21 Civilians Murdered in Colombian Region of Arauca

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 19 October 2008

Murders of civilians in the Colombian department of Arauca continue at an alarmingly high rate with more than 20 people having been assassinated since late August when Justice for Colombia last reported on what has been occurring in the region. Many of those murdered have been presented by the Colombian Army as 'guerrillas' killed in combat though locals and human rights organisations say that the victims were in fact nothing to do with the guerrillas and were killed in cold-blood in order that the Army could demonstrate 'results'.

The most recent killings have included:

October 17th, 37-year-old Sebastian Ramirez Gomez is assassinated near the village of Puerto Lleras in Saravena municipality.

October 14th, Yamid Dario Marin Torres is assassinated in the town of Fortul.

October 13th, soldiers stop Ferley Augusto Linares Granados (18) and Julia Esther Jeronimo Sanchez (23) at a roadblock in a rural area of Fortal municipality. Both are extra-judicially executed and subsequently presented as 'guerrillas' killed in 'combat'.

October 11th, 41-year-old Ciro Alfonso Guerrero Paez, a farmer, is shot dead by men riding motorcycles in a place known as Guavia near the village of Filipinas in Tame municipality.

October 5th, Rene Guzman Quiceno (35), a farmer, and Heiner Perez Baus (23), are both killed in the centre of the town of Saravena. Wilfredo Capacho Mantilla (18) is also killed the same day in another part of Saravena.

October 1st, Jhon Jaison Lizcano Angarita is assassinated in the village of Campo Oscuro in the municipality of Saravena.

September 27th, soldiers murder 23-year-old Luis Enrique Osorio Suarez near the village of Las Delicias in Saravena municipality. The Army claim that he was a 'guerrilla' killed in 'combat'.

September 22nd, Olfer Antonio Parada Mogollon (37) and Sally Magali Mendoza Marquez (20) are both assassinated in the village of El Culebrero in Tame municipality. The same day two unidentified males were assassinated on the road between the villages of Aguachica and Oasis in the municipality of Arauquita.

September 16th, men on motorbikes shoot dead 34-year-old farmer Abisay Medina Macualo in the town of Tame.

September 11th, Luis Guillermo Padilla Carcamo (47), a farmer, is assassinated in the village of Nuevo Horizonte in Fortul municipality.

August 26th, troops of the 'Reveiz Pizarro' Battalion of the Colombian Army stop Alexander Castillo Mogollon (25) as he rides on his motorcycle from the town of Fortul to the town of Saravena. The soldiers execute him and then claim that he was a 'guerrilla' killed in 'combat'.

August 25th, Leonel Carvajal Cruz (35) is assassinated in the village of Nuevo Horizonte in Fortul. Farmer Dinai Yusman Mujica Beltran is killed nearby later the same day.

August 23rd, 48-year-old Efrain Gomez Garrido is dragged out of his home in the villae of El Placer by unidentified armed men. He is later murdered near the neighbouring village of Gaviota in Arauquita municipality.

August 22nd, community leader Edilson Villamizar is assassinated in the village of Lejanias.

In addition to the above murders several people in Arauca have escaped assassination attempts in recent weeks. They have included Fernando Antonio Gonzalez, a well-known community leader in the region and President of the 'El Centro' Community Action Council in the town of Saravena, who was shot several times on October 1st after men broke into his home at around 11.30am. He remains in a critical state in hospital.

Others have received death threats and been forced to flee the region, including health worker and trade unionist Zully Rojas who fled on October 2nd after receiving numerous death threats and being shot at whilst she was in her car.

For previous news from Arauca see:

August 2008, Update on Arauca

August 2008, Opposition Political Activist & Trade Unionist Killed

May 2008, Paramilitaries Threaten Journalists

April 2008, 24 Civilians Murdered in Arauca Department

February 2008, One Region, Two Weeks, Eleven Assassination

February 2008, Teacher Trade Unionist Shot Dead

January 2008, Mass Detention in Arauca

December 2007, Trade Union Leader Receives Death Threats

November 2007, Extrajudicial executions continue: Colombian Army murders 2 civilians

October 2007, Killings and Detentions in Arauca Region Rocket

September 2007, Indiscriminate bombing causing terror and displacement

September 2007, Army assassinating civilians in Arauca

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