Paramilitaries Kill Communist Party Member with Chainsaw

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 7 July 2008

The body of a Colombian Communist Party member has been found floating in the River Magdalena near the city of Girardot in central Colombia. 64-year-old Antonio Esquivel from the town of Purificacion (Tolima department), was last seen in mid-June as he walked home from a friend's house. Four other bodies, as yet unidentified, were also found with him all had been killed by chainsaw.

Mr Esquivel, the father of three children, had lived in Purificacion for two years since fleeing his native village of Chenchito after paramilitaries and soldiers had threatened to kill him for his political beliefs. He had received several death threats since that time.

Hundreds of members of the Colombian Communist Party have been assassinated in recent years most by soldiers or paramilitary death squads allied to the Army. As well the murders many others have been disappeared, imprisoned without trial, or forced into exile.

In another recent case Colombian police officers took away dentist Aureliano Liberato in the city of Ibague on July 2nd. The authorities refused to confirm where or why he was taken despite the intervention of the UN office in Colombia. Mr Liberato, who had practiced dentistry for more than 30 years in Ibague, was also a Communist Party member.

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