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 Black Communities Process in Colombia (PCN)

Afro-Colombian Leader Murdered by the FARC, 9/6/03

AFRO-COLOMBIAN LEADER MURDERED BY THE FARC, 9/6/03

PUBLIC COMMUNIQUE

September 6, 2003.

The Black Communities Process in Colombia – PCN - denounces before the country and the world the assassination of JOSE LUCIANO CASTILLO ALEGRIA, respected Afro-Colombian leader from the coast of the Department of Nariño, by the 29th Front of the FARC-EP (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia-Army of the People).

JOSE LUCIANO CASTILLO ALEGRIA was an Afro-Colombian leader and member of the Black Communities Process in Colombia, who for more than 30 years led the defence for the rights of Afro-Colombian communities in the Southern Pacific region. At the time of the murder, he was the candidate for Mayor on behalf of the Community Councils for the Municipality of Roberto Payan. He was opposed to the politicking, corruption and armed dictatorship that both the guerrillas and paramilitaries impose in the region.

According to information obtained from the zone, on Sunday, August 31st 2003, Jose Luciano was approached by Danilo Castillo (a.k.a. "Palo Feo"), who is a known member of FARC in the area and who presented himself as such, and who told Luciano that the FARC commander wanted to talk to him and had ordered that he go alone. Despite his own reservations, fears and the opinion of several people who did not think that he should go, Jose Luciano accompanied "Palo Feo", while followed at a distance by a group of family and friends. In the hours of the morning, on the path near the El Peñol hamlet, gunfire was heard and, as a result, the group following Luciano and "Palo Feo" returned. In the afternoon, near the hamlet where the gunfire was heard, the lifeless body of Luciano was found. He had suffered more than 50 machete wounds throughout his whole body and his throat was slashed and penis severed.

The murder of JOSE LUCIANO CASTILLO ALEGRIA is added to the murder of TEODOLINDO RIVAS MENA, a local representative of the High Community Council of the Integral Peasant Association of the Atrato – COCOMACIA in the community of Tangui, Municipality of Medio Atrato, by men belonging to FARC’s 57th Front on August 28th 2003.

The communities of the Southern Pacific region and, generally, all Afro-Colombian communities in the country have suffered the historic neglect of the Colombian state, discrimination and the violation of their most fundamental rights and added to this are the aggressions against their lives, culture, territories and forms of organization by all the armed actors.

The PCN demands of the FARC-EP, and of all other armed actors, the respect for life, forms of organization and the territories of Black Communities and their projects for autonomy. Afro-Colombian communities and their leaders have a right to dream and struggle, based on their own viewpoints, for a homeland with justice and dignity for all Colombians.

Human Rights Team

Black Communities Process in Colombia (PCN).

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