Originally published on August 24, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia
Goal: Investigate the assassinations of environmental rights activists and provide justice to their families and friends
While defending communities affected by dam construction and mining projects in Colombia, two environmental rights activists have been gunned down for their work. The current members of their organization are under surveillance, experiencing break-ins, harassment, and death threats. The government of Colombia must investigate these murders and the current harassment before another environmental rights activist is killed.
Movimiento Rios Vivos (translated Living Rivers Movement) is an environmental organization dedicated to protecting communities from ecological damages caused by mining corporations and dam construction companies. While operating in Colombia, their members and leaders have been subjected to death threats, constant surveillance, persecution, and murder. Without properly investigating these crimes, law enforcement is allowing the violence to escalate against the environmentalists.
In order to secure contracts, mining corporations and dam construction companies have a history of silencing activists who interfere with their profit margin. By hiring thugs and paying off local officials to look the other way, private corporations have committed numerous atrocities across South America and other continents. Refusing to conduct a proper investigation of these crimes will only result in Colombia leaving a legacy of blood and greed.
The government of Colombia needs to investigate the assassinations of the two environmental rights activists, Nelson Giraldo Posada and Robinson David Mazo. They were gunned down for standing up against corporate greed and corruption. Allowing their killers to walk free merely encourages more individuals to escalate the violence against other activists.
By signing the petition below you will urge the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, to investigate these politically motivated assassinations and prevent further injustices against other environmental rights activists.
Dear President Juan Manuel Santos,
Justice must be provided to the families and friends of two murdered environmental rights activists in your country. Nelson Giraldo Posada and Robinson David Mazo were gunned down for their work defending communities from the harm caused by dam construction and mining projects. By refusing to properly investigate their murders, your government is only encouraging further violence against more activists.
Plagued by death threats, stalking, break-ins, and harassment, environmental rights activists are placing their lives at risk by confronting mining and dam construction corporations. People should be aware of the environmental impact a mining project or dam construction will have on their land. But these corporations will not stop until these activists are silenced. Prosecute the people guilty of committing these crimes before another environmental rights activist is killed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tequendamia via Wikimedia Commons