PEACE COMMUNITY OF SAN JOSÉ DE APARTADÓ
April 4, 2011
Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN volunteer translator
“. . . They are trying different ways to finish us off. Now they are trying to DISPLACE us, but our stubbornness in pursuing life won’t let us give in to them . . .”
We have already filed complaints about the threats by the spreaders of death to kill members of our Community and the people who live around here. In spite of that, one day after our complaint was filed, the murderous bullets cut off the life of Bernardo Rios. His memory and that of so many other murder victims will give us the light to continue on our path of hope and dignity and meaning in our lives. Now they are trying to DISPLACE us, to finish us off in a different way, but our stubbornness in pursuing life won’t let us give in to them.
The events we want recorded before the whole world are as follows:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Thirty paramilitaries wearing camouflage and carrying rifles were at the edge of the town of La Resbalosa, part of our Community. They told a member of our Community that that sonofabitching guerrilla Community would have to get out of the area and, if they didn’t, the murders would continue. They said that, together with the Armed Forces, they had already planned a “clean-up” in the area and they would exterminate our Community.
Friday, April 1, 2011. At about 5:30 a.m., there was combat between the paramilitaries and the guerrillas in the town of Arenas Altas, according to the people who lived around there. Some of the paramilitaries were killed. Because events like this put those families of our community who live there at risk, as well as the civilian population in general, the Community tried to get the Regional Public Defender’s office to help the families. But the Public Defender’s office said they couldn’t do anything and to stop bothering them and to disconnect our telephones.
Saturday, April 2, 2011. A military helicopter flew over the area several times while the paramilitaries collected the bodies of the paramilitaries killed in the combat and took them away. This same group of 25 paramilitaries had gone around the town of Arenas Altas in the morning, threatening that that sonofabitching Community was a gang of guerrillas and we would pay dearly for it. They would not allow it to continue. They said this in spite of the presence of the armed forces in the town, which did nothing.
Sunday, April 3, 2011. Alias Samir, using telephone calls, threatened the farmers of the whole district of San Jose. He invited those who work in the zone covered by the 17th Brigade to become informants, and if they refused they would be killed or brought up on false criminal charges. Alias Samir is a FARC deserter who lives at the Brigade headquarters. The government of Colombia has appointed him as a promoter of peace, so that he could attack our community with threats and blackmail against members of our Community and against the people who live around here.
These events continue to demonstrate vividly the continuous persecution of our Peace Community by the Colombian Government. They want to create destruction and displacement of the farming population and impose the systems of the armed actors. Throughout all of these fourteen years, it has been made clear that the huge paramilitary organizations that move freely in the vicinity of Nuevo Antioquia and often travel around Playa Larga and other towns have the full support of the armed forces and the tolerance of all of the other governmental institutions. They have reports of all their crimes for decades, without doing anything.
We beg for national and international solidarity to demand that the Colombian government cease all of these operations of death, displacement and stigmatization.
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