Sunday, May 15, 2011

Recent Violence in Colombia


  • SAN VINCENTE DE CAGUÁN: One child and five adults were injured when members of the military mistakenly shot into their car on Monday. The car was carrying 15 people and according to Andrés Fajardo Castañeda, who was in the car, people inside the car shouted to the soldiers that they were civilians and there were people injured, but the soldiers continued shooting. This is the second mistake made by the military in two weeks, the first being the death of Alexánder Alfonso Barrera, 22, on April 25th when he was mistakenly shot by soldiers in the Army’s 16th brigade.


  • SUCRE: A hospital in Sucre faced a grenade attack by ELN guerillas early in the morning last Saturday. The hospital is estimated to need two months to repair damage sustained in the attack. The attack, which occurred at 12:45 a.m., also left 10 nearby homes damaged. Five patients waiting for surgery were transferred to Popayán for care while the more urgent cases were attended to by the Red Cross.


  • LA APARTADA: El Tiempo reported Wednesday on the April 27th murder of land leader Martha Gaibao. Gaibao was on the forefront of the movement to reclaim land from Colombian paramilitaries in the municipalities of Montelíbano, Puerto Libertador, La Apartada and Ayapel. The land leader was killed by two men on motorcycle who shot her multiple times at her home in La Apartada.


  • BOGOTÁ: The suspected guerillas responsible for the August 12, 2010 attack on Caracol Radio in Bogotá were captured Thursday. The two detainees, José Alonso Rivera and Miguel Ángel Bobadilla Prada, are believed to be members of the FARC. One of the two allegedly built the bomb and the other drove the car that exploded in the early morning of August 12, 2010 in the Plaza 67 in Bogotá, a building that houses Caracol Radio, EFE news agency and BBVA Bank. The attack injured 36 people and damaged 648 offices, shops and apartments as well as several vehicles. The only other person caught in connection with the crime before Thursday was Edilson Moreno, the owner of the workshop where the car bomb was made.


  • NEIVA: A grenade launched at a factory in the Huila department left one 63-year-old man injured. The attack is being attributed to the 17th front of the FARC and the two men believed to be directly responsible have been captured, according to Coronel Julio Cesar Alvarado, the chief of Huila’s police department.


  • PUERTO LLERAS: One policeman was killed and four civilians were wounded on Thursday morning when a motorcycle bomb exploded outside a local police station in Puerto Lleras, a town in the Meta department. The bombing, which killed the police officer instantly, is being blamed on the FARC’s 43rd front. The four civilians injured in the blast were sent to the capital of the department, Villavicencio, for treatment. The military is offering $10,000 for information that will lead to those responsible for the killing.

Valle del Cauca

  • The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network condemned the massacre of five members of the Community Council of the Lower Naya River by members of the FARC’s 30th front in a statement released Wednesday. The men were taken from their homes on May 7 and their bodies were later discovered. The victims were Jose Elder Viveros Delgado , 24, Gueimar Alexis Viveros Delgado, 36, Jose Eimer Viveros Delgado, 30, Jaime Viveros Delgado, 40, and Romulo Viveros, 58. In its statement, the ASCN said that it “calls upon the FARC insurgency to immediately cease all hostilities towards civilians and to respect international humanitarian law. It also urges the FARC guerillas to respect the autonomy, self-determination, human rights and collective land rights of the Afro-Colombian people.” It also requested that the killings be investigated and that the United Nations and the Organization of American States “prioritize supporting a politically negotiated solution to the conflict.”

This post was written by CIP Intern Erin Shea