Human rights leaders have said they continue to receive death threats from gangs and are calling on the Colombian government for protection.
The latest threat was sent by the “Aguilas Negras,” or “Black Eagles,” via e-mail to members of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) According to the MOVICE website, the “Black Eagles” intend to continue the extermination of human rights leaders.
An e-mail sent on June 14, 2011 from the email address “email@example.com”, was posted to the MOVICE website. A section of the e-mail stated:
“Do not ignore this warning. We have asked you many times, on public record, to leave the land. You did not listen, and now you have to pay the consequences. Our campaign: to build the fatherland. To continue to kill the guerrillas. We don’t want more bloodshed but you make us do it.”
MOVICE leaders have responded by demanding that “the Colombian government provides political and material guarantees for the MOVICE Sucre Chapter, so they can continue their work defending the rights of victims.” They also implored Colombia’s government officials to meet with the human rights group, in order to “ensure the safety of [MOVICE] and to punish the perpetrators and masterminds.”
In an interview with Caracol Radio, Mauren Maya, a representative for MOVICE, explained that there are many human rights leaders who receive these threats on a weekly basis.
Maya said that the security provided for them is not sufficient, and “that’s why [MOVICE] requires the state to provide political and material guarantees to continue protecting the rights of victims. They need to address this security threat in order to ensure that MOVICE members do not continue to be buried.”
Since October, when the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos announced a law that would regulate the return of stolen land to displaced people, 16 leaders of these communities have been killed.