(Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN volunteer translator)
In the midst of the situation that our country is living through, where we see the paramilitary takeover of all government activities and their control over all aspects of society is evident, we have to continue to make a record, so that the barbarous actions that they continue to commit against our community can be judged. The events that we leave to history so that they can be prosecuted and judged some day are as follows:
* On September 25 at 2 p.m., more than 200 paramilitaries arrived at the town of El Porvenir. They were dressed in camouflage, with long guns and insignias that said AUC. They arrived at the school, and there was a family nearby. They told the family that they were the paramilitaries, under the command of “Giovani”. They said that they were looking for guerrillas and for everybody that collaborated with the guerrillas and that they would kill them. They said that you people have a problem with the guerrillas, because you know very well that we don’t have any problem with the Army—we patrol together. They warned them to be careful not to open their mouths and tell anyone that we were here.
* On September 26, the paramilitaries were located all day on the road to Porvenir. They wouldn’t let the farmers pass and they told two farmers, around 11 a.m., that the people would have to leave their farms or else they would kill them. They said the farms already belonged to them, and that they were coming to finish off the Peace Community. They fired several shots in front of the farmers, warning them that these bullets were for the people who live around here. The town of El Porvenir is located about 45 minutes from the town of La Union, which is part of the Peace Community.
* On September 25, around 2 p.m., a man was killed by the paramilitaries in the Mangolo neighborhood, near where the road goes toward San Josesito. They fired several shots into him and left him lying in the street.
* On September 14, around 10 a.m., the national and municipal officials were in San Jose and said that they community had to be exterminated. They said they had tried everything but that up to now they had not been able to, but that now they were going to pull it off.
* On September 13, at 9 a.m., in the town of La Resbaloza, Gabriel Valderrama went to milk some cows and was stopped by the Army. They would not let him pass and they told him that it would be better to leave the area unless he wanted to die.
On September 12, the Army entered the home of Luis Graciano in La Resbaloza. They tore everything up and stole all of their chickens.
* On September 15 at 2 p.m., in the school at la Resbaloza, Uberto Higuita was detained by soldiers who told him that he would be a good one to have his head cut off, and the same for the other people of that SOB Peace Community. And they told him that they ought to be well aware that they don’t need gunfire to kill people. It could be done better with knives.
It’s evident that the terror and death that they are spreading in the area, the plans for destruction and the efforts to finish us off are not going to stop. Nevertheless, we continue firm in our principles. We believe that the people who continue to walk with us in many places in the word, will not allow this search for dignity to be annihilated by those who spread death.
Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado
September 27, 2008
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621