Report From San Jose - Prosecutors Preparing to Blame Victims
THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE BURSTS INTO SAN JOSESITO
Once again the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartadó wishes to make a record of new actions taken against our system:
- On November 12 at , four people who represented themselves as prosecutors entered San Josesito without any authorization. They began asking for the leaders of the community; they began to photograph the people in the community and their houses. Members of the community told them that it was illegal to come and take photographs without the authorization of the community but the “prosecutors” made no response. They stayed for more than 40 minutes in the settlement, asking people for the community leaders and saying that there were 18 prosecutors and that they needed the witnesses. Members of the community told them that they were not going to talk, particularly not with the aggressive and disrespectful attitude with which they had entered the community. The police and several civilians were waiting for them at the entrance to the settlement. Upon leaving San Josesito, they said they would be back on Wednesday.
- On November 11 around , on the radio, announcers began to read a list of the names of more than 30 people from the community, stating that they were being summoned by the prosecutor’s office.
- The General told some international representatives on November 3 that the investigation of the massacre that took place on February 21 was nearly complete and that the prosecutor’s office would be announcing the results soon. Those results would show that the massacre had been carried out by the guerrillas.
All of these actions clearly demonstrate all of the scaffolding of the impunity process. The prosecutors burst in aggressively; we aren’t told why they are seeking the leaders; and we are afraid that all of their plans for making false charges against us, plans that we have reported, are about to be carried out. It was abusive the way they were photographing the members of the community and announcing people’s names on the radio. That puts those peoples lives at serious risk.
All of these actions make us reaffirm our determination not to give testimony to a Prosecutor who acts like this, or to a justice system that only generates injustice and impunity. On many occasions we have asked that the results of the investigations of more than 560 human rights violations, among them 164 murders be made public. In addition we have asked for the reasons why there has been no justice for these crimes against humanity. We know that that kind of justice is worthless and that is why they are attacking us, joining with the military’s actions to destroy us.
Ever since the massacre of Luis Eduardo and Alfonso, along with their families, we could tell that the results would be total impunity as announced by the general, and we could see the total derailing of the investigation of the guilty parties. And that is why ethically and morally we refused to collaborate with the justice that attacks us. We will remain silent before the Prosecutor and the Government, as we have done for several months. Our refusal is the fruit of an act of dignity.
When the government treats us as if we were guerrillas, doesn’t carry out its promises, doesn’t respect the international relief ordered by the Inter-American court, when the Prosecutor, since the massacre, has called us guerrillas, when already in February, without any investigation, they believed what the army told them about who had carried out the massacre, the only thing we can do is be silent until they reflect, change their direction, and make reparation for what they have done. At that moment we will talk to them. Meanwhile, in our silence toward them, we are screaming to all humanity about the history of injustice and the extermination to which we have been subjected. On Wednesday, when they return, we will be ready with handkerchiefs in our mouths, so as not to speak. In our silence, we will scream about the injustices they have committed against us. We are grateful for national and international solidarity in these moments.