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Mexico deports leader of Young Communists of Colombia

By Mark Burton

Denver, CO – On March 24, Cindy Paola Pérez, a member of the central committee of the Young Communists of Colombia (popularly know as la Juco) was summarily deported from the Mexico City airport. Perez was invited to Mexico to attend the IV Congress of the Young Communists of Mexico as a delegate. The Mexican immigration authorities deported Perez, giving the Colombian activist no explanation other than the fact that she knew Colombian political prisoner Miguel Angel Beltran.

This latest outrage follows other incidents of harassment of Communist Party of Colombia (PCC) members who traveled internationally. On March 20, 2015, two leaders of the Communist Party of Colombia, General Secretary Jaime Caycedo, and former senator for the Polo Democratico, Gloria Inés Ramirez, were detained in the Mexico City International Airport. The two were taken to an immigration office, questioned for some hours, and then their belongings were searched. Eventually they were allowed to enter Mexico.

In another incident on June 4, 2015, Gloria Inés Ramirez, Jaime Caycedo and another member of the PCC were separated from their traveling companions in Tucumen Airport in Panama City, Panama, where they were stopping over on their way to the International Forum for Peace in Colombia, taking place in Montevideo, Uruguay. These distinguished political figures were questioned and photographed by officials who were not in uniform, one who of whom spoke Spanish with a North American accent. After other members of their group protested their detention, they were allowed to continue to travel.

This harassment is in contravention to norms of international law that protects the freedom of conscience and the right to travel. The Communist Party of Colombia remains undaunted by this harassment, stating in its newspaper Seminario La Voz: “No sir, we are not embarrassed to be communists! If they arrest and deport us for this reason, it is out of fear, because the future is ours, on to the victory of socialism! We call on all Colombian and international organizations to mobilize against this international policy of persecution against popular organizations and social movements.”

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