Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space: 2014

Among the most severe attacks against the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space in 2014, the following are worthy of note:

  • On 15 September, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) awarded protective measures to the 302 families that make up the Humanitarian Zone of Puente Nayero, in La Playita, Buenaventura.[1] Via its accompaniment of the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace, PBI has been present in the Humanitarian Zone since its inception in April of this year. In spite of the concern expressed by the IACHR as well as national and international organizations, the recent visit of several ambassadors and an EU delegation, the situation in the Humanitarian Zone remains worrisome. There have been several death threats made directly to community members[2] and communicated by telephone, including a threat against a leader who had reported the assassination of her son.[3] At the beginning of October, CIJP announced they had revealed plans for armed confrontations between neo-paramilitary groups that operate in the area in order to provoke panic and force community members to leave the area of the neighborhoods La Playita and Alfonso López.[4]
  • Multiple leaders of the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space (HS) received threats in the last three months of 2014.[5] Members of CIJP who work in the HS have also been targeted, as have members of international organizations that accompany CIJP, with messages such as:“here there are a lot of snitches and they are all going to die”, and,“S.O.B. gringos, you’re going to die.”[6]
  • On 20 October alleged neo-paramilitaries made an incursion into the HS, dressed in civilian clothes, and searched two unoccupied houses.[7] CIJP expressed concern over declarations by the Buenaventura Municipal Ombudsman, Álvaro Martán Abonce, to Cali newspaper El País, in which he said, “I question the posture adopted by the [Puente Nayero] community, of restricting access by Public Forces to the humanitarian space, leading to the authorities’ inability to comply with the preservation of the safety of this sector’s inhabitants as ordered by the IACHR.”[8]

[1] IACHR: Resolución 25/2014, 15 September 2014
[2] CIJP: Paramilitares intentan asesinar a joven de Espacio Humanitario, 1 July 2014; CIJP: Amenazan con matar a integrantes del Espacio Humanitario, 3 July 2014; CIJP: Amenazan de muerte a otra pobladora en Espacio Humanitario, 7 July 2014; CIJP: Intimidada lideresa juvenil en Puente Nayero, 20 July 2014
[3] CIJP: Amenazas de muerte a lideresa de Buenaventura, 22 August 2014
[4] CIJP: Reactivación de operaciones paramilitares en Buenaventura, 6 October 2014
[5] CIJP: Nuevamente es amenaza lideresa en Buenaventura, 17 October 2014
[6] CIJP:Amenazan de muerte a afros, observadores internacionales y DDHH, 3 December 2014
[7] CIJP: Paramilitares están dentro del Espacio Humanitario, 20 October 2014
[8] CIJP: Graves señalamientos de personero de Buenaventura contra Espacio Humanitario, 25 de septiembre de 2014

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