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english translation | 23.11.2005 04:05 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Social Struggles

We don't know how to show our deepest pain and sadness which we feel in these moments. In a new attack, the Colombian military assassinate ARLEN SALAS DAVID, leader of our community and coordinator of the humanitarian zone, Arenas Altas. We would like to share the facts of what took place so that they can be judged in time and can be remembered in history:

On the 17th November, ARLEN SALAS and other six members of the community were sowing corn in Arenas Altas. On seeing them, the military fired various shots towards them and then threw a grenade which fell close to ARLEN. He was badly hurt. The military continued shooting while ARLEN's colleagues tried to help him but due to continuous shooting, they had to take refuge behind trees. When the shootings died down, they approached ARLEN to help him, but found him already dead.

Those who were with ARLEN walked to San Josesito at 1pm to inform the community of what had happened. Quickly a group made up of community members makes its way with international accompaniers towards Arenas Altas. At the same time a group made up of members of the community from La Union also make their way towards Arenas Altas. At around 5pm the two groups meet with the military in Arenas Altas, in the farm of Rodrigo Rodríguez. The military makes these members of the community enter a house and begin accusing them of being guerrillas, that they have only hurt guerrilla fighters, they started shooting in the air telling them that they are going to kill them, that the community is a guerrilla community and that they will exterminat this community. The majority of the military there had two arms: one with which they walk with constantly, and another arm seen to be used by paramilitaries.

Suddenly a military group begin to shoot towards the little village of Arenas Altas, and the families are forced to leave their homes and hide. Various houses are shot, and bullet shots have gone into the houses. The military also shoots towards the school where the school teacher and various children were present. The troop said that they were being shot at from the school but the teacher confronted them telling them that that was totally false, that he was with the kids, spread out on the floor while they were being shot at.

In these shootings in the village of Arenas Altas, HERNAN GOEZ, a member of the community was hurt. At around 6:30pm, a delegation from the San Jose Apartado Peace community arrives with the community human rights defender, where ARLEN's body was found and they carried the body to San Josecito. They also carried the remnants of the grenade.

The facts are clear, we had already denounced the military for various assassinations in the various villages which today are unoccupied, such as the massacre of LUIS EDUARDO, ALFONSO BOLIVAR and their families. We already know the response and the explanation given by the government and the general attorney, they will say that we are guerrillas, they will make a sham, all in total impunity, the victims will be seen as the perpetrators. Nevertheless, we know that a lot of people has seen the truth of what has occurred, and we know that one day, all these assassinations, all these crimes against humanity will be brought to justice. We know that for the government all our children are guerrillas, and for this reason, the military shoots at them and kills them; for the government we are only helpers of the guerrilla and for this they wand to keep on destroying us. Even though they will lie as always, international organisations and the Human Rights Defender himself have seen the horrors which the community faces. Only 8 days ago, Arlen was talking about the situation in Arenas Altas with the Italian commission which visited us, and he told them about all the threats and thefts made by the military in the humanitarian zone of Arenas Altas. He told them of our need for support and help, of our fear of being exterminated. In the face of our principles of community work group and solidarity, once again another leader is killed. This barbarity does not make us give up, in the contrary our leaders show us the way towards following alternative forms of working. Even in times of darkness such as these, we will believe in future full of hope.

We ask for national and international support for the end of this extermination, so that people from the humanitarian zone of Arenas Altas are not displaced, which is the aim openly announced by the military. The pain is so great that we are not able to speak loudly enough, but we will carry on shouting for dignity, as was taught to us by ARLEN's serious and dedicated work as our leader. His two little sons will continue in his footsteps, building a different future where our life will be respected. ARLEN OUR TEARS ACCOMPANY THIS HORROR BUT YOU ARE STILL WITH US, GIVING US LIFE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP, YOUR DEDICATION, ONE DAY HISTORY WILL JUDGE THESE ASSASINS.


english translation


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30.11.2005 02:53

original alert and address to protest in colombia:

atlantis alert
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