Fears for Safety of Peace Community

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 27 March 2008

The peace community of San Jose de Apartado in northwest Colombia has accused the Colombian Army and local paramilitary death squads of planning to massacre them. Three incidents in recent days have heightened fears that an attack is immienent. Hundreds of residents of the peace community have been killed in recent years many in joint operations by the army and paramilitaries.

The most recent fears have come about after a series of threats beginning on March 20th when a group of soldiers stopped a resident of the community on the outskirts of the village of San Jose. The troops told the man that they "knew" that the community supported the guerrillas and that they would sooner or later kill everyone living there.

Two days later, on March 22nd, paramilitaries in the nearby town of Apartado also announced that the San Jose Peace Community was a guerrilla supporting community and that those who want to live need to leave the region immediately. This was followed on March 24th when paramilitaries approached three people with links to San Jose and asked them to send their best wishes to the leaders of the peace community and to tell them that they would soon be coming to kill them. The paramilitaries informed the three people that everything had been arranged with the security forces and that a massacre would shortly be taking place in either the village of 'San Josesito' or the hamlet of 'La Union'.

For reports on previous attacks against the San Jose de Apartado Peace Community see:

Peace Community Still Under Attack http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/154/

A Month of Terror for Peace Community http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/92/

Army Tortures Child in Peace Community http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/83/

Army targets Peace Community http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/25/

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