Update #1 on the National Campaign in Defence of Liliana Patricia Obando Villota and the Rights of Colombian Workers
/ Friday 22 August 2008
Canadian National Campaign in Defence of Liliana Patricia Obando Villota and the Rights of Colombian Workers
The following is an update from the Canadian campaign concerning Liliany’s condition and current situation. For a brief review of the campaign please refer to In Defence of Liliana Patricia Obando Villota and the Rights of Colombian Workers: National Campaign (Canada).
As you all know, Liliany is currently incarcerated under the broadly-defined charges of “rebellion” and “managing resources related to terrorist activities”. Since her detention the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia (La Fiscalía General de la Nación) publicly announced that the information related to the arrest was on the basis that Liliany worked for a non-governmental organization (NGO) entitled FENSUAGRO and indirectly rallied funds for the FARC-EP through said association. Such state-based intelligence is incredibly misinformed in the fact that FENSUAGRO is not an NGO but rather the largest rural-based labour organization in Colombia. In its 32nd year of formation, FENSUAGRO is specifically structured to organize and consolidate the many unions, labour associations, and voices of those in the countryside. If the state cannot obtain intelligence of this simplistic nature than what assurances are there that any intelligence related to the charges against Liliany are less erroneous (For additional information on the state’s tampering of information as it relates to this case please refer to the aforementioned document In Defence of Liliana).
Retrieving information related to Liliany’s condition and the case at hand has been very difficult. Nevertheless, delegates from the Canadian campaign have been able to get in contact with Liliany’s legal council and have indirectly heard from Liliany herself. Through her lawyers, Liliany has managed to receive messages of solidarity from those involved in the National and International campaigns across Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Concerned citizens from all over the world have joined in support of Liliany while denouncing the state’s coercive strategy of targeting citizens critical of the Uribe administration, anti-labour practices and neoliberal policies, and the continuation of a civil war at the social expense of Colombian citizens. Her legal council forwarded to us a statement of how emotionally touched and tremendously encouraged Liliany is that such a broad mass are in support of her and all Colombians subjugated to such treatment at this troubling time.
From a legal standpoint the situation is as follows;
1) The state has continued to incarcerate Liliany within a “Prosecutor Bunker” even though a case and evidence related to her detention has not been fully established. We have been told that this is where Liliany will remain until the state has been able to compile, analyze, and evaluate evidence related to the case. If the case becomes formally ratified by a judge than a “measure of assurance” related to Liliany’s well-being will be issued.
2) Following the inquiry last week, there has been no need for “security measures” to be taken against Liliany.
3) If the state deems “security measures” are needed, Liliany will be immediately transported to a women’s jail.
The Canadian National Campaign in Defence of Liliana Patricia Obando Villota and the Rights of Colombian Workers strongly urges any and all individuals, unions, community and civil society groups, development agencies, members of faith communities and religious organizations, academics, students, and concerned citizens to forward letters of solidarity for Liliany as soon as possible. It is an important moment and sending your support may help Liliany from the dregs and insecurity of prison. Please forward your signed letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liliany Patricia Obando Free Now! ¡Libre Liliany Patricia Obando!