We turn to the national and international community so that, in solidarity, we may unite our voices in opposition of the threats of death to which we are being subjected. For the record, we would like to share with you the following facts:
· On October 30, paramilitaries in the region of Nueva Antioquia stopped three people, one from Playa Larga and two from La Esperanza, and told them to take a message to their “town full of guerrillas.” They told them that the people of Esperanza must leave if they want to avoid being massacred, and that they have a list of six specific people from the community that they intend to murder. The paramilitaries emphasized that the three had better relay the message to the community, and then released them.
· On the 28 and 29 of October, the army was present the whole day in homes and in the school of La Esperanza, preventing children from attending classes and putting the civilian population in great danger. When asked to leave, they stated that this “Peace Community” is a nest of guerrillas and that its people ought to exterminated.
· On October 25, a member of the community was approached by two lightly armed civilians that took his picture and told him that, as a guerrilla, he is doing damage to the country. The two men then took off running and jumped into a truck with no plates.
· On October 20, six members of the community were illegally asked for their names and addresses by members of the army in the village of Frasquillo in the municipality of Tierra Alta. The community members were headed toward Naín, where 22 families that are part of the Peace Community live. There, a meeting was held with the community and with an alternative school that operates there. The six people from the community were being accompanied by members of the Swiss organization, Kitchens Without Borders.
All of these events clearly demonstrate a plan to generate terror and to wipe out our community. In Nueva Antioquia, the paramilitaries are under the protection of the army, and move throughout these areas freely. In early 2005, the military and paramilitaries announced that they were planning to exterminate us. At the time, they fulfilled their promise of committing a massacre by murdering eight people. Now, these same actors of death and terror have again announced that they plan to exterminate us, despite the fact that for the last three years we have continued more firmly than ever in our alternative path of non-violence. And in spite of the actions of extermination of which we are the victims, we will never concede in the face of violence because we believe in a life that is built on real and daily actions that work towards peace.
We, therefore, urge you to contact the following individuals and to demand a stop to the planned massacre and that the army respect the rights of the civilian population. In your messages, please ask why paramilitaries are so active in a region already controlled by the police and military.
–Your Senators and Representatives: see CSN In Action (http://www.colombiasupport.net/actioncenter.html <http://www.colombiasupport.net/actioncenter.html> )
–The Political Attache of the US Embassy: Scott Fagan:
–In Colombia: General Hector Eduardo Pena, Commander 17th Brigade:
Col. Jorge Hernando Murillo, Police Commander of Uraba:
Dr. Edgardo Maya, Procurador General:
Dr. Wolmar Antonio Perez Ortiz, Defensor del Pueblo:
Dr. Juan Manuel Santos, Minister of Defense:
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621