Paramilitaries Abuses Continue in Colombian Region of Catatumbo

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A paramilitary death squad that locals report is working alongside of the 23rd Mobile Brigade of the Colombian Army in the region of Catatumbo on Colombia's border with Venezuela has forcibly disappeared one man and threatened to kill several other people. Pablo Emilio Gonzalez Monsalve, who lived in the town of Tibu, has not been seen since April 23rd when the paramilitaries stopped a taxi in which he was travelling, forced him out at gunpoint and took him away. Two months previously members of the death squad had beaten him up and threatened to kill him if he did not leave the region.

The paramilitary group responsible, who go by the name 'Black Eagles', stopped the taxi in which Mr Gonzalez Monsalve was travelling at just after 2pm whilst he was on his way to a medical appointment in the nearby city of Cucuta. Locals say that he was almost certainly killed by the 'Black Eagles' though no body has not been found.

During March the same paramilitary group issued threats against a large number of Catatumbo residents, in particular those living in and around the municipalities of Ocana, El Carmen and Convencion . The region, which is predominantly rural, has long been a stronghold of the FARC guerrilla group though the Colombian Army, along with paramilitary groups such as the 'Black Eagles', are currently attempting to regain control of the area.

For previous news from the region see:

Feb 2009, Colombian Military Bomb Primary School

Nov 2008, Paramilitary/Military Terror Continues Unabated in Northeast Colombia

Sep 2008, Colombian Army Executes Peasant Farmer

April 2008, Six Civilians Massacred by Army in Catatumbo

Nov 2007, Army Executes Peasant Farmer

Oct 2007, Army Executes 7 in Catatumbo

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