Recent threats against leaders, journalists and activists who speak the truth about the illegal activities and abuses linked to gold mining in the Northern Cauca region underscores what the fro-Colombian Solidarity Network has denounced for years.
After the newspaper El Espectador published its article “Gold magnates versus small miners (Magnates del oro versus pequeños mineros),” about the questionable mining activities of the Giraldo & Duque gold emporium in the municipality of Buenos Aires (department of Cauca), the journalist who authored the piece was threatened. Edinson Bolaños, was warned on the phone“sometimes life give one surprises, and that those surprises don’t get to you for being publishing things that are not true, ok? (A veces en la vida uno lleva sorpresas, y que esas sorpresas no te las vayas a llevar por estar publicando cosas que no son, ¿oíste?).”
Similar to activists and community leaders, journalists are now facing the death threats coming from criminal armed groups for exposing a truth that the Colombian government has denied for more than a year.
The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network urges national and international authorities to address the criminality taking place in Northern Cauca and to act boldly to protect journalists and activists denouncing the situation. In particular, the National Protection Unit (UNP) must guarantee the safety of journalist Edinson Bolanos and investigate and prosecute perpetrators who threatened him.
The international community must act to guarantee implementation of the promises made by the Ministry of the Interior to the Afrodescendant women of northern Cauca.
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