Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez President of the Republic of Colombia
Sr. Fiscal General Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira Attorney General of Colombia
December 25, 2018
We are outraged by the assassinations of Awa indigenous leaders Hector Ramiro García and his son, Arturo García, on December 2 in Ricaurte, Cundinamarca Department.
At about one o'clock in the morning, armed men arrived at a residence and fired indiscriminately, killing the two indigenous leaders. Hector Ramiro García was the founder of the Awá Chapter of Ricaurte (CAMAWARI) and his son Arturo García, had just been elected on December 1 as governor of Cabildo for the year 2019. Seriously injured in the attack were indigenous guard members Miguel García, Gilberto Nastacuas, Gerardo Nastacuas, and Juvenal Torres.
This atrocity adds to the list of human rights violations of indigenous peoples since this new presidential term began in August. According to indigenous rights organizations, there have been 34 homicides (30 men, 4 women), 61 threats (52 men, 9 women), 20 attacks (18 men, 2 women), and one person injured by an anti-personnel mine.
We strongly urge that you
- conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the December 2 attack on the Awa indigenous men which left Hector Ramiro García and Arturo García dead, publish the results, and bring the perpetrators to justice
- provide protection measures for the Awa indigenous community in Ricaurte, in strict accordance with their wishes
Brian J. Stefan Szittai
Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via fax: 202.232.8643 and email
Rebecca Daley, Human Rights Officer, US Embassy in Colombia ~ via email
Ryan Reid and Christine Russell, Desk Officers for Colombia, US State Dept ~ via email
Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli, Rapporteur for Colombia and Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email
Antonia Urrejola, Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman
US Representatives Beatty, Fudge, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email