To curb assassinations through joint actions with different sectors, Colombian authorities inaugurated on Saturday the first “Unified Command Post for Life” (PMU) to protect social leaders in the department of Cauca (southwest), one of the departments in the country most affected by assassinations of social and environmental leaders.
The inauguration took place in the presence of the Peace Commission of the Senate of the Republic, headed by Senator Iván Cepeda, who traveled to the municipality of Caldono accompanied by Congressmen Clara López, Ariel Avila, and Catherine Juvinao, as well as the Ministers of the Interior, Alfonso Prada, of the Environment, Susana Muhamad, and of Labor, Gloria Ramírez.
“If we want total peace in this country, we must make a determined and relentless effort,” said Cepeda, who recalled that the objective of the current government is to preventively establish security councils in remote areas before the murders occur, not after, as has been the case.
The installation was also attended by the President of the Senate, Roy Barreras, members of the Attorney General’s Office and the Security Forces, as well as members of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca and the indigenous communities that inhabit the area, who expressed their gratitude for the presence of the State in this area marked by violence.
Barreras assured that the goal of the current government, which has set its sights on “total peace,” is to significantly reduce in the next 100 days this violent practice of assassinating community leaders, which, according to the non-governmental organization Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz (Institute for Studies for Development and Peace), has claimed some 1,300 victims in the national territory.
“Today, I want to thank the President of the Commission, Iván Cepeda, and the Minister of the Interior for their initiative to establish the Unified Command Post for Life throughout Colombia, and this is the first,” he said.
The Commission assured that this is the first of several Unified Command Posts for Life to be established in areas where massacres and assassinations are commonplace, especially of leaders working for peace in the country, where more than 100 leaders have been assassinated so far in 2022.