[Translated by Brice O’Connell, volunteer translator for CSN]
The mediums of communication and the official discourse continue to deny the existence and the actions of the paramilitary structures while they, thanks to this cover-up, act with more nerve and security. President Santos just promoted the commanders of the 17th Brigade from the Police of Urabá, maybe to serve effectively to support and protect these paramilitary structures, while lying to the country and the world by affirming that they don’t exist.
Our Peace Community again offers evidence before the country and the world of their recent actions:
- Wednesday January 11th, 2012, 5 minutes from the settlement of San José de Apartadó, at 5:45pm, the campesino GUSTAVO GUZMAN URREGO was executed. The shots were clearly heard from the settlement of San Josecito, headquarters of our Peace Community, which is why members of the Community quickly verified the information and contacted the City Defense in order to request the removal of the cadaver. The Defense reported the fact to the public force and they responded that “they didn’t know this had happened,” despite the intense military and police presence in the village. The body of Gustavo was left for more than 20 hours where he had been executed, similar to what has happened in numerous other cases as a sort of display of humiliation for the victim and of ignorance for their human dignity. The public force claimed that they couldn’t find the cadaver, while it was lying in full view for everyone to see.
- Between the days of Sunday the 14th and Wednesday the 18th of January, 2012, groups of paramilitaries in camouflage uniforms and large weapons, foreign students of the paramilitary base in Nuevo Antioquia, that have enjoyed official protection for more than 15 years, infiltrated again the districts of La Esperanza (of our Peace Community) and El Porvenir. En both locations they visited the houses of the campesinos and announced that they were going to assassinate more people and that they have to exterminate the Peace Community, which, for them, is the only nuisance they can find in the entire zone. Furthermore, they declare that their actions are being coordinated with the public force in order to jointly patrol the districts and that those campesinos that refuse to work with them as informants will have to abandon the zones or suffer the consequences. They also say that in the area there are actually some 500 paramilitaries but that very soon there will be further reinforced.
- On Tuesday January 17th, 2012, at 5pm, the public force in the village of San José de Apartadó arbitrarily and illegally detained four people. They were wrongfully accused of having participated in the execution of Gustavo Guzmán on Jan. 11. The Community requested of the Public Defense to verify the motives and the legality of the detentions, but the Defense did not respond. Some hours later the detained campesinos were set free. This is yet more evidence of the arbitrary nature and the illegality of the proceedings that are utilized against the campesinos in this zone.
- On Friday January 20th, 2012 another group of paramilitaries left the district of Playa Larga, of the farm La Marina – property of the paramilitaries – at approximately 8am, and climbed to the district of La Esperanza to be located for some time on the premises of the Peace Community. There they uttered new threats against the Community, announcing the Community’s impending extermination and then continuing on their route. This same day another paramilitary group appeared in the district of El Porvenir.
The dates are evidence, yet again, that nothing has changed. The State continues to protect and reinforce paramilitarism, covering up the executions and trampling the freedom and the fundamental rights of its people, and the organisms of control act in its defense and the use of impunity continues to be rampant.
We will continue, as always, defending life and the fundamental and integral human rights of our environment, knowing that we have the moral endorsement of numerous other people, in the country and others around the world, that help to conserve ethic principles. It is those that we thank, time and again, for their unconditional solidarity.
Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó
January 26, 2012
(This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.)