Message from the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

May 18, 2024

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

In a world of maliciousness and oppression, maybe we don’t deserve to live, because there’s no room for the weak who use the strength they have to knit and build a more just and human world through nonviolent choices. And it’s there where they’re concentrating their zeal and their desperation to exterminate the only option that doesn’t surrender either to their blackmail or to their evil campaigns of lies and falsehood that have led to the worst atrocities we lived through and suffered through in these long 27 years of the Community’s existence.

Nevertheless, our moral convictions and ethics as universal principles for our lives will never let us turn back, much less give up. Therefore, and with the moral responsibility that aids us, we turn once again to humanity and history, so that these new events may be judged some day.

On Thursday, May 3, 2024, during the night, several subjects entered our communitarian settlement at San Josecito and stole a farm machine that we have been using to process food. Earlier, other farm machinery has been stolen.

On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, our Community verified that in our private property, Las Delicias, in the town (vereda) of La Esperanza, there was a dead beef animal with machete injuries. In the same way, we found a beef animal that was alive, but that had machete injuries to its body.

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, a member of our Peace Community received a phone call from someone warning him, and he also repeated the death threat against our Peace Community’s legal representative, GERMÁN GRACIANO.

On Friday, May 10, 2024, a member of our Peace Community and the wife of a member of our Internal Council were stopped and interrogated about where they were coming from and where they lived, and they were asked to show personal identification. We have frequently filed complaints about the crime of illegal registration by agents of the government, who have always been tied to the preface to and preparations for criminal attacks like the massacres and disappearances.

On Monday, May 13, 2024, well-known paramilitaries were claiming to some civilians who live in this region that on several occasions they have spied on members of our Peace Community, and that at night they have been entering some communitarian spaces in our settlement at San Josecito.

On Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 7:50 in the morning, military troops from the Colombian Army’s 17th Brigade coming out of the military base in San José de Apartadó were present on the public road that leads from San José de Apartadó to Apartadó, and one of the soldiers tried to get into the cacao crop collection center in San Josecito, while he was being protected by the rest of the soldiers. When they were asked what they were doing there, they claimed that they had been ordered to inspect the road maintenance work and to guard the yellow road-building machines.

On that same Thursday, May 16, 2024, a woman who identified herself as Amelia, and as an Official of the Attorney General’s Office, used a cell phone with the number 3127546180 to call a relative of DIEGO CEBALLOS, a member of our Community and the husband of Nallely Sepúlveda who was murdered. She told him that the Attorney General’s Office urgently needed him to give evidence because they had eyewitnesses who had seen him around and about the District (corregimiento) of Nuevo Antioquia last March 19, the day that his wife Nallely and his brother Edinson were murdered. She said that would permit them to charge Diego with killing his wife and his brother.

Everybody knows that those aren’t the legal procedures used by the Attorney General’s Office, even though people who live in Urabá are more than accustomed to the fact that for several decades the Attorney General’s Office has used procedures that are illegal, dirty, and criminal to frame people in the region. But more than that, the people of this region, as well as the international community that follows the footsteps of our Peace Community, are aware of direct evidence that on the fatal day (March 19, 2024), Diego was at a clinic in Apartadó accompanying his father who was seriously ill, and the murderers knew that, and took advantage of his absence to kill his wife Nallely and his brother Edinson more easily. Neither is it any secret, however, that the killers are going around desperately trying to derail and pervert the true version of the crime, so that the responsibility does not fall on them.

From the first moment, they cooked up their criminal story, according to which Nallely and Edinson were murdered by Diego, who had surprised them in an irregular relationship. A person demobilized from the FARC lent himself to spreading this horrendous slander on social media. He had been the promoter and the brains behind the most violent attacks against our Community, none less than Sr. CÉSAR JARAMILLO, who reinforced the tale with new lies, claiming on social networks that the Attorney General’s Office had already found evidence from semen in the dead bodies. The path that he and his followers have chosen, to distance themselves and their circle from the criminal investigation, could not be more absurd, because the most direct and raw reality contradicts their obscene version conclusively, but what it does do effectively, is demonstrate very clearly the filth and sordid evil in their consciences.

Their zeal to exterminate our way of life has no limits. They threaten us, they destroy our fields and our harvests, our fences and our gates, they announce that we have three options: surrender to them, go to prison, or die, murdered. Our choices have always been in favor of life, and we will never refuse to protect that.

NALLELY and EDINSON will always be part of our lives, in every morning dawn and every afternoon and evening. DIEGO: we will always testify to your innocence, and we will make your pain our pain, because the one and the other are part of our way of life.

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

May 18, 2024

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