A home is burned down, attacks are planned, and votes are bought in order to consolidate business control.

This morning, beneficiaries of paramilitary operations burned down the home of the López family, members of the community council of Bijao Onofre, in the collective territory of Pedeguita Mansilla, in order to end the family’s legitimate presence on the land from which they had been displaced.

About fourteen men, among them Enrique Molano, a relative of Luis Felipe Molano, a member of the Colombian Association of Retired Military, ACORE, ordered the reclaiming family to abandon the territory. Then they burned down the house that the family had constructed when they returned to their lands.

Before leaving, Molano threatened the family, saying that if they did not abandon the place, he would not be responsible for what happened to their lives.
The Lopez family had returned to recover their property of more than two hundred hectares in the collective territory after fifteen years of forced displacement and the theft of their property by Colonel (retired) Luis Felipe Molano.

Yesterday, the businessman Luis Felipe Molano continued the expansion of buffalo-raising on land stolen from members of the community councils of Caño Manso in Curvaradó. The expansion of buffalo-raising is affecting the collective property of the communities that have been designated as Biodiversity Zones. The buffalo also continue to destroy the subsistence crops of the members of the community council, among them the Saya and Lance families.

While these abuses by businessmen benefiting from paramilitarism continue, another business sector, headed by Ramiro Quintero, is offering 400,000 pesos to each person who votes for Danilo Murillo as legal representative of Jiguamiandó.
The paramilitaries are known to have a plan to assassinate the leaders Marleny Benitez and Felipe Triana in an attempt to prevent and limit the eventual entry of new land reclaimers to Santa María. Among the paramilitaries who would act against the community members are those known as Alirio and Gustavo.
Bogotá, D.C., September 24, 2013

Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

Interchurch Justice and Peace Commission