(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
Source: Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
March 11, 2014
The government’s offensive against our Peace Community of San José de Apartadó never ends, not even in the vicinity of the election process, where the government ordinarily exhibits images wearing the make-up of kindheartedness. In our territory, the government continues to exhibit its lawless face nakedly. We are making a record of its most recent attacks before the country and the world.
* On Friday February 14, 2014, in the town of Bellavista in the district of San José de Apartadó, a well-known campesino in the region was held for three hours by Army troops. The soldiers threatened him and treated him in an outrageous, humiliating and vile way, accusing him of being a collaborator with the guerrillas. When a group of campesinos were getting ready to go and demand that he be freed, the soldiers saw what was going on and let him go, but not before warning him that another time “he would pay for that”.
* On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, around 4:30 p.m. someone who identified himself as a member of the paramilitary group Gaitanistas de Colombia, called Isabel Zapata who lives in the town of Cuchillo in the district of San José de Apartadó from a cell phone with the number 3128226783. He threatened her, and he also threatened her family and members of our Community, especially Germán Graciano Posso, the Legal Representative of the Peace Community. He also threatened other people from the region, saying their names are on a list of people to be killed or to be falsely accused of crimes.
* On Thursday March 6, 2014, at about 3:20 p.m., there was a battle between the Army troops located at the place known as La Antena, in the district of San José, and FARC guerrillas. According to radio broadcasts, a guerrilla was killed. The concentrated military and police presence in the urban part of San José, which is very close to La Antena, continues to attract the hostile opposition group. That makes the area into a battleground where the life and well being of all of the residents is placed at high risk. Meanwhile the government continues with incredible stubbornness to ignore all the orders of the Constitutional Court and the Council of State that have ordered them to move the military and police bases away from the civilian population, so that they would no longer have to serve as shields for the armed agents of the government.
* On Saturday, March 8, 2014, during the day several explosives were detonated in different locations in the district of San José. One of those artifacts exploded in the urban area. That created a lot of fear in the civilian population, which was subjected to panic and high risk. Whenever the military and police concentrate their presence in the area, that makes the guerrillas come in to attack them and their supplies there and the combat affects the unarmed civilians most of all.
* On Sunday, March 9, 2014, during the morning, a police patrol stopped at the settlement at San Josecito, the center of the Peace Community. They even parked their vehicle there. When a group of families from the Community approached them to ask them to leave, telling them that it is private property and is marked appropriately with signs, the commander of the patrol was furious. He spoke to them in an offensive manner, claiming that “they could go anywhere they felt like going”, a statement that has no legal basis whatsoever.
* On Sunday March 9, 2014, at about 4:30 p.m., a group of soldiers from the military base in San José, who were in a fortified position right at the road leaving the urban center of San José, began firing indiscriminately at JOHN GÓEZ, who lives in the town of Arenas Altas. Several bullets hit the horse he was riding, and it died instantly. This happened right in front of the school inside the urban part of the town, in plain sight of many witnesses who were standing around there. Fortunately, the young man was unhurt, but this dangerous event has caused a great deal of worry for the residents of the region, because once again it demonstrates the risk that the military and police presence right in the middle of town presents to the civilian population of the district.
* On Monday, March 10, 2014, during the morning, Army soldiers were looking for a campesino named NORBEY SEPÚLVEDA, who lives in the town of La Unión. Later the soldiers called him on the phone and proposed that he work with them as an informant. This kind of blackmail is very common with the soldiers who are in the area who, without any judicial responsibilities, make up fake arrest warrants and co-opt friendly judges to sign them. That makes the civilian residents believe that if they refuse to take part in the armed conflict they will be accused of “rebellion” or similar crimes. The purpose is to scare them into becoming informants for the Army. In the same area, the soldiers were also asking for EUGENIO GUZMÁN and REINALDO AREIZA, who are allegedly on a list of people to be killed.
While this week the country awoke to find out that a high percentage of the members of Congress elected on Sunday March 9 are closely connected to the leaders of the so-called “para-politica” (a scandal in which elected officials won their offices with the support of the paramilitaries), and because of that the laws will keep on being drafted to hurt the interests of the vast majority of the people, we also learned that those who are responsible for the safekeeping of weapons owned by the government (soldiers and paramilitaries) have not changed their attitude and continue in their routine of committing crimes.
We continue to express our gratitude to all those from other countries and from other parts of our country who continue to demonstrate that precious solidarity that is not based on selfish interests, but rather on the purest feelings of humanity.
Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
March 11, 2014
Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
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