(Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN Volunteer Translator)
Once again we want to make a record of the most recent activities that are putting the Peace Community at the most urgent and imminent risk. The events that we want to reveal to all humanity and because of which we request national and international solidarity are contrary to what the government is saying. They constantly distort reality, converting lies into and truth into lies. Nevertheless, that brazenness and that double-talk goes nowhere with the victims because the true story, the reality of what has happened to the victims is overwhelming. It cannot be distorted. We know that its accuracy and its true sense of searching for justice will be echoed by the voices of conscience in many different parts of the world. These voices refuse to fall for that atmosphere of “everything’s OK” when the reality is completely different.
The facts that we offer to universal justice are the following:
On May 23, 2010 at about 10 a.m. Army soldiers entered the Resbalosa community’s cane field and destroyed all the cane that had been planted and was growing.
On June 26, 2010, in the morning, a group of 200 paramilitaries entered the town of Murmullo Alto and Alto Joaquin (part of our Community). The paramilitaries came from the Batata district where they are permanently and freely established in full view of the Army and the Police.
On June 28, 2010, at about 4 p.m. the paramilitaries gathered together all the people from the towns of Murmullo Alto and Medio for a meeting. They talked against the Peace Community and said that it would have to submit to their orders or its leaders would be murdered. They took the names of all the people who were at the meeting, along with their ages, the location of their farms, and the names of their workers, their neighbors and of all of their families. They told them that now their lives no longer belonged to them, but to the paramilitaries and they would have to do what the paramilitaries told them to do and whoever refused would die.
On June 29, 2010, the Colombian justice system dismissed the defamation claim that Dr. Gloria Cuartas had filed because of the defamatory statements that had been made about her, about Fr. Javier Giraldo, and about the Community in relation to the massacre of 2005. This court decision once again proves that we are right about the rottenness of the justice system. This is why we don’t believe in it. It’s fixed and it’s part of the plan to exterminate our Community, giving free rein to the killers to do away with us and escape punishment.
On June 30, 2010, four families from Murmullo Alto were displaced. Besides that, several people are not sleeping in their houses because they are afraid of the paramilitaries who can be seen on several roads and who set up checkpoints.
On July 5, 2010, all day long, Army soldiers were conducting a “census” in the town of Porvenir, in spite of the fact that they were told that it was illegal. They just laughed and said they could do whatever they wanted.
On July 5, 2010 at 4 p.m., paramilitaries held a meeting in the town of Osa, right next to the town of Alto Joaquin, which is part of the Peace Community. Once again they said they were taking a “census” and everybody would have to cooperate. Anyone that wouldn’t give in to them would have to leave or be killed. They said if the Peace Community would not submit they would finish it off and they would kill the leaders first.
On July 7, 2010 around 8 a.m. a paramilitary was sent to every house in Alto Joaquin, which is part of our Community. He said there would be a meeting in the next few days where they would lay down the rules of how everybody would have to work for them.
The situation with this paramilitary activity is extremely urgent. The government refuses to do anything, but the threat is very real. There will be a huge displacement of members of the Peace Community, as they will leave together, and are already leaving. We ask urgently for solidarity to demand the cessation of these actions.
In the midst of all these difficulties, we hold fast to our convictions and to the conscience of our community. In spite of all the decisions of this murderous structure, the victims are not demoralized. On the contrary, we believe in justice as a supreme value that guarantees our lives. That is why we are staying on the path to reach universal justice some day, and why we do not give up in the face of the government’s criminal attitude.
PEACE COMMUNITY OF SAN JOSÉ DE APARTADÓ
JULY 10, 2010