Army Attacks on Civilian Population Continue in Colombian Region of Meta
News from Colombia |
on: Monday, 18 May 2009
Further to a serious of reports on this site about abuses being perpetrated against residents of the eastern Colombian region of Meta, yet more serious violations of human rights, including several assassinations, have occurred in recent weeks. Local people and human rights groups say that Army units in the region are also allowing a paramilitary death squad to operate freely, and that soldiers and paramilitaries are regularly attacking and threatening community leaders and those involved in human rights work, forcing many to flee the area.
Several different sources in the region are trying to document the abuses that are occurring and it would appear from the regularity and extent of the attacks that there is a systematic policy on the part of the Army and paramilitaries to terrorise local people and force them out of their communities. In virtually all of the attacks those targeted are accused of being supporters, sympathisers or collaborators of the FARC guerrilla group, which has a strong presence in the region, though human rights groups say that in reality the military is simply trying to wipe-out opposition and those that speak out about what is going on. In a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law soldiers are also offering money to poverty-stricken children in the region in return for information on their parents, teachers and neighbours – putting the children in danger themselves.
Recent attacks have included:
See also Army Implicated in Murder and Attempted Rape in Colombian Region of Meta which includes links to previous articles on the region.