PEACE COMMUNITY OF SAN JOSÉ DE APARTADÓ
MARCH 23, 2011
Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN volunteer translator
All of our community has been reflecting on the fourteen years that we have accomplished and on our alternatives, where we have said yes to life and no to killing. In the midst of that, we find ourselves with a new murder carried out by the paramilitaries, with the complicity of the armed forces. The brazenness of everything that has been going on is so evident that anyone with even minimal moral principles cannot help but feel rage and intense pain in the face of so much hypocrisy by a government and a country that talks a good talk, but the reality is totally different.
The events that we are proving to the world are so clear that they do not require any kind of commentary or analysis. What we described a few days ago is being carried out. We described all of these “deaths foretold” carried out by the paramilitaries in close cooperation with the armed forces, using, as they have always done, lies to erase everything.
We believe that the people who come from different places to be part of our community will refute this horror and believe, just as we do, in building our lives without any kind of backing down.
*On March 22, 2011, at 6:20 p.m. a motorcycle carrying two armed paramilitaries was following the car Jesús Emilio Tuberquia was driving from Apartadó. They came up close to look at him several times. They saw that he was accompanied by some internationals and they stopped at Tierra Amarilla. There they waited for BERNARDO RIOS LONDOÑO who had been with Jesús Emilio a few minutes earlier in the Apartadó bus terminal. He was riding a bicycle. The paramilitaries stopped him in Tierra Amarilla and they killed him there at about 6:30 p.m. At that time they were five minutes away from an Army checkpoint, as well as two other checkpoints set up by the armed forces on the highway.
BERNARDO was 27 years old. He had been in the community a few months earlier and he had left to go and live in the town of La Miranda where he was living and working in a sawmill. His wife and children live in and are part of our community.
When the community found out about the murder, we went to retrieve his body so that we could hold a wake and bury him in our community.
Those who are spreading death have tried to finish us off in these fourteen years. Because of our adamant insistence on life, we have refused to give up. Even with the fear, the impotence, the rage at so much impunity and the complicity of the government in the face of so much horror, we stand for building a different life for our present and for our community. In Bernardo’s funeral, we celebrated these fourteen years of choosing civil resistance and we celebrated his memory and that of so many other murder victims. They will give us the light to follow our path of hope, not commercialized with rewards, but with dignity and unity for life.
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