(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Sent by cdpsanjose on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 7:39 p.m.

Our Peace Community of San José de Apartadó once again reports to the country and to the world on the most recent aggressions perpetrated by this paramilitary government. They don’t mind disregarding the most vulnerable people: the campesinos of Colombia.

In these 20 years we have already had to endure innumerable deaths, disappearances, tortures, displacements, plunders, frame-ups, robberies, destructions, rapes, lies, slanders, stigmatizations, and much more from the paramilitaries that have acted jointly with the government’s Armed Forces, and with the support and tolerance of all of the other agencies.  Their collaboration has invariably remained blind, deaf, inactive, indolent, and drowned in the most terrifying cynicism and hypocrisy, pretending to have nothing to do with the crimes.  That is the only thing that could explain the fact that today paramilitaries are running this area, doing as they please, and turning the lives of the campesinos into hell.

How long will we have to live in the midst of this hell that the government has provided for us?  It is evident that this government has no interest in our lives or in the lives of the other people that today in Colombia are suffering this criminal strategy of paramilitarism.

The following are the most recent events that we leave to the judgment of the whole world:

On Monday, November 20, 2017, there was evidence of the strong presence of paramilitary troops in the towns (veredas) of La Resbalosa, Mulatos, La Esperanza, and La Hoz, in the district (corregimiento) of San José de Apartadó. The troops claimed that they intended to make investments in the area and that the only community that was interfering with this plan was the Peace Community, but that they now have a way to get around this nuisance, because now “they have orders to kill the members of that sonofabitching community if they get in our way.”

Besides that, they claimed that they are buying property there because they are going to open up pastures all the way from La Hoz to Mulatos, on both sides of the river, in order to increase cattle-raising at any cost. This shows clearly the defining characteristic of this government; its rural plans are never intended to help the majority of the people in the country, nor is there any concern for their food security needs. Rather, they are at the service of the elites that have appropriated the government, putting it at their service and at the service of multinational companies that the elites serve.

And to advance those plans, they use these groups of paramilitary murderers who have always screamed that anybody that opposes the plans of the people they serve will be killed. And that’s the way they have drenched our land with rivers of blood. Once again the criminal and illegitimate character of this government is coming to light. Just as in the case of the Massacre of the Banana Workers, the President and his military leaders never hesitated to murder a thousand workers to satisfy the United States business owners’ desires for wealth. Now, through their paramilitary murderers, the president and his military commanders, aided by their business associates, do not hesitate to kill anyone who opposes the extensive cattle businesses being catered to, in a criminal manner, by the government they own.

On Monday, November 27, 2017, during the morning, there was a group of heavily armed paramilitaries in the town (vereda) of La Cristalina, in the district (corregimiento) of San José de Apartadó. They stayed for several hours and then they left.

On Thursday, November 30, 2017, during the morning, a group of paramilitaries that had been patrolling in the towns (veredas) of Mulatos and La Resbalosa, in the district (corregimiento) of San José de Apartadó, was claiming that they would have to get hold of and kill GILDARDO TUBERQUIA and ESTEBAN GUISAO, members of our Peace Community. Gildardo is the first member of the Community’s Internal Council and Coordinator of the Luis Eduardo Guerra Peace Community in the town (vereda) of Mulatos Medio. Esteban is the administrative coordinator of our settlement in the town (vereda) of La Esperanza. The paramilitaries have repeatedly insisted to people who live in the area that they intend to kill these members of our Peace Community, claiming that they are an impediment to the economic project that paramilitarism is trying to impose on the region. This demonstrates once again that there is a criminal project to exterminate our Peace Community, as they have repeated tirelessly for many years now.  The same paramilitaries are going around claiming to a lot of the people in the towns (veredas) that now that they are in control, they will murder anyone that refuses to submit to their orders, and that their plan has the full support of the Armed Forces in Urabá.

Once again, we hold the Colombian government and its military institutions in Urabá fully responsible for anything that happens to GILDARDO TUBERQUIA and ESTEBAN GUISAO and to the other members of our community or to any other resident of the area.

On that same Thursday, November 30, 2017, our Peace Community learned of the murder of a young man who had been detained while on his way from the town (vereda) of Naín to the town (vereda) of La Resbalosa, in the district (corregimiento) of San José de Apartadó. He was first taken to Valencia, in the province of Córdoba, by the paramilitaries that control the civilian population there. The young man was a horse salesman in the towns (veredas) of San José de Apartadó. We still don’t have full information about what happened.

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at 5:40 p.m. a group of paramilitaries went to the town (vereda) of La Resbalosa in the District (corregimiento) of San José de Apartadó. They entered the private property belonging to ARON DAVID, a member of our Peace Community who lives in that town (vereda). Immediately they began threatening to kill him, because the paramilitaries thought he had been giving information about their presence in the area and that was causing problems for their being in the village and they weren’t going to allow that. After they had held him for a long time, they warned him and threatened him that he better not go and tell that sonofabitching community; that if he didn’t want them to kill him, he better say that he hadn’t seen anything. Finally they let him go.

On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, during the morning, a well-known paramilitary from the municipality of Apartadó, who appears to be in charge of getting together all of the “points of information” (spies) that the paramilitaries have in the area, was seen holding these meetings secretly near rivers, streams, and woods in the towns (veredas) of San José de Apartadó. Our Peace Community is aware that we are every day more threatened and stigmatized by all of this paramilitary strategy, because every minute that passes, our region is more under the control of these criminal paramilitary groups. They are counting on the acquiescence, complicity, protection and shelter provided by the Army’s 17th Brigade. The government maintains that Brigade only in order to be able to “turn a blind eye” toward the innumerable crimes that the paramilitaries carry out; in order to deny the existence of paramilitary groups; in order that, with the complicity of the legal system, they can avoid prosecution of the paramilitaries, their accomplices and protectors. It is there in order to create a fictitious control over the armed groups; in order to threaten anybody that complains and place the responsibility for all of the crimes that are not complained of on the people that don’t file complaints because they don’t have any confidence in such a rotten government. It is there in order to hide the criminals; in order to spread false information to the mass media, which means stigmatizing those that file complaints or covering up for the people who are committing crimes.

On Friday, December 8, 2017, during the morning, there was a heavily armed group of paramilitaries in the town (vereda) of La Cristalina, in the district (corregimiento) of San José de Apartadó. They remained there for several hours, and later on they headed for the urban part of San José

On Monday, December 11, 2017, a group of paramilitaries was seen camped on the private property of a resident of the town (vereda) of La Cristalina, in the district (corregimiento) of San José de Apartadó.  They stayed there for a while, and at this writing, they are still there, without being bothered by any authority.

There are already way too many announcements by the paramilitaries to the effect that they want to finish off our communitarian way of life that we have built for more than 20 years. We are aware of the risks that we take when we report that there is a government that protects the paramilitaries and at the same time uses them to do their dirty work and to control the civilian population and their property.

Today the campesinos can find no escape from the paramilitary yoke that is bleeding our region more and more with their presence and their demand for submission. They have claimed that they have the green light to kill anybody that does not submit to their projects in this area, and in order to carry that out they have a “punto” or “informant” who is expected to control the people and to murder everybody that interferes with their plans. Today we are crying out to the world for help, because we will never stop clamoring for our lives and the lives of the other people who live in our region.

We are thankful from the bottom of our hearts to all of the people and organizations in the world that have believed in our pleas for help and have responded by censuring the criminality of this murdering government. From the land we desire so much to see in peace, we beg that you do not stop putting pressure with your messages to this cynical and soulless government, a government that has never cared one bit for the civilian population and that only looks after its own interests.

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

December 13, 2017

Original article: http://cdpsanjose.org/node/118

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