(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
Sent by cdpsanjose on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 11:11 p.m.
Once again, even after the serious reports that our Peace Community of San José de Apartadó has filed in recent weeks, we must urgently approach all of the people, the groups, and the communities that still maintain moral principles and feelings of solidarity, to share with them the extremely risky situation that we are experiencing. The most recent events are as follows:
On Friday, December 15, 2017, a paramilitary dressed in civilian clothes arrived at the farm known as Casa Roja (Red House). He expressed a desire to stay overnight. A member of the Community interrupted and explained that paramilitaries aren’t allowed to impose upon the civilian population in this way. Extremely annoyed, the paramilitary had to leave, but in the next few days he threatened the member of our Community who stood up for our principles.
On that same Friday, December 15, 2017, a group of paramilitaries summoned the residents of La Cristalina to a meeting. Later, they stated that they had had a very recent problem and they could not hold the meeting. They announced that they would hold it later and then they left the area.
On Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 11:06 a.m. a number of paramilitaries, riding horses, carrying long guns, and wearing camouflage and AGC bracelets went up to one of the international volunteers accompanying us and asked him about another armed man that was going ahead. They demanded that the volunteer tell them what the other armed man was doing there. In fact, a paramilitary dressed in civilian clothes had entered the Peace Village during the morning and had been asking about the location of stores, but a little later, the same person was seen to be armed and in uniform, along with the other paramilitaries who were mounted on horses. Later, we learned that they had been assembling a meeting in Mulatos Cabecera and in fact they had held the meeting. In that meeting they were talking to the residents about all of the government projects that they ought to be taking advantage of, and they gave the children of the town (vereda) presents, and promised to bring them more presents later. They also said they would be organizing parties.
In the middle of December, 2017, a resident of the urban part of San José named Isaías and called “Malaca” revealed to some people a plan that exists between the paramilitary networks in the area and the 17th Brigade to eliminate the Legal Representative of our Peace Community, GERMAN GRACIANO POSSO. According to the paramilitary, who is approximately 28 years old and is part of a wide network of young people who carry out criminal missions ordered by the military/paramilitary leaders in the region, the elimination of Germán is to be carried out simultaneously with an economic assault operation for which they are desperately looking for informants from the Peace Community itself. In that way they can carry out their relentless pursuit, particularly when Community members are withdrawing funds from the bank. According to what some other members of the paramilitary network are saying, the paramilitaries are making stringent efforts to ensure that they have informants within the Peace Community itself and we have even heard of cases where young people from San José are being accosted in Apartadó, trying to get them to join the paramilitary networks. They offer them a gun and 700,000 pesos (about USD 230) as an incentive, to motivate them. At the same time, a cousin of Germán has heard from trustworthy sources saying that he is also involved in the plan to kill Germán and his life is going to be at very high risk.
On Tuesday, December 19, 2017, a contingent of paramilitaries surrounded the territory of the Luis Eduardo Guerra Peace Village, our Peace Community’s settlement in Mulatos Medio, in a threatening way and they were even seen bathing in a pool in the Mulatos River that is part of the Peace Village territory.
As you can see, the paramilitary strategy is intensifying in the territory where our Peace Community lives. That strategy is incompatible with the principles of our Peace Community. It wasn’t [compatible with our principles] before and isn’t now. Once again, the persecution of our Community and against our leaders is becoming dramatic. We appeal to all of the people in solidarity in Colombia and in the world, to those who have been supporting our way of life, to keep on challenging a government that is proving its illegitimacy and to keep on demanding that it respect the dignity and the elemental rights of human beings.
Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
December 22, 2017
Original article: http://www.cdpsanjose.org/node/119