They have taken Benjie Bayles; Stop them from taking Fred Caña

Human Rights Advocacy

In the Western Visayas human rights violations are a reality and rampant. They reflect a specific configuration of political power and are, not least, means towards both economic group and corporate domination. Advocacy work necessarily needs to consider and relate to this. Human rights violations aim at excluding the victims – and thus are an instrument of disempowerment so to say.
They ultimately deprive the population of fundamental rights such as political, social and economic participation. Land issues and economic conflicts obviously build the background of EJKs, enforced disappearances, evictions and other grave crimes committed by the state and agents of the state or which are tolerated by the state. A policy instrument, human rights violations are committed strategically in the sense of targeting those sectors and communities that have developed or are developing strong and independent civic structures.

Ultimately, genuine development and empowerment go together. Development is nothing to be given or rendered. Rather, it is a dynamic process of emancipation. In rural Negros, the landless population, small farmers and artisan fisherfolks unconditionally need to be the prime actors in a people-led approach. It follows, that the rural poor as victims of human rights violations themselves need to carry actions and protests against the same crimes in a pro-active, people-led manner. Fact finding missions (FFMs) are an example for this approach.

FFMs are ad hoc response actions to particular human rights violations. FFMs are composed of civic society activists and the rural poor population. The objective is to document human rights violations by collecting data, evidences and recording victims’ as well as witnesses’ reports on particular incidents. An action research method is applied. That is, monitoring and documentation are part of a learning process on the side of the participants. FFMs are very effective because they help in putting hinterland human rights violations to the public eye.

And exactly for this reason, the military tries to intimidate participants of FFMs. If this does not work, they do not shy away from killing those who coordinate FFMs as in the case of Benjie Bayles.

Now they target on Fred Caña.

Stop them!

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