24 Civilians Murdered in Arauca Department

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 21 April 2008

Intense violence in the Colombian department of Arauca has seen 24 people lose their lives since early March. The killings, which follow the deaths of 11 people in the region during just a two week period in February (more information at bottom of page), have occurred despite the fact that Arauca is perhaps the most heavily militarised of all Colombia's departments. It is unclear who is responsible for all of the deaths although reports from the region indicate that soldiers attached to the 5th Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army have been responsible for many of them. Other reports mention the ELN guerrilla group as having perpetrated several of the killings.

Recent communiqués from the 'Joel Sierra' Human Rights Committee, the principle human rights organisation active in Arauca, have documented the following killings:

  • April 20th, Jair Evaristo Vaquero Gutierrez is shot dead in the town of Tame.
  • April 19th, Nilson Manuel Segura Lucumi, 24, is killed in the Flores neigbourhood of the town of Araquita.
  • April 19th, Jesus Antonio Toloza Castillo, 49, a farmer, is killed in the village of La Playa in the Puerto Salcedo area of Saravena municipality.
  • April 19th, Peasant farmers Eudis Silva Zanabria and Eliecer Vargas Baron, are both killed in the village of Mesetas in Tame municipality.
  • April 14th, Jose Nicomedes Laguado Gálvez, 33, is murdered in the village of El Dique in Saravena municipality.
  • April 13th, Eurides Otero Padilla, 18, is assassinated in the town of Saravena.
  • April 13th, Alexander Herrera Gutierrez and 17-year-old Landerson Novoa Riso, both killed by men wearing camouflaged uniforms near the village of Filipinas in Tame municipality.
  • April 9th, The body of a man is found floating in the River Arauca, another in a rural part of Arauquita municipality.
  • April 2nd, Henry Chaparro Leal and William Pabon Botia are both assassinated at around 1pm in the village of El Mordisco in Fortul municipality.
  • April 2nd, Eliceo Corzo Silva is killed in the village of Casa de Zinc also in Fortul
  • April 2nd, Julio Cesar Lagos Sandoval, a former local councillor and community leader in the municipality of Arauquita is killed in a place known as 'Y del Charo' in the neighbouring municipality of Saravena.
  • March 31st, Photographer German Salcedo is killed in the village of Alto Jordan in Fortul municipality.
  • March 30th, Three people are killed in the municipality of Saravena in unrelated incidents. One, Ruby Marroquin Moreno, was shot dead in the town of Saravena, another, teenager Leidy Johanna Pinzon, was killed in the nearby village of Barrancones, whilst the third, a man, was found murdered in the village of El Dique.
  • March 29th, Humberto Mancipe Cohete is killed at his farm in the San Salvador area of Tame municipality.
  • March 23rd, Teenager Jorge Ivan Gonzalez Diaz is killed in the village of La Victoria in Arauquita municipality.
  • March 9th, 50-year-old Edemir Martinez Hernandez is assassinated as he leaves a shop in the village of San Jose de la Pesquera also in Arauquita.
  • March 3rd, Edilson Delgado Sierra, a former political prisoner who had been released without charge after proving his innocence, was found murdered in a place known as Casa Sola on the road between Saravena and Fortul municipalities.
  • March 2nd, Abimael Siculaba Camuan is killed in the '20 de Julio' neighbourhood of the town of Tame.
  • March 2nd, Martin Arcecio Marin, is assassinated near the village of La Esmeralda in Tame municipality.
  • As outlined above Arauca has for some time now been the scene of intense violence including numerous murders of the sort documented here. Below are links to previous Justice for Colombia coverage of the situation in Arauca:

    February 2008, One Region, Two Weeks, Eleven Assassinations: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/156/

    February 2008, Teacher Trade Unionist Shot Dead: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/169/

    January 2008, Mass Detention in Arauca: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/118/

    December 2007, Trade Union Leader Receives Death Threats: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/86/

    November 2007, Extrajudicial executions continue: Colombian Army murders 2 civilians: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/87/

    October 2007, Killings and Detentions in Arauca Region Rocket: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/59/

    September 2007, Indiscriminate bombing causing terror and displacement: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/21/

    September 2007, Army assassinating civilians in Arauca: http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/20/



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