Another Killing; Once Again Our Lives Are Attacked

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN Volunteer translator )

Once again our Peace Community looks to all humanity and to history to make a record of the latest deadly actions, the persecution, and the pain that our community and our neighboring social and geographic communities are being subjected to.

On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, during the morning, the Commander of the Colombian Army’s 17th Brigade, Colonel Germán Rojas Díaz, at a public event at the edge of the City of Apartadó, insisted on the great importance of lifting the injunctive and provisional protections imposed by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in favor of the Peace Community. This is not the first time that a Colombian Government official has expressed that desire, nor is it unusual to hear this kind of ambitious audacity, loaded with bitterness against the Peace Community’s way of life, from this Colonel. Not enough the fierce and malevolent persecution, and not enough the levels of stigmatization, blackmail and persecution that this Colonel has fabricated against our ideal of living together. We understand those very clearly, the reasoning and the purposes that this official falls back on to maintain himself in that military headquarters. His objective is to destroy us at any cost, including the lifting of the protective measures ordered by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in relation to the Peace Community.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, while three members of our Peace Community were traveling from the urban center of Apartadó to the Community’s settlement at San Josecito, they were confronted by agents of the National Police on motorcycles. The Police subjected the members of our Community to a shakedown, and then wrote down in a notebook the license number of the vehicle they were in. This is powerful evidence of their methods of pillage and persecution that they have gone back to using against the members of our Peace Community.

On Thursday, September 10, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., two members of our Peace Community were traveling from San Josecito to the urban center of Apartadó when they were confronted by agents of the National Police in the Alfonso López neighborhood of Apartadó. There they were “registered” and photographed by agents of the Police, who claimed that they could do whatever they felt like doing, that they constituted the authorities, and that they were above any decision of the Constitutional Court, in total contempt of Decision C-1024/2002 which prohibits the armed forces from performing “registrations” and provides: “this Court held registration of the population to be unconstitutional even when it is carried out in so-called “theaters of military operation”, because that kind of registration is not authorized either in normal conditions or in exceptional conditions.”

On Friday, September 11, 2015, several campesinos coming from the town of Mulatos, in the District of San José, were present in the town of Playa Larga in the same District when they were confronted by some paramilitaries dressed in military uniforms and carrying rifles. They insisted that the residents of the towns of Mulatos and La Resbalosa were guerrillas and FARC militants whom they would not allow to travel there again because, according to them, the campesinos were doing intelligence work for the guerrillas.

On Monday, September 21, 2015, at 12:00 noon, the campesino ERNESTO GUZMAN was murdered. He was the father of five children and a resident of the town of Playa Larga in the District of San José. According to the campesinos from around there, the paramilitaries killed him with several gunshots, with the complicity of a murderous government. With one more killing, once again our lives are attacked.

On that same Monday, September 21, 2015, at 3:00 a.m., in the settlement of San Josecito, two men dressed in dark clothing tried to enter the home of a member of the Internal Council. When they weren’t able to open the door and when they heard the shouts of the people inside the house, the intruders ran away.

We emphatically reject any action that kills and destroys life and we implore respect for that greatest human dignity: LIFE itself, and we implore that the bloodshed be ended.

Pain will never make us give in; rather it will give us strength and give us moral values so that, day by day, we can build a world that is inclusive, just, and decent.

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

September 22, 2015

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

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