JULY 8 BLOG POST
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
On this July 8, 2021, we remember our friends who were murdered by paramilitaries and soldiers on July 8, 2000 in the town (vereda) of La Unión. Twenty-one years have passed and still there is no justice.
July 8, 2000
On the days of July 8, 10, and 14 of 2000, the Interchurch Commission for Peace filed with the President of the Republic, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Inspector General, with the Public Defender, with other high offices in the government, as well as with national and international intergovernmental and nongovernmental agencies, reporting the following:
On July 8, 2000 there was intense militarization in the territory of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, not just on the road that leads from Apartadó to the urban part of San José, but also in several of its towns where there are groups of people that are members of the Peace Community.
In previous months people had returned from the urban part of San José to one of those towns, the Community of La Unión. Twenty masked men, coming from a nearby site where Colombian Army soldiers were encamped, entered that Community and destroyed its telephone, dragged the people out of their houses, and gathered them into the center of the town. They asked for the leaders, but the community responded that all of them were the leaders. A nun who was present explained that this was a neutral community, but they pushed her away and shoved her aside. Then they selected six campesinos that were members of the Community and they killed them: RIGOBERTO GUZMAN, ELODINO RIVERA, DIOFANOR DIAS CORREA, HUMBERTO SEPULVEDA, PEDRO ZAPATA and JAIME GUZMAN.
While the massacre was going on, a Colombian Army helicopter was hovering over the town. On the next day, July 9, one of the paramilitaries who was recognized at the massacre, alias “Alfredo”, was seen along with Army troops in the town of La Unión, in San José de Apartadó.