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Friday, December 28, 2007

Threats and murders in this holiday season Dec'07 against the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado

                                               December 27, 2007

           In this holiday season we have unfortunately again received word of threats and murders committed against the Peace Community of San Josesito de Apartado. While the Peace Community members continue to reject use of arms and violence, paramilitary forces, often in coordination with units of the Colombian Army and Police, have carried out a series of actions against Peace Community members, including the following:

           1. On December 10, 2007 Army personnel threatened Peace Community member Yurlandis Tuberquia of La Union, charging that the child she expects to give birth to soon is a little guerrilla and that she must leave the area at once.

           2. On December 14 members of the Peace Community found Juan Javier Manco Molina of Chigorodo murdered in la Balsa. Army personnel would not allow Peace Community members to come near Manco’s body, which bore civilian dress. Later, they showed him with a gun in his hand and falsely alleged he was a guerrilla who had fired upon the Army unit. On December 22 paramilitaries threatened to kill the widow of Juan Javier if she did not leave the area.

           3. On December 18 Police arrived at the hospital where Peace Community member Alba Lucia Giraldo was receiving medical attention for a cut finger and told her to get into a car of theirs because she was suspected of being a guerrilla; instead she retuned to San Josesito accompanied by members of Peace Brigades International.

           4. On December 19 Alfonso Usuga, who brought supplies to the Peace Community, was murdered by paramilitaries at the place where the road to San Josesito leaves the city of Apartado.

           5. On December 20 paramilitaries held a meeting at which they reiterated their intent to wipe out the Peace Community and massacre its members because the Community was “talking a lot about what they (the paramilitaries) are doing in the zone.” And members of the Army installation in San Jose reportedly threatened to destroy the Peace Community.

           6. On December 23 in Arenas Altas the Army detained Peace Community member Maria Margarita Giraldo Usuga as she harvested manioc (yuca) near her home. They then murdered her and claimed she was a guerrilla who had died in combat with the Army. Her body showed signs of torture. Hat same day paramilitaries set up and operated a check-point at the point where the road to San Josesito leaves the city of Apartado, a location barely 5 minutes away from a Police checkpoint.

           CSN protest in the strongest terms these continuing attacks upon the Peace Community and its members. We are determined to continue our wholehearted support of the Peace Community. We have registered complaints about the recent events with the Ministry of National Defense and with the National Police. We call upon them to investigate the wrongful conduct of Army and Police personnel and to present those responsible for prosecution for their crimes. We remind them that they must act consistently with the responsibility assigned to the Colombian government by the Inter-American Court to protect the Peace Community and its members.

Please send your protest messages to your Members of Congress. See our web site : CSN’s Action Center www.colombiasupport.net  and


Please write to the following  Colombian government offices :

Human Rights Office of the Colombian Army
Teniente Coronel Juan Carlos Gomez-Ramirez
E.mail: juan.gomez@mindefensa.gov.co
 Human Rights Office of the National Police
Coronel Efraín Oswaldo Aragón. Director
Teléfono: 315 94 38
E.mail: efrainaragon@gmail.com

Vice-ministro de la Defensa
Dr. , Sergio JaramilloCaro

Vicepresidencia de la República
Dr. Francisco Santos, Vicepresidente de la República
Cra 8ª # 5-57, Bogotá D.C.
E-mail: fsantos@presidencia.gov.co; buzon1@presidencia.gov.co

Fiscalía General de la Nación
Dr. Mario Hernán Iguarán Arana.
Fiscal General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B # 52-01, Bogotá D.C.
E-mail: contacto@fiscalia.gov.co; denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co

Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón. Procurador General de la Nación
Teléfono: 336 00 11
E.mail: reygon@procuraduria.gov.co; cap@procuraduria.gov.co;




Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI  53701-1505
phone:  (608) 257-8753
fax:  (608) 255-6621
e-mail:  csn@igc.org



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