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Colombia: black communities win victory


Anti-narcotics Police have left Hotel Rio Guapi
The regional association of black communities in Guapi (Cococauca) has just informed Ulrich Oslender, who organised an international campaign, supported by LAB, to stop the aerial spraying of these communities, that the anti-narcotics police have stopped operations in the area and left the hotel, which they had occupied as a base. This is tremendous news, as the police’s presence had caused great tension in the town. The letter acknowledges the part played by the international campaign in putting pressure on the Colombian authorities to end the fumigation in the region.
Text of the letter from COCOCAUCA, translated into English
The regional association COCOCAUCA informs that the anti-narcotics police who stayed for almost one year in the Hotel Rio Guapi have now left this hotel. This hotel is emblematic, as it was donated by the Spanish foundation ‘Levante en Marxa’ for the support of marginalized children in the region. The permanent presence of the police in this hotel had put at risk people staying in the hotel, neighbours and COCOCAUCA, as our offices are opposite the Hotel Rio Guapi. On 7 December 2009 at 11pm a grenade exploded, apparently launched by unknown subjects aiming at a police officer who was standing guard outside the hotel. As a result, a 2-year old girl and her 20-year old mother died, one police officer was seriously injured and a group of 10 people was affected. The fact that the police has now left can be attributed to various factors, amongst which we want to emphasise a group of international intellectuals, who circulated on 22 May 2010 (International Day of Biodiversity) a statement from the University of Glasgow demanding of the Colombian government the IMMEDIATE END to fumigations in the Cauca coast region, as these were “a crime against humanity and biodiversity”. This group also declared to be worried about the permanent presence of the anti-narcotics police in the emblematic hotel Rio Guapi. The issue remains acute, however, and we cannot be sure of the police definitely leaving, just because they took the tanks and refill equipment of the chemicals with them that they had stored at the airport Juan Casiano Solis of Guapi. We will carefully continue to observe the anti-narcotics policies of the new government under President Santos. To the group of intellectuals, and everybody else who showed their solidarity with our cause of affirming our ethnic rights, who have contributed to guaranteeing our continued existence in our ethnic collective territories, we would like to thank in our traditional way based in the ancestral legacy of our elderly. Guapi – Cauca, 17 September 2010. Communications Cococauca (end of letter) —– Original Message —– Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2010 12:02 PM Subject: SALIÓ LA POLICIA ANTINARCOTICOS DEL HOTEL RIO GUAPI SALIÓ LA POLICIA ANTINARCOTICOS DEL HOTEL RIO GUAPI, LO QUE REDUCE RIESGOS ENTRE OTROS A NIÑOS MARGINADOS. La regional COCOCAUCA informa que en el municipio de Guapi – Cauca (costa pacífica), salieron del hotel Rio Guapi los policías antinarcóticos que se encontraban hospedados cerca de un año. Este hotel es emblemático ya que fue donado por la Fundación Levante en Marxa de España para el sostenimiento económico de niños marginados de la región. La presencia permanente de los policías en el hotel, ponía en riesgo a la población que se hospedaba, a los vecinos y a la Regional COCOCAUCA cuya sede se encuentra al frente del Hotel Rio Guapi. Se recuerda que el 7 de diciembre de 2009 a las 11pm explotó una granada lanzada al parecer por unos extraños supuestamente contra un Policía que se encontraba de guardia al frente del Hotel Rio Guapi. Como resultado del Hecho, una niña de 2 años y su joven madre de 20 años murieron, un policía herido de gravedad y un grupo más de 10 personas afectadas. El hecho de su salida obedece a múltiples factores entre los cuales vale mencionar a un grupo de Intelectuales internacionales desde la universidad de Glasgow en Escocia, que puso a circular el 22 de mayo de 2010 (día internacional de la biodiversidad), un oficio de protesta exigiendo al gobierno colombiano PARO INMEDIATO de las fumigaciones en la costa pacífica del Cauca ya que era “un crimen contra la humanidad y la biodiversidad”. De igual manera se pronunciaron preocupados por la presencia permanente de la policía antinarcóticos en el emblemático Hotel rio Guapi. Pero el tema sigue vigente, y no se puede confiar en su retorno por el hecho de que levantaron los tanques y bombas de almacenamiento de los químicos que tenían en el aeropuerto Juan Casiano Solís de Guapi, por eso estamos atentos y expectantes con el gobierno de Santos en materia de políticas antinarcóticos. Al grupo de intelectuales y todas las personas que se han solidarizado con nuestra causa de reafirmación de derechos étnicos, y de alguna manera están contribuyendo en garantizar nuestra permanencia en nuestros territorios colectivos étnicos, le agradecemos en nuestra forma tradicional con base en el legado ancestral de los mayores. Guapi – Cauca, 17 de septiembre de 2010 Comunicaciones COCOCAUCA 

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