News Release – Colombia the invisible genocide
July 26, 2019
(Toronto, Ottawa, Buenaventura) Protests are being organized across Canada and in 58 cities around the world on July 26 to demand an end to the wave of mass killings targeting human rights defenders and social movement leaders in Colombia.
Organizers of the Toronto “July 26, walk for Life and Peace in Colombia” say there’s an invisible genocide taking place in Colombia. Violence against civil society has intensified at an alarming rate without effective action on the part of government to end the bloodshed. More than 500 social activists and 138 demobilised guerilla combatants have been killed since the signing of the Peace Accord between the state and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in 2016.
A five kilometer walk through downtown Toronto and events across Canada will draw attention to this human rights crisis, demanding meaningful implementation of the Peace Accord and urging the Canadian government to take a more proactive stance in response to the crisis.
“The Free trade agreement between Canada and Colombia signed in 2011 was supposed to improve respect for human rights in Colombia. The Canadian government remains silent in the face of this latest wave of systematic killings. Canada must do more than support its extractive (oil and mining) companies, and instead prioritize the life of land defenders in Colombia” says Alfonso Ibarra, Ottawa- Gatineau organizer.
The Walk for Life and Peace is part of an International day of mobilization and solidarity with Colombian social leaders and for peace. In Toronto the walk is lead by Profesor Gustavo Moncayo, who in the past marched over 1,000 kilometers across Colombia when his son was held captive.
“We call on the international community to pressure their governments to take responsibility for the damages they have contributed to in Buenaventura, Colombia, through the implementation of free trade agreements and their neoliberal policies, which impose an economic model of death upon our people” says Maria Miyela Riascos Riascos, spokesperson for the Buenaventura, Colombia Civic Strike Committee
Events across Canada:
Toronto | 6PM | Matt Cohen Park
Ottawa | 6:30 PM | Parliament
Montreal | 5PM | Consulate of Colombia
Quebec | 5PM | Atrium of the Church of San Roche
Winnipeg | 6PM | Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Vancouver |6pm |Outside the CBC building 700 Hamilton street
For more information about the Toronto walk visit https://lacsn.ca/casa
For more information contact:
Ottawa, Patricia Garzon, 819-208-0983, [email protected]
Toronto, Dario Esguera, 647-718-9409, [email protected]