Last month the office of Tierra Digna, an organization whom my organization FOR Peace Presence accompanies, was robbed. It is clear it was not petty crime but a robbery for information. Tierra Digna is an organization dedicated to the defense of territory, life, and culture of communities affected by extractive industries in Colombia. Below is an announcement released by Tierra Digna last January.
On Wednesday, January 20th 2016, as we began our work day at 9:00am, the members of Tierra Digna discovered that unknown persons broke into our office and stole the computer of one of our organization’s founders. Despite having access to other parts of the office, other equipment, easy to carry property and valuable objects, the robbers’ actions were specifically directed at taking the computer in which we stored important information that is necessary to do our work.
Tierra Digna is a non governmental, non-profit organization, dedicated to the defense and promotion of human rights that are principally violated by the industrial exploitation of natural resources in Colombia. We promote investigation, litigation, training and accompaniment to communities affected by the exploitation of natural resources.
The robbery happened at a crucial moment for our organization’s work as we were preparing to accompany the communities of the department of César in the following: environmental public hearings during the amplification process of the carbon mines owned by Drummond and Glencore, a visit from the Constitutional Court to Chocó in a acción de tutela (direct action) trial in defense of the rights of the ethnic communities settled in the basin of the river Atrato, and in the preparation of requests for a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
This theft adds to a chain of irregular events that include followings, communication interceptions, and other robberies of the members of our team. Consequently, we demand guarantees of security and protection from state authorities so that we can continue defending and protecting human rights.
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