Colombian army murders leader of agricultural workers

Submitted by Janine on 2 February, 2005 - 4:28

From Justice for Colombia: Just after midday on Saturday January 29th some 500 members of the 17th Brigade of the Colombian Army entered the rural area of Jiguamuando.
The soldiers spent some six hours terrorising the Afro-Colombian inhabitants of the area accusing them of being supporters of leftwing FARC guerrillas. Homes were raided, local people beaten up and supplies and livestock were destroyed.

During the incursion a group of soldiers near the community of Cano Seco shot and wounded the 50-year-old leader of the local peasant farmer union Pedro Murillo. Some minutes later the same soldiers walked over to Pedro, who was lying on the ground, and shot him three more times killing him. The 17th Brigade later claimed that he was a guerrilla killed in combat. Residents of the area claim that among the soldiers were various well-known paramilitary death squad members although those who killed Mr Murillo were all regular soldiers.

The Colombian Government has not made any statement in relation to the above incident and the Catholic human rights organisation 'Justicia y Paz' has asked that messages of protest be sent to the Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos.

Also on Saturday a paramilitary death squad known as the Cacique Nutibara Block entered a community in the municipality of San Carlos in Antioquia department and massacred seven people, including two children. This is extremely concerning as the Colombian Government has claimed that the Cacique Nutibara Block has demobilised as part of the so-called 'paramilitary peace process' and is no longer functioning.

Please protest to Vice-President Santos by calling either of the following two mobile telephone numbers (he speaks fluent English):
0057 310 238 9120
0057 310 772 0130

If there is no answer please leave a message of protest insisting that the soldiers responsible and their commanding officers be punished for this most recent killing.

Alternatively you may write a protest letter to Vice President Santos at the following address:
The Honorable Francisco Santos
Vice-President of Colombia
Palacio de Nariño
Carrera 8 # 7-26
Bogotá, Colombia