Army Leaflets Put Villagers in Danger
News from Colombia |
on: Tuesday, 5 April 2011
April 1st 2011. Villagers of La Victoria in Narino Department in Southern Colombia have reported the army distributing flyers accusing some of them of being guerrillas of the FARC’s 48th Front and recommending that they ‘demobilise’. The flyers named the supposed ‘guerrillas’, which relatives and human rights organisations say puts their lives in serious danger.
CPDH Narino, a human rights NGO, is helping relatives to protest against the accusation made in the flyers. Upon asking army representatives to clarify whether the accusations were the result of any investigation or official enquiries, they were told that they were based on ‘orders from above’.
According to locals and CPDH Narino, the villagers indicated as guerrillas in the flyers are respected members of their community. They also state that many of those mentioned in the flyers have recently travelled to and from Ecuador without any problems with the Colombian border police, indicating that there are no official charges against them.
CPDH and the local community fear that the accusations made in the flyers may lead to villagers being killed. CPDH is requesting that the armed forces do not involve members of the civilian population in the military conflict, and are asking the Procurator General’s Office to look into the case.