Tame Communities Abused by the National Army
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
(Translated by Emily Hansen, CSN’s Program Assistant)
Members of the National Army have exhibited negative, aggressive and humiliating behavior toward the settlers.
We, members of the communities in the districts of Alto Cauca, La Hermosa, and La Horqueta, speak out to the public and private, local, departmental, national and international Human Rights defense institutions, and we denounce the acts which have occurred in the last few days in our communities. These acts have been carried out by the National Army members of the 5th Mobil Brigade, belonging to the Navas Pardo Batallion in the municipality of Tame. Members of the National Army have displayed negative, aggressive (verbally and physically) and humiliating behavior compromising the civil population, and have offered gifts to minors and special people. This situation has resulted in the following acts:
1. At approximately 1:00 pm on January 3, 2010, a confrontation occurred between the security forces and the guerillas in the La Hermosa hamlet in the municipality of Tame. During this confrontation Mr. Juan Gregorio was wounded, and a dwelling was burned. An explosive artifact fell on another dwelling. The security forces claimed responsibility for these acts.
2. On January 6th, 2010 at 12:00 pm, helicopters flew over the districts of La Hermosa and La Horqueta firing machine guns over the area, causing psychological trauma to children and inhabitants of the region.
3. On Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 10:00 am a young woman named Emilse Urive was detained in the indigenous community of Cano. Urive was retained for more than two hours during which they tried to carnally rape her, and they made her hold war objects of privative use to the armed forces so that they could video tape her making a forced declaration that she was an insurgent so that they could receive cash in exchange for her declaration.
4. On Friday, February 26, 2010 the National Army woke up in the dwelling in the educational center of the district of La Hermosa where, as is routine for the community, the monthly Assembly of the Communal Action Board was to be realized. The community was subjected to the drastic control of the Military. As the community was exiting the Assembly, they were all detained and endured verbal aggressions, threats and stigmatizations of the organized activities of the communities. During the detention, the Military demanded beers, which are very expensive to distribute. The demands were made through supposed informants that they use to repeat or speak of what the Military considers necessary. At 1:00 p.m. they released the community and the students went home. The Military fired various shots, traumatizing the children and settlers.
5. In the district of Alto Cauca and La Horqueta the Military have begun stationing themselves in populated centers and in their outskirts, and they even stay in the houses of families, placing the families at risk.
As a community we are concerned by the threats that have been verbally realized regarding the paramilitaries and the possible arrival of the Oxi to exploit the petroleum in the sector.
We make an urgent and timely call to the entities of justice and control to monitor the acts that have occurred in the sector and in its outskirts. We await their positive official correspondence and we hope that the security forces will take measures against these actions hostile to the rights of the population.