Urgent Action: Colombia, Oct 2015

Indigenous Activist Assassinated

Protest against the assassination of Benicio Flor Belalcazar in Cerro Tijeras

Protest against the assassination of Benicio Flor Belalcazar in Cerro Tijeras

It is with great sadness that CoDev shares this urgent action. On October 11th, indigenous activist Benecio Flor Belalcazar was assassinated while travelling with his wife to the city of Suarez in the department of Cauca, Colombia. Mr Flor Belalcazar was a student in CoDev partner NOMADESC’s Intercultural University of the Peoples.

Mr. Belalcazar was a leader in the protection of freshwater basins in his territory, worked on community farming initiatives, and was the campaign manager for the mayoral candidate of the Independent Social Alliance party. Many years ago he participated in the truth commission for the investigation into massacres and human rights violation in Cauca, such as the Nilo massacre. Mr. Belalcazar was the father of Eider Flor, indigenous leader of the Cerro Tijeras council. Eider Flor is a member of the team working to ensure compliance with court sentence T462A, in which the Constitutional Court ordered Colombian State and the private company EPSA to carry out prior consultation and develop an environmental management plan for the human, economic, social and environmental impacts of the Salvajina Hydroelectric dam, an issue which has been ongoing for 22 years.

On July 28 2015, NOMADESC, Eider Flor and the Derechos Humanos Colombia met with Guillermo Rivera, Presidential Advisor for Human Rights. At that Eider Flor expressed his concern over threats against his life and that of his family. These issues were also brought to the attention of the State’s Attorney General in Bogotá, who referred the matter to the Sectional Office in Popayán, Cauca.

Please consider adding your voice to those asking for an investigation into Mr Belalcazar’s assassination and protection for his family members.

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