On October 20, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted: “We thank the embassy of @SwedeninCOL for receiving the @cdpsanjose, accompanied by PBI, and for their support and solidarity. It is essential that the international community continue to express its concern about violations of human rights in the region.”
Just prior to this, the Embassy of Sweden in Colombia had tweeted: “Yesterday we met with @cdpsanjose to discuss their ongoing work advocating for human rights in Colombia. We support your initiative for a Peace Community free from violence and we are concerned about your current situation and the violations of human rights in the region.”
The day prior to this meeting, the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó posted this update about their situation.
Key excerpts from that update include:
“Once again, our Peace Community of San José de Apartadó sees the need to record before the country and the world the latest events of which we have been victims by paramilitarism that continues to act at ease in our region without being disturbed by any competent authority, because it has its economic and political support, which makes it strong to subject the peasantry to its projects.
The paramilitaries, as since the beginning of 2017, are forcing the civilian population to meet with them and to instill terror in those meetings, groups of them participate in camouflaged uniforms and with long weapons; thus they believe that their orders and directives are obeyed by the civilian population.
San José de Apartadó has become a scenario of yoke and dictatorship by politicians, businessmen, military forces and paramilitaries since all of them coexist in this region and each other is not harmed because the damages are suffered by the peasant who has to submit to all these actions of oppression.”
Their statement also includes a list of incidents that have happened between September 20 and October 16 of this year.
The Peace Community is located more than 700 kilometers northwest of Bogota in the mountainous northern region in the department of Antioquia.
On March 23, 1997, the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado was formed. The farming community declared itself neutral in the armed conflict and rejected the presence of all the armed groups in its territory.
PBI-Colombia began accompanying the Peace Community in 1999.
PBI-Colombia has stated: “PBI will stand by the Community in this dignified struggle until they have security guarantees and the life they long for and deserve.”