by Weekly News Update on the Americas


On March 27, relatives found the bodies of Colombian campesinos Javier Alexander Cubillos, Wilder Cubillos and Heriberto Delgado at the morgue in Fusagasuga, Cundinamarca department. The army had apparently taken their bodies there, claiming they were guerrillas killed in combat. The three men were Communist Party activists from the community of San Juan de Sumapaz, in the federal district of Bogota, just north of Fusagasuga. They had been missing since March 18, when they went to the community of La Hoya del Nevado to inspect some of their family’s livestock. Several days later, the media published reports that three guerrillas had been killed in combat in the area. The Neighborhood Association of San Juan de Sumapaz and the Union of Agricultural Workers insist that the three men were not guerrillas and did not die in combat, but were murdered by the Colombian army. (Red de Defensores no Institucionalizados, March 30)

A coalition of community groups and trade unions in the region released a public statement saying that the three men were well-known political and campesino activists in the region who were leading members of both their trade union, the National United Agricultural Union Federation (FENSUAGRO), and the local branch of the Colombian Communist Party. Messages of protest can be sent to Vice President Francisco Santos at; Defense Minister Jorge Alberto Uribe at,; and Carlos Franco, head of the president’s human rights program, at (Justice for Colombia, UK, March 30)

FENSUAGRO’s secretary of organization, Luz Perly Cordoba, was released on March 16 after spending more than a year in prison in Bogota. Cordoba, also president of the Campesino Association of Arauca (ACA), was arrested on Feb. 18, 2004, along with another ACA leader, Juan Gutierrez Ardila. Both are now out on bail; they are still facing charges for "rebellion," and their trial has been transferred to Arauca. A "drug trafficking" charge against Cordoba–for her outspoken opposition to the government’s policy of aerial spraying of herbicides on farmland–has been dropped. (Prensa Rural, Feb. 18, March 19; Movimiento Social de Catalunya y Valencia, Feb. 1, via Colombia Indymedia)

For more on Luz Perly Cordoba, see WW4 REPORT #97


Five US Army soldiers were detained on March 29 for allegedly using a US military plane to smuggle 35 pounds of cocaine from Colombia into the US, the US Southern Command announced on March 31. The soldiers’ identities, hometowns and duties in Colombia were not released. Air Force Lt. Col. Eduardo Villavicencio, a spokesperson for the Southern Command, would not say whether the five had been officially charged or whether they are officers or enlisted personnel. The soldiers had been under surveillance by US and Colombian investigators for "some time," a Colombian defense ministry spokesperson told the Miami Herald. Officials waited for the soldiers to attempt to enter the US with the drugs before arresting them. The US has 500 soldiers in Colombia as part of a multibillion-dollar "anti-drug" and counterinsurgency effort. Many of these soldiers are Special Forces personnel who train Colombian military personnel in anti-narcotics operations. (Miami Herald, April 1)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 3

Weekly News Update on the Americas

See also WW4 REPORT #107


Reprinted by WORLD WAR 4 REPORT, April 10, 2005

Reprinting permissible with attribution