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Hearing in the European Parliament
Aid for peace in the midst of war: The case of the ACVC - The Campesino Association of the Cimitarra River Valley
Agencia Prensa Rural / Monday 9 June 2008 / Español
 

The hearing called by parliamentary socialists, greens and left looking to publicize in the European legislative grave humanitarian situation prevailing in the Magdalena Medio, characterized by extra judicial killings of peasants by the Colombian army, the activity of the squads death in the region, indiscriminate fumigations with glyphosate and the criminalization of political activity of the ACVC.

The ACVC makes an open call to their counterparts, partners and friends in Europe to participate in the hearing.

Reports: 0034-6223016 asociacion.campesina@gmail.com www.prensarural.org

The following is the official call:


The MEPs Jens Holm (GUE/NLG) , Ana Maria Gomes (PSE),

Raül Romeva (VERTS/ALE) and Søren Bo Søndergaard (GUE/NLG)

invite you to:

Hearing

Colombia: Aid for peace in the midst of war

The case of the ACVC - The Campesino Association of the Cimitarra River Valley

10 June 2008, 10 am, Room PHS 1C051

Since 1999, the EU has been involved in peace-building in Magdalena Medio, one of the regions most affected by the conflict, through the first Peace Laboratory. From this date, one of the main beneficiaries of European aid has been the ACVC (Asociación Campesina del Valle del Río Cimitarra - the Campesino (Peasant Farmer) Association of the Cimitarra River Valley), with the support of the Magdalena Medio Development and Peace Programme.

The fight for the right to land, the search for an inclusive and environmentally-friendly development model and the defence of human rights have been the key areas of the ACVC’s work, together with other organisations in the region. However, these processes have been impeded by political persecution of the organisation.

The ACVC has been the victim of a spurious criminal case against it, based on false testimony and army intelligence reports which led the Public Prosecutor’s Office to issue 12 arrest warrants for its leaders and to imprison six of them, thereby neutralising the entire management board. Three of them have recently been released, as there was no reliable evidence against them, as has happened in the past in similar cases.

This occurs in a region - Magdalena Medio – afflicted by a deep humanitarian crisis because of the activities of all the armed actors. As well as the strong paramilitary domination of the area, there is direct action by the army (15 extra judicial executions of campesinos in two years, as well as detentions) and murders of campesinos by guerrillas. The possibility of sustainable development is also threatened by the strategy of coca eradication through aerial spraying with the herbicide glyphosate.

The event will cover the following issues:

Carlos Martínez - President of the ACVC: The Campesino Reserve Zone of the Cimitarra River Valley: an agrarian peace initiative

Carlos Holmes Trujillo - Colombia’s ambassador to Belgium: Follow-up to the agreements between the Colombian government and the organisations in Magdalena Medio. (tbc)

Yenly Mendez - Lawyer with the Humanidad Vigente Legal Corporation: The legal proceedings against the ACVC: a set-up

Ubencel Duque - Assistant Director of the Magdalena Medio Development and Peace Programme, representative of the Peace Laboratory: European development aid in the context of the Peace Laboratory and the conflict in the Cimitarra River Valley.

With the support of OIDHACO, CCEEU, Catalan Bureau for peace and human rights in Colombia, FIDH, OMCT, FIAN, ACP, IF, & IPO

Contacts, registration, access:

asociacion.campesina@gmail.com ; Tel. + 34 690032406

If you do not have a badge of permanent access to European Parliament, you need to register before June 4 (name, surname, date of birth, address and country) and should be presented at 9: 30 hours of the day Spinelli conference at the entrance of the European Parliament (street Wiertz).