(Translated by Stacey Schlau, a CSN volunteer translator )
ALERT, NORTHERN TOLIMA
It is no secret that the paramilitary project is alive and well.
Of grave concern is that it is more visible and its perpetrators are more shameless and so terror and impunity abound in rural areas and cities.
During this week, in the region of Northern Tolima, particularly in the townships of Villahermosa, Líbano, Murillo, Venadillo, Anzoátegui, and Santa Isabel, according to reports from the people of the region, the paramilitary group Black Eagles has circulated an announcement proclaiming the recruitment of young people, threatening transporters with death. They have declared that several people are military objectives and have been coming to make their presence felt in some areas of these townships, which has resulted in the displacement of young people from the region and several students have had to stop attending classes out of fear of being forcibly recruited by the paramilitary units.
This paramilitary group has announced that on August 5, 6, and 7, 2007, movement by all vehicles in the region will be prohibited. They have threatened to kill anyone who disobeys their orders.
These threats have generated panic in the populace, fearful that these groups will begin to spread death and anxiety in the region, as they did in past months.
We call on human rights organizations and social organizations to be aware of this situation, so that together we may begin actions to protest and in solidarity with these communities, especially the young people, that find themselves in a highly vulnerable situation.
We demand that the municipal, departmental, and national authorities, and those State agencies that maintain control, take the measures necessary to protect the civilian population.
NATIONAL AGRARIAN COORDINATOR
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621