WE HAVE ENDED OUR PILGRIMAGE AND PARAMILITARISM CONTINUES TO GO AROUND IN OUR TOWNS
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN volunteer translator)
As soon as the Army stopped us from going and praying in front of the 17th Brigade headquarters, we continued with our journey through the towns. We have paid tribute and we have felt the dignity that we build every day and that we continue to sow in our community. The organized formation of our community has allowed us to put together that trilogy that generates life: land, nature, and community.
People from a number of countries were able to appreciate the beauty of our land, but at the same time, they were able to observe that we did not lie about the actions of death and the threats to our community. Because of those, we are obligated to make a record of new events:
On October 4, we were walking around the town of La Esperanza. Three people from the community walked for a half hour and then stopped to buy some cheese. There were paramilitaries there, with long rifles, in camouflage, with radios. The paramilitaries interrogated the people and they accused one of the members of our community, a member of our governing council, of being a guerrilla. They threatened to kill him, and they threatened that in the next few weeks they would begin killing a number of people whose names they had on a list. After an argument, they let them go. On the same day, October 4, groups of paramilitaries were found in the towns of Arenas and La Union. They were walking around openly and threatening that they would like to finish off our community. The high officials of the Armed Forces say that paramilitaries don’t exist in this area. They are lying again. There are more than 600 paramilitaries walking all around our towns with the protection of the Armed Forces.
On October 5, around 6 p.m., members of the Army in San Jose told several people that their central objective was to finish off this SOB peace community, the only one where they were not permitted to walk around everywhere. The paramilitaries, on the other hand, will be able to act and thus will be able to carry out their productive plans in the area.
Many people from various organizations in various countries, such as national communities, were able to bear witness to the reality of death that surrounds us. They have been able to see how those who spread death are lying and how the paramilitaries are advancing with the support of the Armed Forces.
These days of walking have allowed us to continue advancing firmly our principles in defense of our land for civilian uses. Once again we ask for national and international solidarity in the face of these threats of death and destruction against our community.
PEACE COMMUNITY OF SAN JOSE DE APARTADO
October 7, 2008
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621