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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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NA8E5f2uSc

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