(Translated by David Van Den Brandt, a CSN Volunteer Translator)
Public complaint: Four members of Fensuagro are assassinated in Ipiales (Nariño)
May 19, 2014
El Movimiento de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado (Movice) [Movement of Victims of State Crimes] denounces, with pain, the assassination of the following four young men: Brayan Yatacue Secue, an indigenous person, José Yiner Esterilla, of African descent, and the campesinos José Antonio Acanamejoy and Deivi López Ortega, the latter being the youngest. All were members of Fundaprogreso, a subsidiary of Fensuagro-CUT (Federación Nacional Sindical Agropecuaria) [National Agrarian Union Federation], a member organization of Movice.
The four men were found dead, evidently killed by firearms after a series of irregular military actions by the Armed Forces against the civilian population in the village of Cofania Jardines de Sucumbíos.
On the 16th of May, the four young men Deivi López Ortega, José Antonio Acanamejoy, Brayan Yatacue Secue, and José Yiner Esterilla, met at Leonardo Obando’s house in Cofania Jardines de Sucumbíos. They were to plan their participation in an event to celebrate Mother’s Day on the 17th of May. The event was going to be held at the school on Alto Amarradero Street. Given the late hour that they finished the meeting, the friends decided to stay at Obando’s house.
On May 17th, around 1:30am, on Alto Amarradero Street in Cofania Jardines de Sucumbíos, residents heard helicopters that were flying above the area. Later, a group of soldiers exited. They belonged to Brigade No. 13, and to Energy & Road Protection Batallion No. 9 “General José María Gaitán,” assigned to the Sixth Division of the Armed Forces.
The group of soldiers, carrying out the “Operación Militar Némesis Mariscal Tres” [Military Operation Marshal Nemesis Three], harassed the civilian population, attacking indiscriminately by air and by land, forcefully entering homes and expulsing civilians from them, subjecting them to physical and verbal aggression, arbitrary detainments, threats, and markings [as criminals].
At approximately 4:00am, in the vicinity of the home of Mr. Leonardo Obando, a loud explosion and gunshots were heard. After, people’s voices and shouts were heard as they arrived to the home of Obando. A few minutes later, a group of soldiers entered Obando’s home by force, where they threatened to take him as prisoner if he didn’t allow them to seize the building.
When Mr. Obando left his house, he saw the four lifeless bodies of Deivi López Ortega, José Antonio Acanamejoy, Brayan Yatacue Secue, and José Yiner Esterilla, dressed in the same clothes in which they arrived to his house.
The Armed Forces have presented these dead men as FARC guerrilla fighters killed in combat, an allegation that social organizations and the community deny in their testimonies.
The other harassments against the civilian population that occurred on the 17th of May include:
Soldiers entered the home of Ms. María Dolores Acanamejoy, who they found together with Ms. Rosa Elvira Acanamejoy, Mr. Florentino Navia and Mr. Eduardo de Jesus, and Erika Marcela Navia (10 years old) and Johan Yancarlos Navia (1 year old). The soldiers, besides intimidating and verbally assaulting the kids, women and elderly, demanded that several surrender their cellphones.
Simultaneously, another group of soldiers entered by force into the homes of campesinos and people of African descent and proceeded to physically and verbally abuse. Using threats, the soldiers demanded that the residents surrender their cellphones and ordered them to leave their homes.
The group of soldiers never, at any time, offered a search warrant to the assaulted civilians for the seizures nor the forced entries.
–that the national government declare a bilateral cease-fire to put an end to the atrocities caused by the continuing armed conflict and social-political violence.
–that appropriate authorities carry out a serious and exhaustive investigation to establish the facts and identify and penalize those responsible.
–that the national and international communities declare themselves in favor of Humanitarian International Law, for the protection of the civilians in the middle of the armed conflict, and to assure that a serious and real investigation into the facts is carried out.
Movimiento de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado (Movice)
Movement of Victims of State Crimes
May 19, 2014
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