Paramilitary Abuses Continue

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 7 March 2008

Colombian paramilitaries with links to the state security forces have assassinated one man and kidnapped and tortured another. The murdered man came from a family of human rights defenders whilst the individual who was tortured was a member of the 'Wayuu' indigenous group.

The killing of 21-year-old Felipe Buitrago Galeano occurred on the night of March 4th as he played pool with friends in the city of Monteria in Cordoba department. The family of the dead man, who left two young toddlers, has been the victim of persecution for more than 15 years due to their involvement in human rights work. In 2000 his brother Carlos Andres Buitrago was also assassinated by paramilitaries.

In the second incident 37-year-old indigenous man Josť Alberto Epiayu was kidnapped by paramilitaries at 10pm on March 5th from the community of Guayacanal in the Barrancas area of La Guajira department in north-eastern Colombia. After a long search Mr Epiayu was discovered in a local hospital where he was being treated for injuries sustained during torture.

Despite abundant evidence to the contrary the Colombian Government continues to claim that paramilitaries are no longer operating in Colombia following a 'de-mobilisation' process.

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