Proteger a los líderes sociales es proteger la paz

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Foto Cindy Lopera – APR.

Encuentro para la protección de los defensores de derechos humanos del nororiente colombiano

Cindy Lopera – Agencia Prensa Rural

Con el ánimo de socializar la función de los defensores de derechos humanos y blindarlos ante las amenazas y atentados contra líderes sociales, las principales organizaciones campesinas del nororiente colombiano se dieron cita el lunes 11 de febrero en Barrancabermeja en el segundo encuentro interinstitucional para definir los mecanismos de protección para defensores de derechos humanos.

Mediante el diálogo útil, la Asociación Campesina del Valle del río Cimitarra (ACVC), la Corporación Acción Humanitaria por la Convivencia y la Paz del Nordeste Antioqueño, la Asociación de Hermandades Agroecológicas y Mineras de Guamocó y la Asociación Campesina del Catatumbo (Ascamcat) se reunieron con la Policía y el Ejército Nacional, Naciones Unidas, Organización de Estados Americanos, Defensoría del Pueblo, Oficina de los DD.HH. de la Presidencia de la República, Comisión de la Verdad, entre otras instituciones; además contaron con el acompañamiento de International Action for Peace y Peace Brigades International y con la participación del Centro de Estudios para la Paz y la Corporación Regional para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos.

Los líderes y las comunidades

Mecanismos como los campamentos de refugio humanitario, las comisiones de verificación y las mesas comunales por la vida digna fueron iniciativa de las comunidades como recursos a los que deben acudir en última instancia para preservar la vida de los líderes sociales y de las comunidades en lugares en donde aún se mantiene el conflicto armado.

Para Andrés Gil, coordinador general de la ACVC y presidente de la Asociación Nacional de Zonas de Reserva Campesinas, el esfuerzo por trazar rutas de protección para los líderes sociales debe ser mancomunado; la responsabilidad por la vida de los defensores de DDHH es de todos: organizaciones sociales, instituciones civiles, Fuerza Pública, organismos internacionales, entre otros. “Proteger a los líderes es proteger la paz, proteger la democracia, proteger a las comunidades”, concluye Gil.

La guardia campesina, falta de reconocimiento e incertidumbre jurídica

Una de las grandes preocupaciones para los convocantes al evento es la falta de reconocimiento jurídico para las guardias campesinas, reconocimiento con el que sí cuentan estas mismas agremiaciones en el caso de los indígenas y los cimarrones. Así lo explicó Jonny Abril de Ascamcat, al exponer las agresiones de las que son víctimas como comunidad al contar, como única arma de defensa simbólica, con un bastón de mando que caracteriza a las guardias campesinas.

La guardia campesina es un órgano no armado que representa autoridad, lleva a cuestas un marcado reconocimiento y respeto en la región. Su propósito es la defensa de los DD.HH. y la resolución pacífica de los conflictos, sirven como interlocutores entre la Fuerza Pública y las comunidades, y marcan los límites de otras figuras como casas de refugio humanitario de paso, entre otras funciones. Sin embargo, quienes hacen parte de esta “guardia de honor” se ven constantemente expuestos a riesgos por la desproporcionalidad de las armas que usan los diversos actores armados en comparación con el bastón simbólico con el que estos valerosos hombres y mujeres cumplen su función social.

Melkin Castrillón, quien coordina este proyecto en miras de crear una ruta de protección en el nororiente colombiano, resaltó la importancia de implementar planes piloto en algunos municipios que puedan contribuir a la implementación de las instancias y mecanismos de protección que contempla el acuerdo de paz. Así se propusieron Remedios y San Calixto como municipios pioneros en este tipo de acuerdos que benefician a toda la comunidad.

La ruta a seguir para la defensa de los defensores de DD.HH.

En el encuentro se resaltó que los mecanismos de protección son acciones colectivas encaminadas a defender el derecho a la vida, la integridad y la libertad de las comunidades y de los líderes en sus territorios. Por lo tanto las propuestas para la prevención, la protección y el reconocimiento de la labor que vienen desempeñando las organizaciones sociales y los líderes sociales van encaminadas en primera instancia hacia estrategias de capacitación: sensibilizar sobre la labor de los líderes y sus aportes al desarrollo municipal y regional.

Como segunda medida, los mecanismos de protección le apuestan a estrategias de reparación y no repetición; en ese sentido buscan, mediante actos públicos y simbólicos, el reconocimiento tanto de la labor de los líderes sociales como el resarcimiento de los daños causados a esta población debido a la estigmatización de la que son víctimas los defensores de DD.HH.

En una tercera medida estos mecanismos se dirigen hacia estrategias de comunicación y difusión que buscan apoyar canales y emisoras comunitarios en relación con la visibilización de los derechos humanos y las organizaciones sociales. Es en esta instancia en la que la Agencia Prensa Rural se comprometió con las comunidades y con las instituciones presentes durante la jornada a continuar con el apoyo desinteresado hacia la población rural y su lucha por la defensa de los derechos humanos, poniendo al servicio del campesinado en resistencia nuestras plataformas y medios comunicativos para darle voz a los que no tienen voz, abriendo nuestros micrófonos y cámaras a quienes históricamente no han tenido cabida en los medios tradicionales.

A pesar de los esfuerzos de las autoridades por esclarecer los hechos que ponen en riesgo a los líderes sociales y a sus comunidades, la mayoría de casos continúa en la impunidad. Por lo tanto se hace urgente la instauración de mecanismos competentes que aceleren las investigaciones, den con los responsables de las amenazas y atentados contra la integridad de los líderes, y garanticen la no repetición de estos atroces hechos.

Las mujeres también tuvieron su protagonismo durante el encuentro y discusión. Irene Ramírez, presidenta de la ACVC, fue enfática en su mensaje de saludo por parte de la organización anfitriona al reiterar el llamado de las comunidades ante la necesidad de mayor inversión, no intervención. Alude la lideresa al descontento de los campesinos frente a la militarización de la región, en lugar de dar solución a las exigencias de las comunidades en materia de adecuación de las instalaciones educativas, de salud, la infraestructura necesaria, las vías de acceso, entre otras prioridades.

El camino es largo. La preservación de la vida y la integridad de los defensores de DD.HH., de los líderes sociales, de las organizaciones y de las comunidades sólo será posible si se emprende un esfuerzo interinstitucional que reconozca los contextos específicos para la protección y autoprotección. Así se defienden la vida y la paz.

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