Photo: CREDHOS, PBI-Colombia and PBI-Canada with Yuli Velásquez (in green cap) on the San Silvestre wetland, June 30.
On July 5, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Today serious attack against environmental leader Yuli Velásquez, president Fedepesan [the Federation of Santander Fishers for Tourism and Environment], leaving an escort injured. It occurs days after verifying environmental impacts in Ciénagas Barrancabermeja with @Credhos_Paz PBI-Colombia and @PBIcanada. Urgent Investigations.”
CREDHOS also tweeted: “Injured escort of Yuli Velasquez president of Fedepesan in an attack that occurred the afternoon of today; Credhos and Fedepesan carried out verification the previous week of the environmental situation and the dumping of waste to the Ciénaga San Silvestre y Palotal de Barrancabermeja.”
Velázquez told El Espectador: “The treasurer of Asopescasan [the Association of Fishermen and Agricultural Producers of the San Silvestre Channel] was going to do me the favor of taking me in his truck, when I left the establishment to inform my escort and ask him to follow me, two assassins arrived, one got off the motorcycle, took out the firearm. Immediately, the escort yelled at me: ‘Yuli, run’, I went back to the establishment, but I fell. When I raised my head and looked at the escort, he was lying on the floor.”
And Enlace Television reports:
“An escort was transferred to the facilities of the Magdalena Clinic who was hit by a firearm, when he was protecting Yuli Velasquez, director of Fedepesan.
According to versions, the events occurred in the El Rancho stateroom, located on the road that leads from Barrancabermeja to the Corregimiento El Llanito, there she was in a meeting with a person from the community action board, when two men shot repeatedly so the man when helping the leader was wounded with a firearm in the face.
The victims filed the deduction with the competent authorities.”
When Yuli participated in a PBI-Canada webinar on April 29, 2021, she said: “We are working hard to stop fracking. Pollution will impact future generations. As fisherpeople we are impacted by water pollution. We can’t allow corporations and contractors to come in and affect the well-being of our communities.”
She added: “We have faced various threats and assassination attempts, but we will continue working and contributing to the protection of the environment.”
We continue to follow this with great concern.