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Ensayos de Calidad: Cultura
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Enviado por:  luisaf  30 agosto 2011
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Lunes 27 de junio de 2005, por Javier Giraldo M. , S.J.

A telephone call I received last February 23 left me shaken and confused. Luis Eduardo Guerra, one of the first and most tenacious leaders of the San José de Apartadó Peace Community had disappeared. Another of the community‘s leaders told me that from what all they had been able to find out, it was likely he had been murdered. Groups of people from the community had set off to look for him but held out little hope of finding him alive. More and more calls came in that day and the next until, early on the 25th, I traveled to San José with Gloria Cuartas, the former mayor of the town of Apartadó. I went with a heavy heart. I knew the bodies of Luis Eduardo, his companion Bellanira and 11 year old son, Deiner Andrés, had been found. Another of the region’s leaders, Alfonso Tuberquia, who I knew and whose son Santiago I had baptized several weeks earlier, had also been murdered alongside his wife and children.

After 8 years of documenting atrocities committed against that heroic community and denouncing them to the authorities, I still had trouble understanding just what had happened. When I thought back over the more than 500 crimes we had denounced over the years, it seemed this was but one more case that fell into the plan of persecution and extermination San José has been subjected to since the peace community was formed in 1996. I shuddered again at the memory of the many massacres that have occurred in San José and the constant persecution of community leaders and members. And, again, there seemed only one possible conclusion, reluctant though I was to accept it because it was simply too disheartening: nothing had changed. The extermination campaign against the peace community continues, unrelenting, in spite of government speeches and assurances to the contrary. But, then, I remembered the many meetings we had with government officials in order to evaluate the implementation of measures to protect the lif

e and safety of San José community members the Inter-American Court of Human Rights had called on the government to adopt, repeatedly, since October,2000,after making an initial request to the government in 1997 that it grant precautionary measures in favor of the population of San José. And I remembered, in particular, the many assurances made by Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos and members of hi! s office that the present government intended to sit down with San José members and draw up a plan together to protect them. The San José peace community would be protected by the government, he said, not destroyed.

I arrived in San José de Apartadó that Friday, February 25, full of unanswered questions. An army helicopter flew over the village, an enormous bag hanging underneath it, swaying back and forth in the wind. Satellite phone calls by international volunteers accompanying the community from the area of the massacre told us five bodies had been exhumed and taken away: Alfon ...



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