Three years of impunity in case of a girl wounded by the Army

Written by Humanidad Vigente

(Translated by Chuck Summers, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN’s Volunteer Editor)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 3:27PM

The incident occurred in 2007 in the village of the Philippines in Arauca.

Adriana Paola Sánchez Arciniegas, a young citizen of Arauca, struggles to overcome injuries caused by soldiers who fired indiscriminately into her home. Her family and her community call for truth, justice and restitution. 

At 19, Adriana Paola Sánchez Arciniegasdoes does not have the same physical, psychomotor and vibrant capabilities of other people her age. She has difficulty articulating certain words, she cannot walk with dexterity and shows paralysis on the right side of her head.

Adriana’s symptoms may be congenital, but she was not born this way. Her physical and mental health were affected on the evening of September 26, 2007, in the village of the Phillipines in the municipality of Tame (Arauca), when soldiers shot at her home, causing these serious injuries. At that time, she was 16 and was in the fifth grade.


Army exposes the population using it as a human shield

Members of the Mobile Brigade No. 5 of the National Army who were developing "Operation Scorpion", spent two days as refugees in the home of the Sanchez family, violating the principle of distinction of international humanitarian right, using the civil population as a human shield.

Adriana was in her modest house in the village of Philippines with her younger brothers preparing for the celebration of the "secret friend." Suddenly, a loud explosion sounded in the house next to theirs, so irresponsibly soldiers began shooting indiscriminately, and as they were in the Sanchez home, they wounded Adriana and her siblings.

Ana Melba, Adriana's mother, recalls with sadness the events as "the army arrived at 1 p,m, on September 25, positioned themselves at our house and settled in there. At 6 p.m. the power went out in the village, and at 7 p.m. I went to buy some chocolates for the children to assemble the gifts for the Day of Love and Friendship. We heard a bang and we were scared. The whole community was scared. The girl was hurt, very bloody, they performed first aid, and I was told to take her to the doctor because she was very hurt. The bomb created a lot of chaos. What happened to my daughter was caused by shots from the army, that was the September 26, 2007 and it has not been possible to verify the facts. "

Three years after this tragic incident, Adriana Paola Arciniegas Sánchez, a happy adolescent, who liked to play with her siblings, who helped with chores around the house, who stood out academically in school and excelled in physical education, according to her relatives and neighbors, must now undergo permanent surgical procedures, psychological therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy to mitigate the impacts of what happened.

The overcoming excitement of Adriana Paola remains firm and her desire to succeed grow day by day, because she wants to continue her secondary education – she is already in the ninth grade – in order to go to college. Despite this, her mother and siblings miss her joyfulness and vitality.

Given the courage of Adriana, her family and community ask for justice. They call on the authorities to advance the criminal and disciplinary investigation, conduct an inspection at the scene of the incident and demand that the militaries who participated in the military operation be connected to the crime.

Likewise, Current Humanity claims the memory of what happened and asks the relevant state agencies under the ratification of the United Nations Convention on Disability, to establish each and every one of the protective actions and guarantee the establishment of the mentioned international instrument, to vindicate the rights of truth, justice and restitution that Adriana Paola and her family demand.

Last Updated Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:49


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