Peace community denounces paramilitary assault

San José de Apartado, the well-known peace community in Urabá in the department of Antioquia, released a statement on 29 December 2017 saying that earlier that day paramilitaries had entered the community with the intention of killing its legal representative, Germán Graciano Posso.

According to the statement, four men entered the zone and attempted to force residents at gunpoint into a small room, threatening to kill those who disobeyed. The residents, however, fought back and were able to disarm the men, before detaining them and handing them over to police.

The statement criticised the role of security forces whose failure to challenge paramilitaries ‘has been the key factor in ensuring the considerable freedom of movement and action enjoyed by paramilitaries in our area’.

The San José de Apartado peace community was founded in 1997 as a means of providing refuge from conflict in Urabá, one of Colombia’s most violent regions. Most residents were dispalced from elsewhere by violence. The community has been repeatedly targeted by paramilitaries and the military.