Letter of the Ngobe People affected by Dam Chan 75 of the Company AES Changuinola
We send this letter as an urgent plea for international support and help. The Ngà¤be located in the community of Charco La Pava, District of Changuinola,
Among the examples of human rights violations: the National Police through a Riot Control Unit beat, threatened and dragged children, pregnant women and elderly people of the community, publicly stripped nude Ana Castillo, and then dragged and beat her through the streets, threatened Francisco Santos with death, forced community members with armed guards to sign documents whose content they did not know, set fire to the house of Isabel Becker and caused deadly injuries to the boy Ivan Miranda due to a police baton blow to the face.
We are desperate and abandoned. The government reiterates that we have no rights, and that they have the power to do as they wish.
They have us uncommunicated and dont let anyone visit the community. They have tortured, evicted and threatened to death our leaders, have destroyed our lands, forests and animals which are the source of food for our people. We live in constant fear because there is no law that protects us in these places.
We ask, please do all in your power to stop this barbarism. Our lives and land depend on being able to stop these violations.
Ngà¶bes Communities affected by the construction of the Hydro-electric plants. we extracted this information from the declarations made by Ana Castillo done on the 9th of March of 2008.
1 Mrs Castillo and her sons, 12 year old Anselmo Santos, 10 year old Didier Santos and 6 year old Irene Santos, went where most of the communisty was protecting itself from the explotions, when they were violently supressed, as Mrs Castillo narrates: “my kids and I went to where the others were at the entrance to the community asking the
2 “When I was on the floor the police stepped on my chest with his boot while he laughed”.
3 “One police officer grabbed my clothes and laughing tore it off, he stripped me naked publicly, and dragged me naked to the police quarters. Everybody saw me naked and I felt embarassed”.
4 Mrs. Ana Castillo was verbally abused, stripped nude, beaten and exposed to the public by the National Police Units, Zone 9 of the Changuinola Police headquarters, under the order of police chief Jose Manuel Rios. Once detained in the Police quarters, Mrs. Castillo was again verbally abused, threatened and admonished by the police units, and as she narrates: “in the police quarters I wanted water, and cried together with my children. The police told me: you are stupid and rude..what rights are you going to demand? You have no rights, next time we will take everything by force. You want water? Then he laughed and hit me and didnt give me water, when I spoke I was beaten, and told me I had to sign”.
5 The minors, 12 year old Anselmo Santos, 10 year old Didier Santos and 6 year old Irene Santos, whom accompanied their mother, were detained and beaten next to their mother by the National Police. “the police in the quarter would ask my child if he wanted to eat and would then laugh, indians like you have no rights”.
6 “I dont want to see the police, I live here, all our forefathers lived here, if they take me out of here I dont know where IÂ´ll live, I only have this land, when I bathe in the river the police look at me, I want them to leave”.
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