TransAfrica Forum Condemns Murder of Jair Murillo, Afro-Colombian IDP Activist
TransAfrica Forum condemns the assassination of Jair Murillo, Afro-Colombian activist for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and member of the Fundación Integral Pacífico Nariñense (FIPAN) on Saturday July 17 in Buenaventura, Colombia. FIPAN is a predominately Afro-Colombian grassroots organization that advocates for internally displaced persons and human rights. We extend our deepest condolences Mr. Murillo’s family, colleagues and Afro-Colombian organizations in Buenaventura.
Mr. Murillo’s organization came under additional security threats when FIPAN appeared on a list of Afro-Colombian organizations named as targets of the paramilitary organization The Black Eagles. Lists of targets, which were sent via email in May and June 2010, outlined those working to support Afro-Colombian organizations, both in Colombia and the U.S., and to date little action has been taken to address the threats.
TransAfrica Forum, in affiliation with other grassroots and policy NGOs, calls on the Government of Colombia to investigate Mr. Murillo’s assassination. Additionally, the Colombian authorities must create protection mechanisms for Afro-Colombian IDP, human rights and labor organizations.
We urge President-elect Santos to prioritize the safety of Afro-Colombian activists and communities. President-elect Santos and his government must give a positive and proactive response the repeated requests from Afro-Colombian organizations for policies that
specifically protect the lives, human and territorial rights of Afro-Colombian IDPs, leaders and communities.
The protection of Afro-Colombian, Indigenous and Women IDPs are particularly outlined by the U.S. Congress’ House Resolution 1224 commemorating Colombia’s Constitutional Court and highlighting the plight of these communities. The legislation currently is in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and we urge U.S. policymakers to sponsor and pass this important resolution.
Lastly, the U.S. Government should support the Colombian Vice President’s Office and Acción Social in executing the Constitutional Court’s orders on Afro-Colombians, including plans to prevent further displacement and protection for Afro-Colombian communities.