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Cablegate: Afro-Colombian Report Focuses On Displacement

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #1427 1072236
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 162236Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2413
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0266
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ APR 9379
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 6109
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 1517
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 6760
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 4376
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS BOGOTA 001427

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS CO
SUBJECT: AFRO-COLOMBIAN REPORT FOCUSES ON DISPLACEMENT


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SUMMARY
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1. AFRODES, an Afro-Colombian human rights group that focuses
on displacement issues, released a report on April 4 focusing
on exclusion of Afro-Colombians from GOC land development
plans. AFRODES claimed the GOC has a "deliberate and planned
strategy to drive the communities out of their ancestral
territory." The presentation also focused on the needs of
Afro-Colombian women as a vulnerable group that lacked
government attention. AFRODES called for greater community
participation in formulation of public policy on
Afro-Colombian displacement issues. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- -----
CLAIMS OF SYSTEMATIC EXCLUSION AT CENTER OF REPORT
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. On April 4, AFRODES, an Afro-Colombian human rights group
that focuses on displacement issues, presented its report,
"The Human Rights of Afro-Colombian Communities: Point and
Counterpoint about Exclusion" to the diplomatic community,
the Ministry of Interior and Justice (MOIJ), human rights
groups, and members of the Afro-Colombian Congressional
Caucus. AFRODES had previously given the report to the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The report focuses
on what AFRODES called the systematic discrimination and
exclusion of Afro-Colombians from GOC programs and
developmental models. The report claimed Afro-Colombian
displacement is not the by-product of drug-trafficking and
the internal conflict, but reflects a "deliberate and planned
strategy by both the State and various illegal armed groups
to drive the communities out of their ancestral territories."


3. The report found that displacement in Afro-Colombian
municipalities is on the rise, and that 90% of the 50
municipalities that have collective territories have
displaced. AFRODES called for communities to be the
subjects, as opposed to objects, of international
cooperation, and urged the creation of collaborative
mechanisms to allow communities to participate in the
decision-making process. AFRODES also called for greater
international and GOC support to develop the capacity of
grass-roots organizations to work on developmental models,
including establishing stronger links between such groups and
the academic community.

4. AFRODES also reported that Afro-Colombian women suffer
disproportionately from violence in their territories as well
as rejection by receptor communities. Luz Marina Bacerra, a
member of AFRODES' board of directors and a displaced
Afro-Colombian, said Afro-Colombian women who are displaced
suffer three types of discrimination: for being female,
Afro-Colombian, and displaced. She said there is currently
no GOC policy to provide a differentiated approach for
displaced women. Global Rights who helped fund the AFRODES
report, stated they would also fund a separate study on the
situation of Afro-Colombian women. As an outcome of their
recent studies of GOC policy, the International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) are working with the GOC to develop
differentiated but equitable attention to IDPs based on
ethnicity, gender and age.
BROWNFIELD

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