South America News and Action Update July 2014

Christchurch Street Collection

First, just a quick thanks to everyone who turned out last Saturday and endured the heat in Christchurch. We raised a few pence short of £150. Ted and May also raised £30 at “Muscliffe Fun Day”. Whilst our main purpose isn’t fundraising, with international letters now costing £1 we need an inflow of money to keep up the work we do.

Below is the latest update from our South American coordinators. This month they are highlighting two issues on which they would particularly like us to take action. The first relates to yet another threat to the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Colombia. The second is a call to the President of Bolivia to take steps to put an end to impunity for human rights violations perpetrated during past military governments. They also draw our attention to another Urgent Action on Colombia and a report by another NGO about threats to human rights defenders in Peru.

They have started a new Facebook page at, but they have a long way to go to match our page!


On 21 July a member of the Colombian armed forces told an inhabitant of San José, who has close links with the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, that “the time has arrived for that son-of-a-bitch community, we are coordinating with the paramilitaries for the extermination of that son-of-a-bitch Peace Community”. On 19 July a local newspaper ran an article with statements from the new commander of the XVII Brigade (which has a grave human rights record) that the Brigade would do special work with the hamlets of San José de Apartadó to recuperate the space they had lost, alluding to the areas which make up the Peace Community. The Peace Community understands this as a further threat to exterminate them. Full details of the Urgent Action are here:
Here is a DraftletterSJAUA22302714 you can download and adapt.


Amnesty has published a report calling on the Bolivian authorities to take concrete measures to put an end to impunity for human rights violations perpetrated during military governments, to establish the truth and to review the reparation process so that victims have access to full reparation for the human rights violations they suffered. I attach Amnesty’s latest update on the subject:ory truthjusticeandreparationinbolivia(1964-1982)update

If you are comfortable with signing a petition that is in Spanish, we invite you to do so on Amnesty Spain’s website here:

Alternatively, you can send an English message by email to the Bolivian President at, using the text in annex 1 of the update. You can amend the introductory text if you wish but please don’t change the recommendations addressed to the President.

Colombia again

There is one further Urgent Action on Colombia this month. This concerns a human rights defender who has been threatened with violence. Paramilitaries threatened to “dismember” Jacob Jenezen, a member of the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission on 18 July in the port city of Buenaventura. The Commission is supporting the Humanitarian Space of Puente Nayero, a civilian initiative of almost 300 families designed to protect communities at risk of human rights violations and abuses. Here is a link to the Urgent Action:


The NGO Front Line Defenders have produced a report about human rights defenders in Peru, in which it argues that Peru now has a ‘licence to kill’ environmental protesters. (This is not an Amnesty report and does not necessarily reflect Amnesty views, but may be of interest to you.) You can read it, as well as a report on the subject in The Guardian, here: