Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie

An agrarian leader from Arauca arrested

25 February 2015
Who is Alexander Tibacuy Laguado?
 
Recently, members of the CTI and SIJIN arrested the communal leader Alexander Tibacuy as results of an investigation on crimes related to the Concert of Delinquency and Financing of Terrorism. But who is Alexander Tibacuy?
 
ALEXANDER TIBACUY LAGUADO is the President of the Department’s Communal Action Assemblies Federation in Arauca and member of the Political movement of the social and popular masses of center east Colombia and member of the People’s Congress. 
 
In 2013, the population of Arauca, through social mobilization, obtained that the government adopt the 0285 decree leading to the creation of a regional table of interlocution between the social organizations, the government and the transnational companies. Alexander Tibacuy, as communal leader, was chosen to be spokesperson for the communities for this interlocution space. 
 
Alexander Tibacuy is also at the head of a group of Communal leaders that represent the Communal Assemblies’ Federation, which brought forward a penal denunciation against the OXY corporation and Corporinoquia for the environmental damages caused by the oil exploitation in Arauca, specifically in the intervention of the Lipa lagoon within the Chipiron TB project. 
 
Alexander Tibacuy, 34-years-old, is the father of three children and has developed his social and political life in the municipality of Tame, where he is president of the Communal Action Assemblies Association. Due to his qualities of management and leadership, he was chosen, by the communes of Arauca’s department, as representative at the Departmental Communal Assemblies’ Federation FEDEJUNTAS. 
 
THE ARREST
 
Alexander Tibacuy was captured on February 23rd, at around 2:00 pm, in the offices of the National Protection Unit –UNP- in the city of Bogota.
 
He was there due to the risk situation in which social leaders and human rights defenders find themselves due to their social work. Alexander has different protection measures and he was given an appointment by the UNP to discuss issues related to his security. 
 
The order of arrest was given by the Nation’s General District Attorney, which connected the social leader with an investigation developed on possible payments that a transnational company would have done with rebel organizations that are active in Arauca. 
 
REACTIONS
 
Arauca’s social movement has underlined its disapproval with this arrest and classifies it as a criminal aggression strategy that has been implemented against social leaders.
Therefore, the Political movement of the social and popular masses of center east Colombia questions the work of the National Protection’s Unit and notifies that they gather information of social leaders and human rights defenders to use it against them in legal processes.
 
According to the Political Movement of masses, an example of this strategy is the case of CARLOS ALBERTO NUNEZ FLOREZ, a peasant leader that was arrested a few days after the UNP had done his risk evaluation. 
 
The social organizations announced that despite the detention of Alexander Tibacuy their struggle to obtain social transformations towards a world without inequity continues stronger.
 
In January 2015, Carlos Alberto Pedraza, also leader of the Political movement of the social and popular masses of center east Colombia, was assassinated. The arrest of Alexander Tibacuy demonstrates the conditions, risks and lack of guaranties that the social movement in Colombia has to overcome to move forward with its work. 
Author: 
Torchando sin Fronteras