Colombia: para terror in Putumayo

Another grisly paramilitary attack in the Colombian oil zone of Putumayo, in the Amazon basin along the Ecuadoran border. From the local Asociación Minga, Aug. 9 via the Colombian human rights network Red de Defensores (translation by WW4 REPORT):

On Aug. 5, 2006, near nine at night, a group of approximately 50 men, armed with rifles, some dressed in camouflage uniforms, other with camouflage pants and black t-shirts, their faces covered with bandanas or hoods, and wearing armbands emblazoned with the letters AUC, entered the cock-fighting ring [gallera] Las Heliconias, located in the hamlet [vereda] Villa de Leiva, district [corregimiento] La Carmelita, municipality of Puerto Asís, department of Putumayo, where a communal festival was taking place.

The armed men, with insults, blows and threats of death, obliged the people that were found in the community to lie on the ground, and submitted the women to sexual abuses. The aggressors also stole the personal belongings of the retained, especially the watches, cell phones, gold and cash, as well as the money collected for the communal activity and the prepared food.

The presumed paramilitaries remained in the Villa de Leiva for more than two hours, finally warning the vilagers not to report the abuses and to remain in the gallera until seven in the morning of Aug. 6.

The presumed paramilitaries abducted three people of the detained, including the Nasa indingeouns DUGLAS ANTONIO PEREZ SILVAJA of the reservation [resguardo] Kiwnas Chxab.

A large military contingent had been seen in the vicinity of Villa de Leiva on Aug. 5.

On Aug. 7, the corpse of the indigenous DUGLAS ANTONIO PEREZ SIVAJA was found by members of the resguardo Kiwnas Chxab in the morgue of the municipality of Puerto Asis, where it was delivered by members of the army, who reported it “as a guerrilla felled in battle.” The corpse of DUGLAS ANTONIO PEREZ SIVAJA was dressed in a camouflage uniform.

The fate of the other two people retained by the presumed paramilitaries remains unknown.

The community of the rural zones of Puerto Asis express concern and fear for the aggressive conduct of the members of the army, who intimidate the civil population with threats and verbal aggressions, and engage in the arbitrary detention of citizens.

Likewise, the inhabitants of the sector Puerto Vega-Teteyé, municipality of Puerto Asis, declare their concern over the recurrent presence in the zone of a group of individuals that form part of the paramilitary structures in that municipality, that according to the government are demobilized, but continue to patrol in motorcycles with no interfence in region, which is strongly militarized.

See our last posts on Colombia and Putumayo.