Sunday, May 28, 2023

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    European friends remember James Balao, 5 years since abduction

    Solidarity groups from Europe remember the disappearance of James Balao five years ago. They join the Balao family, James’ friends and colleagues, in calling on Philippine government officials to let him go home, and in calling for a stop to all enforced disappearances.

    Please see below statement, photos, video report and poem from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

    Today, the 17th of September 2013, we count the 2128th day of his disappearance. James was an indigenous activist of the people — and environment movement in North-Luzon, Philippines and one of the founder of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA). He was captured by security of the police an military power in La Trinidad, Benguet.

    The Monday demonstration in Stuttgart counts the days of his disappearance and demands from the government of the Philippines to stop at once all violations against the human rights, specially the killings and disappearances.

    We want to know, what happened to him and we demand urgently: Stop impunity!

    His friends, his family and the international community will go on with our demands until we know the complete truth. On the other side the government of Germany talks a lot about human rights and interferes in the sovereignty of states, but they support the government of Aquino III or former president G.M. Arroyo… what a shame and what a lie.

    We will keep the fallen always in mind

    Monday-demonstration in Stuttgart, Germany

    Photos from Stuttgart, Germany:

    James Balao is with us
    What they did with you?
    Where are you?
    5 years are gone
    since you was enforced captured
    by the secret services.
    Your family and we do not know
    anything about your disappearance.
    But we want to hear the truth,
    Mr. President!

    You lead a war against the people
    with all means of betray
    and terror with the only purpose
    to upheld the power to exploit
    the nature and the people
    for enriching yourselves and the riches.

    The history of the Philippines,
    of the workers, peasants and oppressed
    is the history of the class-struggleeverywhere.

    Spartacus was crucified,
    Jerg Ratgeb, a famous painter in Germany
    was killed in the “War of the Peasants” 1525
    by dividing his body by four horses.

    Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht
    were cowardly murdered as well.

    Thousands of freedom fighters were killed by the fascism,
    unknown fighters, women and men,
    barbarous and inhuman.
    Thats the reality up to now.
    We can’t understand,
    but we have to.

    The footprints of blood all through the history
    will only then end, if we can live
    in a liberated society of mankind
    and nature
    — free
    of the system of profit
    — there
    is not much time left!

    Today, at the 2128th of your disappearance,
    your cry for freedom is not forgotten.
    Your banner is uphold in the fights
    in Rojava, Egypt, Columbia and in Chile,
    where Viktor Jara was liquidated by 44 shots
    40 years ago on the 9/11 1973
    before they demolished his hands
    to prevent him from singing with his guitar.

    But his songs accompanies our march for freedom
    and dignity and encourages us.
    The fallen are with us
    and we change our sadness into power.

    You know that!

    Statement by the Nederlands-Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging

    na vijf jaar is james balao nog niet terecht

    Het is vandaag precies vijf jaar geleden dat mensenrechtenactivist James Balao ontvoerd werd vlakbij een schooltje in Benguet, op het eiland Luzon in de Filippijnen. Volgens verschillende bronnen zit de overheid achter zijn verdwijning.

    James Balao is medeoprichter van de organisatie ‘Cordillera Peoples Alliance’, die opkomt voor de rechten van inheemse volkeren. Voor zijn ontvoering schreef James in een email aan zijn familie hoe hij sinds juni 2008 gevolgd werd.

    Familie en vrienden blijven geloven dat hij nog leeft, en blijven zoeken. De reportage van Roel Nollet over James uit 2009 werd genomineerd voor de Concentra Award.

    Zie voor de reportage:

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