COLOMBIA: The Las Pavas Community (ASOCAB) speaks out–“We demand to return now!”
[CPT-Colombia has accompanied the community of Las Pavas since since the Colombian authorities forced them off their land in 2009.]
The Farmers Association of Buenos Aires (ASOCAB) is legally
represented by its general manager, Misael Payares Guerrero, a resident of Buenos
Aires, Peñón Township, Southern Bolivar, Colombia. We, the community of ASOCAB, have
been victims of forced displacement by paramilitary groups and alleged drug
trafficker, Jesus Emilio Escobar, who was owner of the Las Pavas estate. Several
years after Emilio Escobar left the farm and the community had already
established food crops, he reappeared to remove us by force and sell the land to
the Consortium Labrador. This consortium is comprised of the companies San
Isidro SA Contributions and C.I. Tequendama SA, which is part of the DAABON group.
They are dedicated to the implementation of extensive oil palm cultivation and caused
our last displacement in 2009 with the consent of the municipal, regional and
national government by using an illegal political process. They expelled us
from Las Pavas with the assistance of the National Police and perpetrating the crime
of forced displacement.
We declare before the local, regional, National and International
communities that the Consortium Labrador has endangered the life and physical
integrity of our community by spreading an announcement through the
communications media. In this communication they accuse us of trying to illegally
and clandestinely invade the Las Pavas estate, violating the rights of workers in
the palm and peace in the region.