A new government…and continuing savagery

(Translated by Diana Méndez, a CSN volunteer translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN’s Volunteer Editor.)

In many national and international circles “a change” is spoken of in the policies of the Colombian government, especially in the area of human rights. The selfsame President Santos proclaims this supposed change in his meetings and international relations and claims recoginition and praise from governments and foreign institutions. The crude reality that is lived by the poor communities which have fallen from the grace of the powerful and have suffered for decades the horrors of a brutal state sponsored terrorrism, is something  else  altogether.  What our peace community and other sister  communities have suffered in the  last few days, reveals a continuation of savagery which contradicts the discourse of “change.”  We as always, leave proof of this before the eyes of the country and the World. 

On Saturday, December 4, 2010 at around 10:00 a.m. some paramilitaries approached a member of our Peace Community in the center of Apartadó and they told him that Aníbal Durango was “a guerrilla” and that his home-based shop was a hiding place for the guerrillas and that they were going to take action against him and that “s.o.b guerrilla community.” Don Aníbal Durango is a member of the Internal Board of the Peace Community and has always identified himself with the principles of the community which impede colloborating with any armed actor.  Our Community has no doubts in the honesty of Don Aníbal and we also firmly believe that he is being set up for a plan of extermination like the very many that have been plotted by the paramilitaries in coloboration with members of the security forces against innocent peasants.

On Monday, December 6, 2010, at around 5:30 a.m.,  LEANDRO GUETIO, victim of displacement in the Rio Naya massacre in 2001 and who has occupied posts in his of Timbo and Cerro Tijeras, was approached by paramilitaries in the urban area of Suárez, Cauca, and struck numerous times with daggers and was severerely injured. Our community stands in solidarity with Leandro and with the village of Cierro Tijeras which has also been subjected to savage  persecution by both direct and indirect agents of the state. They also form  part of our peace community and share with us the space of the peasant university and is now bringing forth a most emphatic protest before the government which lies to the nation and the world with a false paramilitary demobilization while they continue in acting under the shadow of the public force against every community aware of its rights.


On Saturday December 11, 2010 at around 8 a.m. a squad of the Cartagena police approached, Arley Turbequia, a member of our Peace Community, and was subjected to questioning. When the agents found at that Arley was a member of the Peace Community, they began to insult, challenge and threaten him. When he asked for proper treatment they responded that they could do whatever they wanted with him, such as hitting and kicking him until whenever they felt like it. He warned them that the Peace Community had provisional measures from the Interamerican Court for Human Rights at which they bécame more argumentative saying that they were the law and did not respect any organism no matter how important. After insulting and threatening him for a while, they let him continue on his way.


 We do not understand where the change is, that is so proclaimed in the camp of human rights. The same attitude and the same corrupt people and criminals remain in charge and continue the persecution of the peace communities, indigenous enclaves and humanitarian organizations. Is it respect for human rights, for the constitution, for law, is it democratic to continue a persecution as shameful as that which was exercised by the previous government? May our most emphatic moral censure accompany this new record we leave for posterity,



Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

December 15 2010


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