details allegations of transgressions perpetrated by the state, including its acquiescence in the perpetration of alleged illicit acts by companies. It gives a special focus on the violations of fundamental rights that have affected groups with reinforced guarantees such as Afro-descendant people, indigenous peoples and human rights defenders, highlighting the existence of regressive measures that undermine the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples and black communities to control their territories and to free, prior and informed consent.
Finally, the report also includes recommendations for the State to urgently address these accusations and apply solid frameworks of due process in the prosecution and punishment of such acts, guaranteeing their non-repetition. It also gives recommendations for international financial institutions, investors, and companies to refrain from authorising investments in a country with serious challenges to its rule of law and democratic institutions, especially while serious violations of fundamental freedoms in the civic space continue.