Peasants of El Tamarindo Under Threat
News from Colombia |
on: Wednesday, 22 December 2010
On December 13th 2010 four men, two wearing security firm insignia, and two wearing military fatigues, arrived at the area known as El Tamarindo, Atlantico Department in Northern Colombia. They approached a man working the fields and told him that they were looking for local peasant farmer Henry Julian Blanco Orozco in order to kill him, and offered a million pesos and a revolver to anyone willing to do it for them.
The next night the men returned, but were spotted by peasants who alerted the authorities and managed to oblige them to leave.
A week later, on the 21st December two men in “Security 911” uniforms again entered El Tamarindo, this time firing several shots and threatening the peasants, asking them for the whereabouts of Henry Julian Blanco Orozco.
Such threats against the community began in 2009, with house burnings and death threats against the peasants in an effort to shift them from the lands. In 2001, a group of around 180 families settled the area and began farming the land after being forced to flee their homes in Sucre and Bolivar departments.