The NGOs sent out a joint press release, stating that five organizations, as well as workers and managers of Ecopetrol, Colombia’s state oil company, were threatened by the ‘Águilas Negras’.The organizations saidone of the organizations received a letter last Thursday, announcing the paramilitaries declared members of several unions active in the Ecopetrol area “military objectives”, meaning these person are on the death list of the paramilitary group. The letter was signed by the “Commander of the Águilas Negras of Colombia zone”.”This intimidation is one of a long list of threats received by this and other organizations over the past year,” the NGOs complain.The complaining organizations say that unknown armed and hooded men have been patrolling the area at night lately. They are “concerned about the attitude of civil and military authorities that are trying to distort this reality, ignoring the presence of these criminal structures”.The threats “are intended to intimidate, delegitimize and break down the social structure that is build with a healthy excersize of human rights,” the NGO’s add.The NGOs call on local and national authorities “to investigate the origin of these human rights violations and dismantle these armed structures” and ask Bogotá to “protect the life and integrity of those subjected to the threats and to guarantee they can continue defending human rights”.They also call on the international community to pressure the Colombian government to “comply with the constitution and international treaties”.
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