See Statement from Colombia Support Network
Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, December 29, 2017, 1:26pm
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
Our Peace Community of San José de Apartadó considers itself obliged to let the country and to the world know about the criminal attack that took place this morning, December 29, 2017 in our central settlement, San Josecito, by a paramilitary commando who came with the explicit intention to kill the Legal Representative of our Community, GERMAN GRACIANO POSSO.
Already in previous months and weeks we noticed the increasing intensification of threats and stalking that advertised a serious attack against the Peace Community. Our urgent reports directed to the country and to the world did not produce any response from or any protection by government agencies.
First of all, a paramilitary named ARCADIO came in with the pretext of selling a little bit of cacao to the Community, but he was really trying to verify Germán’s presence, which he immediately reported, using his cell phone. Just minutes later, at 10:15 a.m., four paramilitaries arrived at the store where the Community buys and sells the cacao. Among those who came in was a paramilitary boss in the area known as “FELIPE” and also: RICARDO DAVID, well known in the area, and men who identified themselves as: JAMES CARDONA HIGUITA (cedula 1038811594) and HUMBERTO ANTONIO LONDONO USUGA (cedula 1028025340).
At first they tried to get into a room where some members of the Community were gathered and they took out their guns and threatened to kill them. Several members of the Community reacted and struggled with the criminals until they were able take the gun away from one of them and immobilize two paramilitaries and tie them up. In the struggle, Germán and other members of the Community were injured, as well as the two paramilitaries who were tied up. The Community called on the Public Defender’s Office so as to be able to hand over the two paramilitaries that had been tied up, but since we made that report, they still haven’t arrived.
Just a few moments ago, we notified Colombia’s Vice President, General Oscar Naranjo, who promised to examine the enormous complicity of the Armed Forces that are present in the region. In our opinion, that has been a key factor in the tremendous freedom of action with which the paramilitaries move around in the area.
As we have reported to all of the groups that have been in solidarity with us, this is about attacks that are widely advertised and publicized, with the complicity of all of the agencies.
Let this be the occasion for us once again to give profound thanks to the immense network of communities and groups in the world that, in just a few minutes, have reacted by announcing their unconditional solidarity.
Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
December 29, 2017