On 23 January, witnesses claim that a paramilitary, accompanied by two others, raped a 14-year-old girl at her home in the hamlet of La Hoz, and threatened to kill her if she reported the rape. Her parents are not members of the Peace Community but one of her other relatives is. On 27 January, paramilitaries threatened Diana Guisao, who has relatives who are members of the Peace Community, at her home in Mulato Medio. They showed her a death list, which included members of the Peace Community. That same day, paramilitaries entered the Peace Community’s “peace village” (aldea de paz) in the hamlet of Mulatos, which commemorates the 2005 massacre of eight Peace Community members. They photographed local residents and announced they would kill all “snitches”. Paramilitaries again entered the “peace village” on 1 February and threatened to kill members of the Peace Community, and again on 2 February, when they held two families captive for several minutes and threatening them with death. On 28 January, five paramilitaries entered a property owned by the Peace Community in La Esperanza and held captive two Peace Community members for several minutes. On 31 January, paramilitaries frequenting the hamlets of Mulatos and Resbalosa entered the homes of several campesino (peasant farmer) families and stole clothing, chickens and other food supplies from them.
International observers are currently in the area and have witnessed the presence of paramilitaries in and around the Peace Community. Some of the paramilitaries are wearing military fatigues, are hooded and have armbands of the paramilitary Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, AGC).
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
- Expressing concern for the safety of Reinaldo Areiza, Diana Guisao, the members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó and other civilians living in the area;
- Urging them to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups and break their links with the security forces, in line with stated government commitments;
- Reminding them that civilians, including the San José de Apartadó Peace Community and other civilians living in the area, have the right to not be drawn into the armed conflict.
Señor Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26 Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: +57 1 596 0631
Salutation: Dear President Santos / Excmo. Sr. Presidente Santos
Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón
Embassy of Colombia
1724 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036
T: 202.387.8338 | Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email [email protected] with “UA 236/16” in the subject line or click this link.