Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

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Threat on the life of land reclaimer, William Aljure

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Thursday 20 August 2015

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Paramilitaries made threat on the life and integrity of leader, William Aljure in Mapiripan for reclaiming land where palm oil is now being grown as an agro-business by the Italian company Poligrow.

Yesterday morning, in Villavicencio where William lives, he was followed by two men who were prowling around while he was waiting for a flight in Villacicencio airport to go to Mapiripan.

Last Saturday, 15 August, the paramilitary, Edgar Perez, also known as “Tomate” and who is a member of the M eta Block Cattle Ranchers, stated that it was necessary to kill William because he was creating a bad impression of the palm-oil business. “The allegations that he is making are very serious for Poligrow and for us and could lose us a lot of business.”

The paramilitary structure has control over the area known as ‘La Realidad’ over the properties being reclaimed by the Aljure’s. Part of the palm-oil project is being developed on these family-run properties and in areas where the paramilitary have control.

On 6 August the paramilitary structure that covers the urban area of Mapiripan tried to prevent the work that our human rights defender, Fabio Ariza, was doing with the indigenous people who live in Mapiripan.

Nine days ago, on World Indigenous Day, the documentary ‘Between Water and Oil Palm’ was launched by the Environmental Investigation Agency of the United States and ourselves, the Commission for Justice and Peace.

William Aljure has been a leader in the process of strengthening local groups and is a member of CONPAZ, (Communities Constructing Peace in the Territories).
It is not the first time that violent threats have been made against William, but it’s the first time his actual life has been threatened due to the fact that he has taken the brave decision to speak the truth and affirm the right to justice in the face of abuses and arbitrary action taken by Poligrow by denying the right to water, to biological life and to the land.

19 de agosto 2015
Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

 
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