(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
SEMANA (http://www.semana.com) January 25, 2018
The European Union requests Colombia’s Attorney General “to take an interest in the case and do an exhaustive investigation” of the facts about the two people related to attacks on that Colombian organization, the two who have been set at liberty because a deadline had passed.
The intimidations that the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó has been suffering have reached as far as the European Union. This Thursday, by means of a letter, that political community calls upon the Attorney General, Néstor Humberto Martínez, to take action on the situation.
Even though the signers of the letter “recognize the good intentions of several institutions to respond to the concerns that have been expressed,” the fact is that “last December 29, once again there were witnesses to a another attack on the Community.”
There are a number of reasons that concern is aroused in the EU: 1) the lack of actions taken to guarantee protection for the Community; 2) the attacks that have taken place in the presence of members of European and Colombian civilian organizations, which “demonstrate how far they are willing to go”; 3) the justice system’s failure to function.
“The two people who were detained in relation to the attack have been released because of a missed deadline. That has generated fear and distrust in the Community and sends a negative message in relation to the necessity that those who attack human rights defenders answer to the justice system, so that their crimes are not left in impunity,” the letter reads.
The call by the EU to the Attorney General is that “he gives attention to the case and takes the measures necessary to assure an exhaustive investigation” of what has been going on. Just hours before the end of 2017, the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó complained that four people tried to kill their Legal Representative, Germán Graciano Posso, who was injured in the attempt.
“They first tried to force their way into a room where several members of the Community were, threatening to kill them and brandishing their weapons,” recounted the Community. They added that some of the people in the room reacted immediately and succeeded in disarming one of the attackers and in tying up the other two.
For several weeks the residents have “noticed the progressive intensification of threats and intelligence activities that announced a serious attack on the Peace Community,” which they complained of, but which “did not produce any reaction or any protection” by the Colombian government.
The Peace Community was formed on March 23, 1997 by residents of the urban part of San José de Apartadó, located in the municipality of Apartadó, who agreed “not to take part, either directly or indirectly in the armed conflict.”