(Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN volunteer translator)
We must continue to make a record of new actions taken against members of our community, actions that continue to evidence the extermination that they are planning for us.
* On December 13 at about 10 a.m., four paramilitaries dressed in civilian clothes and carrying pistols arrived in Las Claras, near Naín, on the banks of the river Zinú. They identified themselves as paramilitaries. Ten families of our community were there. The paramilitaries asked them if it was true that they belonged to the SOB peace community that’s purely guerilla. The families answered that yes, they belonged to the community and the paramilitaries started saying that that peace community was purely guerrilla, that it carried out meetings and actions against the paramilitaries and against the army because it was just an arm of the guerrillas and had to be got rid of in one way or another. The paramilitaries said the people better all get out of the area and out of the community while they still had time. They said that they were looking to see how they could line up a major action against the heads of that SOB guerrilla community and that the scheme was ready to be carried out.
The families told them that they would not leave the peace community or the area and that the community was not with the guerrillas. They said that if the paramilitaries wanted to kill them, they should go ahead and do it, but that they would not back down because of the threats. After that exchange, the paramilitaries said they would be going, but that they should give the message to the other people in that SOB community. Then they left.
* The area of Naín is next to the town of La Resbalosa and the Sinú River. There are a number of families from the community there, and we have established an alternative school and two more are getting ready to open. That will create an alternative education nucleus there. On November 12, the Public Defender’s office set up a meeting with more than 200 people from the various towns near the Sinú River. The people were able to establish the human rights violations perpetrated by the Army in the place known as Frasquillo, part of Tierra Alta. They also complained of human rights violations by the guerrillas. Those actions are as follows:
* The Army forced all the people who pass by Frasquillo to register. That is illegal and prohibited by the Constitutional Court.
* They forced everybody to carry a badge in order to move about. The badge is a piece of notebook paper with a stamp that says “11th Brigade”, along with a photocopy of their identity card. You have to show it every time you pass Frasquillo.
*The Army has blockaded the passage of food, of gasoline and agricultural products in Frasquillo.
* On October 10, the FARC murdered Antonio Jaramillo Borja near Frasquillo. Three days earlier, the Army had deceived Antonio. They hired him and his horse to transport some officials from Urrá. But it wasn’t true. The men were soldiers dressed in civilian clothes who were going to pick up a guerrilla deserter.
* The Army burns houses and steals chickens and pigs in the different towns along the Sinú River.
* The soldiers have threatened people that they would be killed if they didn’t leave their land. They need the land in order to construct the Urrá 2 dam.
* On December 10 at 12 noon in the town of Playas Altas (located about an hour from San Josesito) Leonardo Rios Londoño was detained by the Army. ( Leonardo was a member of the community but he resigned a year ago.)
An Army soldier took his identity card, wrote down the information, and asked him if he was a member of the community. He said no. He said that he had been a member but had left because he wanted to live in the town. The soldiers told him it was lucky for him that he had left because the community was all guerrillas and the main goal that the Army had in the area was to finish it off one way or another. They said they now had a plan for doing it and a good scheme to get the heads of this SOB community. The action was going to be very strong because, if they can shut the community up they will be able to leave peacefully in the area. Leonardo told them that that was a lie. He said that while he had been in the community all the people did was work and they filed complaints whenever there was any kind of attack against any farmer, no matter who it was. Another uniformed man, who was next to the commander of the Army troop, answered that the main problem with the SOB community was that it was complaining about the paramilitaries, and that “some of us have demobilized, but now we are operating again.” Leonardo asked them whether they were soldiers or paramilitaries. The man answered that he was either stupid or acting stupid because he ought to know how things are in this area. They told him not to say anything, and so that he could see that they weren’t lying, he was to stay two days in his house without going out and if he went out, they would kill him. Leonardo had to stay in his house until Saturday. He was finally able to leave his house when the soldiers left for La Balsa ( a place located on the road between Apartadó and San Josesito).
The threats, the schemes, and all the actions against our community are clear. You can tell it from the various terrorist actions by the armed actors against the civilian population. It confirms the necessity for us to follow our principles more firmly than ever: neutrality and solidarity, working for a just world without impunity.
We know that they are trying to finish us off, but we won’t be silent. We won’t give in to death for speaking the truth. We will continue to shout it, in spite of all the different attacks of which we have been victims. We know that national and international solidarity will join in our efforts, so that these death threats from those who spread death will not be carried out and their actions of extermination and illegality will be stopped.
PEACE COMMUNITY OF SAN JOSE DE APARTADO
December 15, 2008