A Very Paramilitary Christmas in Colombia
Del Castillo: A Very Paramilitary Christmas in Colombia
December 25, 2005
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This Christmas day may not be a happy one for everyone in our América. Laura del Castillo reports today in The Narco News Bulletin that in her native Colombia, the U.S.-backed war that has destroyed the lives of so many takes no time off. In fact, this holiday season is marked by fear, especially due to a new threat from pro- government paramilitaries against the Peace Community of San José Apartadó, a town that has suffered much in this conflict due to its quest for justice.
Del Castillo writes:
"Just observe, kind readers, the good Christmas wishes of peace and prosperity that, according to the alert, a suspected paramilitary operative passed to one of the residents of San José on December 14 at 9:00 am:
"`I wanted to warn you because I knew you years ago, that you should tell your family to get out of San Josesito, because at the end of the year we plan to enter and make a massacre. It will be between the 24th and the 31st, or around that time; we're negotiating with the police and the army so that they won't be implicated, and we can leave and enter freely. We need to do this massacre quickly because once the demobilization begins it will all be more complicated, so don't show your face around there.'
"This may be more than a mere threat, considering that many threats against the community from different armed groups have been followed through on. Just remember the tragically famous February 21 massacre, or the killing of community leader Arlen Rodrígo Salas this past November.
"Not to mention that, as part of this Christmastime paramilitary offensive, 200 members of the Northern Bloc of the United Self- Defense Forces of Colombia (AUN in its Spanish initials, Colombia's major paramilitary umbrella organization), under the command of the honorable public figure known as "Jorge 40," entered the communities of "La Más Verde" and "Nuevo Horizonte," in the municipality (county) of Curumaní, in the Cesar department, between the 4th and 7th of this month.
"You all can imagine that those four days were not exactly ones of peace and love in the two towns: 22 people were murdered, among the a baby only a few days old and a boy of sixteen. Others were spared and merely tortured in the most horrible ways, as if to say that, at least during the holiday season, the `paras,' too, have a bit of heart."
The above-mentioned Northern Bloc of the AUC is supposedly in the process of demobilization, as part of a deal with the Colombian government that the U.S. State Department backed. Read the full story, here:
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin