It is with great indignation that we join many other organizations working to defend peace and human rights around the world to demand an investigation of the death of our Italian friend and colleague Mario Paciolla, an international observer of the UN verification mission. Mario, just 33 years old, was on a UN mission in San Vicente del Caguán, Colombia, where his body was found dead on July 15, 2020.
We express our deepest condolences to his parents, Anna Motta and Giuseppe Paciolla, and relatives, who implore the governments of Italy and Colombia to launch a serious and prompt investigation of the events.
Several of us worked alongside Mario during the five years that his hard work for peace in Colombia lasted, supporting indigenous, peasant, and Afro-Colombian communities. He always inspired us with his dedication to our work as international observers, his insightful analysis, his respect for the communities and human rights defenders whom we accompany in Colombia, and his magnificent way of making us all feel welcome.
We refuse to think that the life of a human rights observer and defender of peace is not respected in Colombia or anywhere in the world. International observers form an important network of support for the communities that are building a world with socio-environmental justice in their territories. This is a call to all international entities to press for an investigation into the death of Mario Paciolla. Now more than ever we demand the full implementation of the peace agreements and the guarantee of the life of all those who work for peace in Colombia, be they national or international.
Take action by signing this petition to demand an in-depth investigation into this tragic event.
With the deepest and most felt pain,
Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective Colombia Team