(Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN volunteer translator)
Uraba continues to live under the terror of paramilitarism, with the total complicity of the armed forces. They say in speeches that paramilitarism no longer exists, that they are fighting it. Nevertheless the reality that we have been living for 11 years is totally different. It’s a state that acts with the logic of death, and that is why our obligation to history is to make a record of all of these acts that have victimized us.
* Thursday, April 24 at 11 am, in the settlement of Los Mandarinos (an hour and a half from Arenas Altas, a town that is part of our Community), two men dressed in civilian clothes and carrying pistols stopped Emilio Vasquez (a member of our community) Juan Goez and Ever Goez. The two men identified themselves as Black Eagles. They told them that if they saw them again they would kill them, that everybody in the area was nothing but guerrillas. Advancing slowly, they pressed their guns against the heads of the three and threatened them, saying that it would be better to kill them right now because later they might not have the opportunity. After that, they told them to get going and that now they know what will happen to them if they ever see them again. All of this took place with the Army looking on. There is a paramilitary checkpoint at that place. It is always manned by people in civilian clothes, accompanied by the Army, the same as what goes on in Nueva Antioquia.
* Sunday, April 20 at 4:30 pm in San Jose, Alberto Garcia was accosted by four paramilitaries. They told him that they were offering to buy his farm and if he refused, they would have to negotiate with his widow. They said he was really too nice a man to kill. He answered that he wouldn’t sell the farm and they told him that he had time to think about it. They said it was their job to clean out the whole area and that he ought to realize that they were not to be fooled with. Besides, they were buying farms because the whole area will belong to them. These four men were in San Jose from 10 am until 6pm and talked to the police on several occasions.
* April 19 at 3 pm, Amanda Usuga was stopped in the bus terminal by members of the police force. They told her that she was the person they had been looking for. They wrote down her name and her identifying information. A driver who was standing there told the police officers that they were writing down names to give to the paramilitaries so that they could kill them. The police officer told him that that was right but it was because they had been ordered to do it. Amanda was carrying the groceries for the children in the school in San Josesito. The school is supported by Cooking Without Borders and they have been the target of several persecutions and scams on the part of the armed forces.
These actions speak for themselves, belying the other reality of the killers who are trying to confuse what is really going on in the area and in our community. The advance of the paramilitaries, aided by the government, is total and shameless. Nevertheless, we continue to resist their logic of death and we won’t concede even one space to these murderers.
Our principles are our means of expressing another reality and to counteract this logic of robbery, murder, fear, and impunity that is generated by the rule of paramilitarism imposed by the government in Uraba. We will continue to plant and to give life to the earth and the results will be the proof of it. Because the community, by its alternative way of life, is refusing to go along with this society of terror. We know that many people in our country and in other countries accompany us in this approach to life and continue to walk with us, resisting the schemes of the killers with civility.
PEACE COMMUNITY OF SAN JOSE DE APARTADO
April 26, 2008