Extrajudicial Executions Continue in Meta Department

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 24 April 2008

Colombian soldiers have murdered a peasant farmer in the village of Cano Cabra in the department of Meta in the latest in a long line of similar killings in the region. Jesus Mamerto Maturana was shot dead in front of his seven-year-old grandson on April 17th by troops of the 61st Battalion of the 7th Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army.

The murder occurred at 5am as Mr Maturana walked to a boat stop with his grandson, Leyder Estiven Bermudez, to catch a ferry to the nearby town of San Jose del Guaviare. A human rights commission formed by the local community that assembled at the scene of the crime shortly afterwards spoke with a Capitain Suaraz and a Sargent Jaramillo who were in command of the Army patrol responsible.

Both officers claimed that one of their men had killed the victim by mistake and were keen that the grandson, who had witnessed the whole event, be handed over to them. The community ensured that this did not happen and the child remains with his family.

The incident occurred in the municipality of Vista Hermosa where Cano Cabra is located. The area has seen a huge increase in extra-judicial killings and other abuses by the Army in recent months as reported on previously by JFC:

March 2008, Mass Displacement in Meta Department http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/253/

February 2008, Human Rights Defender Murderedhttp://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/170/

February 2008, Paramilitaries on Rampage in Meta Department http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/166/

December 2007, H/-uman Rights Defender Arrested http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/89/

November 2007, Mass Detention in Meta http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/66/

October 2007, Air Force Bombs Community http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/70/

September 2007, Two peasants executed by Army http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/27/

August 2007, Assassination attempt against community leader http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/13/

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