Colombia: Military Forces Intensify Operations in Transition and Normalisation Area

The Block Martin Caballero of the FARC-EP reports:

1. The population of the rural area of the municipality of La Paz, department of Cesar, is bewildered, confused, worried and frightened because of the intense operations carried out by troops of the Tenth Armored Brigade. Villagers and guerrillas wonder now what is their desire for peace and the origin of these contradictions.


2. It is not easy to understand that while the agreements signed in Havana announce that in this area there will be a Transition and Normalization Area, the Defense Minister and his subordinates in the army occupy it with offensive operations. Even more so when the people and the authorities of this territory are preparing to celebrate the arrival of peace, like its name indicates: La Paz.

3. We denounce that the army has deployed numerous groups in the districts of San José de Oriente and Media Luna, as well as in the villages of Caño Padilla, La Quiebra, Los Encantos, El Coso, Las Nubes and El Silencio. They have taken positions and some of them have been hiding from the population, ambushed and ready to attack. The operations continue and they have tried to use the population as informants and guides.

4. It is not right to generate distrust at a crucial moment in the peace process. What are those hidden soldiers doing, in the middle of the announcement of a “bilateral ceasefire” in an area where the guerrillas will arrive in compliance with the agreements signed on June 23? Are they preparing to attack? What are they placing in these areas? What does the army seek with interrogating the people of the territory where a Normalisation Area will be located? Who ordered these operations? Are there any differences between the President, the Defense Minister and the Army?



Colombian jungle, June 28, 2016

Three young girls murdered by paramilitaries

In a public complaint, social associations and movements stated that paramilitares of the so-called Autodefensas Gaitanístas de Colombia -AGC- have disappeared, tortured, massacred and killed three girls living in Tumaco.

One of the girls was a member of Juventud Rebelde, The Process of Popular Unity of Southwest Colombia-PUPSOC and the social and political Movement Marcha Patriótica.

According to information gathered by the complainants, on thursday 23 June in the Tumaco at around 8pm, ANY XIMENA ARBOLEDA ROSERO left her house located in the neigbourhood Las Flores, to meet her two friends PAULA CAMPAZ CORTEZ and YURANY PRECIADO.

On Friday June 24, 2016, in an area known as “Palo Parado”, in Tumaco, around 5 pm, the bodies of the two young girls, PAULA CAMPAZ CORTEZ and YURANY PRECIADO, were found.

The bodies of the girls were tied with a rope to a tree; PAULA CAMPAZ CORTEZ was killed with a gun in the neck and YURANY PRECIADO with three gunshots in her head.

On a sheet of notebook between the legs of each girl had been written, “For being a bitch”.

On Saturday June 25, 2016, in Tumaco, in the same area around 10 am, the lifeless body of the girl ANY XIMENA ARBOLEDA ROSERO was found: she had been killed with three gunshots in her head.

The complainants underline that ANY XIMENA ARBOLEDA ROSERO was a member of Juventud Rebelde and the daughter of Mr. EDIN SEIDEN ARBOLEDA, leader of the Association of Farmers of Tumaco.

PAULA CAMPAZ CORTEZ and YURANY PRECIADO were 14 and 16 years old, respectively.

The complainants demand “Recognition of State responsibility for enforced disappearance, torture, slaughter and femicide of the three girls as well as immediate compliance with the repeated recommendations on the respect and observance of International Law of Human Rights”.