International Civil Society Organisations reject the murder of Indigenous leader María Bernarda Juajibioy and urge the Colombian State to take specific actions to protect the lives of the Indigenous peoples of Putumayo who are at risk of extermination
[Bogota, 23 March 2021] Six days after the session of the Territorial Table of Guarantees for the work of social leaders, chaired by Minister Daniel Palacios,1 it is with deep sorrow that we report the murder of the mayor and leader of the town hall, Camentzá Biyá, María Bernarda Juajibioy as well as her one-year-old granddaughter. According to information circulated in the media, hired assassins purposefully cut off the moving motorbike, that she was travelling on with three other women, on 17 March at approximately 6:45 p.m.
This atrocious crime is added to the long list of violations against the Indigenous peoples of the Valle del Guamuez in Putumayo. The illegal armed group identified as “Comandos de Frontera” (dissidents of the of the FARC’s 48th front) is reported to have a presence there, according to visual and written information that has been circulated by various media outlets.2
We show our solidarity with the leader’s family and with the Kamentsá people during this painful time.
We express our deep disavowal and indignation at these acts of physical and cultural extermination and urge the Colombian State, as guarantor of human rights, to take all necessary measures to guarantee and protect the lives of Indigenous peoples, who are subjects of special constitutional protection, as well as their right to defend human rights.
As members of the international community, we will continue to be attentive to the situation in Putumayo and we will continue to insist that the Colombian government fully implement the peace agreement, particularly the ethnic chapter, as a measure to protect and strengthen the rights of Indigenous peoples and their female leaders.
International Community on Alert for a Putumayo in Peace #QuePareLaMatanza
More information: Cooppaz2016 [at] gmail.com
(1) Putumayo presents more guarantees for the work of social leaders –MiPutumayo.com.co
(2) https: //www.infobae.com/america/colombia/2021/03/18/en-putumayo-asesinan-a-alcal… de ella de-un- year-of-age