OUR SITUATION: FROM BAD TO WORSE
( Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN volunteer translator)
The various assaults that have been carried out against our Community during the last few months, always with the intention of annihilating us through every kind of technique, have not obliged us to be silent, as the attackers are always trying to do.
In spite of all the lies and dishonesty used against our system, we continue more firmly than ever in our principles and, because of them, we must continue to make a record of all of the murderous actions that are going on in our area.
Sunday, July 19, 2009. In the town of La Resbalosa, about 8:00 a.m., Army soldiers entered several people’s homes. They took away their supplies, their dishes, and the agricultural products that had been harvested and stored, such as beans and corn.
Monday, July 20, 2009. Around 11:30 a.m., Army soldiers located in the town of Mulatos detained JULIO GUISAO, the coordinator of our community in that area. They tortured him, beating him savagely about the face, in spite of the fact that he suffers from physical disabilities resulting from previous assaults. Later they threatened to kill him, telling him that he had to leave or “demobilize”, implying that he was a member or a collaborator of some armed group. They kept hitting him and deriding him until 1:30 p.m.
July 31, 2009. Around 6 p.m. paramilitaries killed JAVIER LOZANO REDONDO at the edge of the town of Batata in Tierralta (Cordoba Province), not very far from one of the settlements of our Peace Community. He and his wife and his three-year-old daughter were with him at the time. The paramilitaries confronted him as he was on his way to his house in the town of El Tesoro. As he passed the paramilitary checkpoint, they shot him in the back and they told his wife that she had better disappear and keep quiet if she wanted to stay alive, and that if that son-of-a-bitching Peace Community keeps on filing complaints, they are going to finish off some of their leaders in order to get rid of it. This murder generated the displacement of more than ten families from the towns of Murmullo Alto and Murmullo Medio.
Friday, July 32, in Mulatos, and Saturday, August 8. This year, 2009, there have been battles between the Army and the guerrillas in Arenas, without any respect for the territory of peace or for the entreaties we have been making for 12 years. We have begged that there be no weapons in the living areas and work areas in our Community, and that not one drop of blood be shed in our territory of peace.
Saturday, August 8, 2009. Mr. JESUS RIVERA was murdered at some time in the morning in the town of La Cristalina. Right now we have no information about the killers or about the motive for the crime. We only know that he was dragged from his house and brutally killed. According to the Public Defender, as the Army told us, he was killed by common criminals, as a result of a love affair of some kind. Nevertheless, people close to Jesus Rivera insist that he had been threatened beforehand, not just by the Army, but also by the guerrillas.
Monday, August 10, 2009. At about 7:00 a.m., Army soldiers halted some members of the Peace Community in the town of El Guineo and told them that that the Community was a guerrilla community and that was why they had to exterminate it. After jeering at them for several minutes, they let them go.
Thursday, August 13, 2009. At some time in the morning a person was found murdered in the town of La Unión. It was not a person known in the area. The community immediately notified the Public Defender, so that he could request the removal of the body and the necessary investigation. The Community is wondering why our space is stained with blood and wondering what is the purpose of these crimes, beyond their obvious perverse effects.
All of these facts show the serious situation that we have in this area. It all demonstrates that the persecution of our community and the zeal to destroy it are still strong, and that the attackers don’t care to hide their intentions. They plan to get rid of our Community once and for all, so that they can carry out all their plans for death and destruction in the area. They are attacking farming people with murder, displacement, threats, humiliations, torture, pillage of their belongings, and denying them all of their rights. But all of this just strengthens our intentions to keep on with our system and keep on demanding the end of these atrocities, not just against us, but also against all of the farming people in the areas.
PEACE COMMUNITY OF SAN JOSE DE APARTADO
August 19, 2009.
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621