January 11, 2018
1. Sunday March 22, 2015 Mr. Enairo Elean García, a resident of Puerto Rico, Tiquisio, was assassinated in the road from the town center of the municipality of Norosí towards the village of Garita in the municipality Río Viejo. Mr. Enairo Elean worked selling clothing.
2. Sunday March 22, 2015, 4 people were tortured and killed in the municipality of Achí, Bolívar. Amongst the victims, there were 2 young people, a woman, and a man, The young woman was shot and killed and the young man was tortured, had his penis amputated and then was shot and killed. The incident occurred in a place known as the (Y) of Pueblo de Dios, on the road from Coco, Tiquisio to Puerto Venencia in the municipality of Achí.
3. Thursday March 26, 2015 at midday, miner Balmer Barrio who worked in the mine El Sueño was assassinated. This occurred in the town of Ventura in the municipality of Tiquisio, Bolívar. Mr. Balmer Barrio was in a public establishment when some armed people, who belong to paramilitary groups present in the region, arrived and demanded that he pay the “vaccine,” a tax paid to the paramilitaries that operate and have encampments in the zone. When Mr. Balmer Barrio opposed to paying this tax, he was immediately killed.
4. The paramilitaries have been exercising pressure and imposing economic, social, and political control in the towns Ventura, Dos Bocas, Quebrada del Medio, Malena, Río Nuevo, Caño Guacamayo, el Tigre, and el Coco in the municipality of Tiquisio, Bolívar. Also in the municipality of Monte Cristo and Pueblito Mejia, they control the economy and charge taxes to the small business owners, cattle breeders, fishermen, miners, lumberers, transporters, and farmers. According to the people in Corcovado, the paramilitaries have illicit cultivations of coca for the narco trafficking that they control. The paramilitary also extort the communities such as Mina Seca, Casa de Barro, Las Nieves, Mina Brisa, and Buena Seña, from the mining sector by making them pay taxes for their economic activities.
5. What is also worrying is the way in which the army in the region has been infringing on the norms of International Humanitarian Law, such as what happened in Arenal, Bolívar, when members of the army occupied the Community Center and took it as their military base. In addition to the events in Arenal, the overall situation in the region has also been worsening. One aspect is the presence of the armed conflict that continues to leave grave consequences for the community, and another aspect that has been denounced by communities is that the National Army patrols the region with civilians with their faces covered, in uniforms, and armed.
We denounce the National Government, headed by the Ministry of the Interior, as responsible. This entity has already been briefed with the details of these situations, in scenarios such as the Roundtable Discussions with the Government and the Agrarian Summit. In the presence of National Government functionaries and representatives from the United Nations, the Agrarian Summit denounced the paramilitary advance and information about the distinct crimes that they have committed.
One of the agreements made by the National Government in the Roundtable Negotiations of South Bolívar, Central and South César (CISBCSC) is the realization of verification missions to verify the situations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law violations in South Bolivar, and Center and South Cesar. Due to the grave Human Rights crisis facing the region, there was a call for a verification mission from the 23 to 26 of March, 2015, however the Ministry of the Interior headed by Dr. Carlos Bernal suspended the mission. According to the responses provided by the respective functionary, the verification missions unilaterally ceased to be an agreement of the National Government with the region.
The Negotiation Commission, once again is urgently calling for the adoption of measures by the National, Departmental, and Municipal Governments to protect the lives and physical integrity of the residents of South Bolívar, and Central and South Cesar, that are currently in grave risk. We have been insistently denouncing the strengthening of paramilitary groups which can be observed in the growing numbers, military capacity, public and private behaviour, establishing of bases of operations, threats, extortions, selective assassinations, restrictions on mobility, however despite that there has been complete silence by the authorities in the region.
1. That the national, regional, and departmental governments adopt measures that permit the guarantee to life and physical integrity of the communities of South Bolívar, and Central and South Cesar.
2. That the bodies of control and judicial bodies, investigate and press charges against the people responsible for these crimes and to the authorities who for lack of action have allowed the advance of paramilitaries and for many crimes to be committed in the region.
3. That immediately there be an inter-institutional verification mission realized that allows for the verification of the situation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
4. That guarantees and protection immediately be provided to community leaders and to the Negotiation Commission of South Bolívar, and Central and South Cesar from reprisals that may come from making these denunciations.
ABRIL 4 DEL 2015
Negotiation Commission of South Bolívar, and Central and South Cesar (COMISIÓN DE INTERLOCUCIÓN DEL SUR DE BOLÍVAR, CENTRO Y SUR DEL CESAR)
Human Rights Commission of the People’s Congress (COMISIÓN DE DERECHOS HUMANOS DEL CONGRESO DE LOS PUEBLOS)
The People’s Judicial Team (EQUIPO JURÍDICO PUEBLOS – EJP)
Movement of Workers, Farmers, and Communities of Cesar (MOVIMIENTO DE TRABAJADORX, CAMPEINXS Y COMUNIDADES DEL CESAR – MTCC)
Association of Lawyers Human Rights Defenders (ASOCIACIÓN DE ABOGADOS DEFENSORES DE DERECHOS HUMANOS – ACADEHUM)