The Green Alliance Party of Colombia (Partido Alianza Verde) is calling for international support and solidarity for the critical situation currently facing the Latin American country. Following the breakdown of an already unstable peace process, the country has witnessed an incredible surge in massacres, policy brutality, and violence in recent months—all against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the 9th and 10th of September last year, protests against police brutality in the capital city of Bogotá turned deadly when the National Police began shooting at unarmed civilians, blatantly disregarding explicit orders from Green Mayoress Claudia López not to use firearms against demonstrators. A total of 13 people were killed, and 75 people got injured as a result of the shooting. Horrified at the senseless violence, Bogotá Green Mayoress Claudia López called this tragic event “a massacre of our young people in Bogotá” in a video posted to Facebook.
Following the massacre, the European Green Party, led by its co-president and representative Evelyne Huytebroeck, made a call to the Colombian National Government condemning the actions of the National Police in a video that can be watched below. In the video, the European Green Party called the September events “a threat to democracy” and urged the Colombian National Government to “provide justice, truth and reparations to the victims of the illegal police shootings against unarmed civilians.”
The Colombian Greens have also denounced Colombia as “one of the most dangerous countries in the world for environmental activists” and are seeking to bring attention to the murder of social leader and environmental defender Juana Perea, who was fatally shot last November for her activism. Perea’s killing appears to be connected to her opposition to the construction of a Port in the gulf of Tribugá. In a press release, the Green Alliance Party urged the international community for help in denouncing the growing number of murders of social and green activists.
In a bid to pressure the Colombian Government to sign the Escazú’s Agreement, which provides enhanced protection to environmental defenders as well as access to information about Environmental Justice, the Colombian Greens are seeking international governments to call on President Duque to protect environmental activists and condemn all forms of violence against them.
The mounting violence in Colombia is coupled with crippling social inequality and a fragile peace left by a protracted civil war and a fragmented peace process. Since the signing of the Havana peace agreements with the former guerrilla group FARC in August of 2016, around 1 000 people have been killed. This number includes social leaders, human rights defenders and environmental activists.
According to the Green Alliance Party, the national government party has been acting openly against the peace process, causing a delay in implementing the peace agreements which has caused a new wave of violence that many thought Colombia had left behind for good. The Havana peace agreements were supposed to have ushered in a new moment for modern Colombia—a moment of peace, which the country had not experienced at length since the beginning of La Violencia in 1948, but today Colombia stands, once again, closer to violence than to peace.
In a recent letter addressed to the Australian Foreign Minister, Green Senator Janet Rice urged Australian officials to call on the Colombian National Government “to implement the peace process, to respect the right of its citizens to protest, and to value and protect human life”. In the letter, Senator Janet Rice reminds the Australian Foreign Minister that many Colombians live in fear for their lives, amidst a never ending conflict between paramilitary groups, drug cartels, and government forces.
Condemning the Colombian government’s lack of action over the killing of social and green activists and its repeated rejections of police reforms, Colombia’s Green Alliance Party has turned to the Global Greens platform for support in a bid to raise awareness over the critical situation facing the country.
Specifically, the Colombian Greens are urging international governments to issue statements addressed to the Colombian government to pressure President Duque to recognize the gravity of the situation and act accordingly.