(Translated by Rowan Viva, a CSN Volunteer Translator)
“Has Colonel Rojas forgotten that his troops are constantly patrolling the area and have a checkpoint a short distance from where the event occurred? Has he also forgotten that the presence of troops in our villages has led to numerous murders and hundreds of other crimes against life and liberty?”
Just four days after reporting the murder of Alvaro Montoya, the President of the village of San José de Apartadó’s Community Action Board, we have to report a new murder to the country and to the world, this one, it appears, perpetrated by members of the FARC:
On Monday August 16, 2010, at 12:00 pm, men who were wearing camouflage outfits and carrying rifles, and who were identified as members of the FARC, came to the house of NELLY VARGAS, 32, on the Mulatos-Cabecera path. They took her from her home and brought her to a place about ten minutes away, where they murdered her. Nelly’s parents as well as her cousins are members of our Peace Community. She leaves behind three orphaned children, ages 12, 7 and 2, who will be welcomed and provided for by our community.
On the morning of Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Colonel Germain Rojas, commander of the Voltígeros Battalion of the 17th Brigade, attributed responsibility for the events recorded to our peace community, stating that, by not allowing the presence of security forces, we are responsible for these events. He had earlier said that Alvaro Montoya was killed in front of our settlement of San Josesito, then said that the event had occurred 50 meters from it and that the lack of troops at the scene was what made it possible. Has Colonel Rojas forgotten that his troops are constantly patrolling the area and have a checkpoint a short distance from where the event occurred? Has he also forgotten that the presence of the troops in our villages has caused many hundreds of murders and other crimes against life and liberty?
Once again, lies, defamation and slander are directed at us with the intention of causing maximum damage to us when we have no way to defend ourselves. The crimes of other actors are also used to create new blackmail and threats. Once again, we are surprised and indignant that Col. Rojas’s superiors will allow all sorts of outrages to be perpetrated against us without sanctioning him, and that the supervisory bodies of the state protect him with scandalous impunity.
Our Community condemns Nelly’s murder and renews its call to the insurgency not to use methods prohibited under the humanitarian law which governs armed conflict everywhere in the world.
The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
August 17, 2010