Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez
President of the Republic of Colombia firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. Fiscal Francisco Barbosa Delgado
Attorney General of Colombia
June 11, 2022
We are writing to demand accountability for the assassination of Jesusita Moreno, one of the Afro-descendant historical community leaders of the San Juan River basin in Chocó Department. Affectionately known as Doña Tuta, the 60-year-old was killed on June 7 when several armed men entered her house in the La Floresta neighborhood of Cali and shot her repeatedly.
Jesusita Moreno worked tirelessly toward reaching humanitarian agreements to alleviate the human rights crisis faced by Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities of Noanamá of the General Community Council of San Juan in Chocó. She helped to broker agreements with armed groups such as the AGC (Autodefensas Gaitanistas) and the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) to respect civilian populations. Communities in the middle and lower San Juan River basins have been overwhelmed by the intensity and degradation of the armed conflict. When residents flee to the cities, they are often ignored by local governments and remain subject to more violence. One of Doña Tuta's dreams was creating a shelter-refuge in Noanamá, in Istmina municipality, for displaced persons.
The security situation is grave for residents of Cali. The Defensoría del Pueblo (Human Rights Ombudsman) issued alert AT 001/22 due to the presence of armed groups threatening social leaders. Worrisome is the growth of local groups acting as subcontractors for hired assassins. Jesusita Moreno had received multiple threats and even some assassination attempts.
We strongly urge that you:
- conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the assassination of Jesusita Moreno, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice
- consult with local leadership in the San Juan River basin to provide security for these Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities, in strict accordance with their wishes
Brian J. Stefan Szittai Christine Stonebraker-Martínez
Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via email, US mail
Daniel Palacios, Minister of the Interior ~ via email
Joel Hernández García, Rapporteur for Colombia , Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email, US mail
Julissa Mantilla Falcón , Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email, US mail
Margarette May Macaulay, Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination ~ via email, US mail
CIPJ: Comision Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz/Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace ~ via email
UN: Juliette De Rivero, Representative in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ~ via email
US Embassy: Francisco Palmieri (Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim); Kristen Farrell (human rights); Mariel Chatman (vulnerable populations) ~ via email
US State Department: Christine Russell, Desk Officer for Colombia ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman ~ via email
US Representatives Beatty, Brown, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email
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