The Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular-Programa por la Paz (CINEP/PPP) yesterday issued a communique condemning graffiti that have appeared since April 22, 2010 in various locations in Bogota, Colombia, against Jesuit priest and CINEP/PPP researcher Fr. Javier Giraldo Moreno.
The graffiti include death threats against Fr. Giraldo, who has reported 201 crimes and murders committed by the armed forces, paramilitary groups and guerrilla in the Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó since July 9, 1996. He has also sent 18 claims denouncing a number of crimes, almost all of which have remained unpunished.
CINEP/PPP said: "We reject these threats against Fr. Giraldo, who has tried to defend human rights and not leave unpunihsed the crimes and violations of International Human Rights that have been and continued to be committed in Colombia. These threats are clearly a response to his unwavering commitment to the victims of this violence."
CINEP/PPP, a Jesuit organization, is demanding that the Colombian government investigate who is responsible for these threats and clearly outline what means of protection it is offering to those affected, without which the work of the defenders of human rights cannot be truly secure.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the 66 year-old priest said that he had not personally seen the threatening graffiti but that he thought it might be the work of someone he had denounced in the past. He said he does not plan to report the threats because he has no faith in the Colombian justice system which he characterized as "very corrupt".
Please keep Fr. Giraldo and other human rights activists in your prayers.