URGENT ACTION - ACCION URGENTE


Further Information UA: 88/18 Index: AMR 23/9160/2018 Colombia Date: 26 September 2018

TWO RELATIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEMBERS KILLED

On 22 September, two relatives of members of the Rios Vivos Movement were killed in Antioquia, Colombia. These killings come after several others of environmental human rights defenders, members of the same movement, affected by the environmental and human rights impact of the Hidrohituango dam construction.
On 22 September, the nephew of Rubén Areiza, a member of the Rios Vivos Movement (Movimiento Ríos Vivos Antioquia, MRVA), was shot death by unidentified men while returning from a sport event in the Briceño municipality, Antioquia department, northwest Colombia. Another man was injured in the attack. On the same day, the son of a former member of MRVA was killed with a sharp object in the Valdivia municipality, also in Antioquia.
These later killings came after several others. On 8 May, Luis Alberto Torres Montoya, a member of MRVA and the Association of Artisanal Miners and Fishermen of Puerto Valdivia, and his brother Duvián Andrés Correa Sánchez were killed by unidentified assailants. A few days before, Hugo Albeiro George Pérez, also a member of MRVA, and his nephew Domar Egidio Zapata George were killed by unidentified assailants. These events took place the same day that MRVA organised a demonstration where 160 people gathered to express their concerns over flooding and the risk of avalanches in their communities, due to heavy rain blocking a tunnel built by the Hidroituango hydroelectric project. This blockage caused an increase in water levels that, according to MRVA, affected at least 45 families.
Since 2008, the movement has campaigned against the Hidroituango hydroelectric project denouncing the damages the dam has brought to the area; first as Process of Communities Affected by Hidrohituango (Proceso de Comunidades Afectadas por Hidrohituango) and from 2011 as MRVA.


Please write immediately in Spanish, or your own language, to the Colombian authorities:

 Urging them to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of the people killed, taking into account their membership to MRVA and their relationship to MRVA members / former members; and bring all those found responsible to justice;  Urging them to fully and immediately implement the collective Prevention and Protection Plan for MRVA members;

 Demanding them to take immediate steps to overcome the structural causes behind the threats, killings and attacks faced by human rights defenders in the context of the Hidroituango hydroelectric project.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 November 2018 TO:

Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez Fiscal General de Colombia Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 Bogotá, D.C., Colombia Email: contacto@fiscalia.gov.co, denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co, despacho.fiscal@fiscalia.gov.co Salutation: Dear Attorney General

Ministry of Interior Guillermo Rivera Flórez Ministro del Interior Calle 12 B No. 8 – 46 Bogotá D.C, Colombia E-mail: servicioalciudadano@mininterior.gov.co Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to: Gobernación de Antioquia Calle 42B Número 52- 106 Medellín, Antioquia Email: gobernaciondeantioquia@antioquia.gov. co

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax number Email address Salutation Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the second update of UA 88/18. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr23/8360/2018/en/



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Construction of the Hidroituango hydroelectric project began in 2010. The dam is located on the Cauca river in Antioquia, Colombia. One of the stated activities of the project includes the “temporary diversion of the Cauca river”, amongst other activities.

According to Ríos Vivos, more than 500 families have been displaced as a consequence of the project to date. Hidroituango’s own social and environmental impact study states that the communities of Orobajo and Barbacoas in the area “will be completely flooded” as a result of the project.

The dam is being built by EPM Ituango, a consortium of the Medellín Energy Company (Empresas Públicas de Medellín, EPM) and the department of Antioquia government. The project is also partly financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.

In the context of protests against the Hidroituango hydroelectric project, Ríos Vivos reports that 151 attacks have been carried out against its members, and three members have been killed. A further two attempts have reportedly been made against the lives of its members, and more than 60 threats have been recorded.

On 20 April 2018, 25 members of the European parliament sent a letter to the Colombian authorities expressing their concern about the situation of the inhabitants of this area before the imminent filling of the dam. They expressed great concern regarding the fact that the dam is located in an area with the presence of mass graves and scattered bodies, to date 159 bodies have been exhumed, but there is a high probability that many more bodies will be found there.

A collective Prevention and Protection plan was granted to members of the Ríos Vivos movement in 2013, however, to date, authorities have reportedly not initiated implementation of this plan. To this regard, a group of deputies from Sweden sent a letter requesting the implementation of the MRVA Prevention and Protection Plan.
Name: N/A Gender m/f: All male


Further information on UA: 88/18 Index: AMR 23/9160/2018 Issue Date: 26 September 2018