Minutes before the arrival of President Santos in Buenaventura, Oscar Fernando Hernandez Torres was murdered 100 meters from the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space by the paramilitaries known as “Negrito” and “Pempé”.
In the shooting, which happened at 8:45 a.m., Jhon Germán Hurtado known as “Camarón” and Oscar Alegría were wounded. Oscar and these two youths are informants for the paramilitaries situated in Piedras Cantan. None of them were carrying weapons at the time of the attack.
Oscar’s family, with the support of our Justice and Peace Commission, had been unsuccessful in the attempt to prevent the youth’s involvement as an informant, due to the fact that the government of Colombia never gave a response to requests for protective measures for the persons who participate in the experience of the Humanitarian Space.
Some weeks ago, given the lack of other possibilities, Oscar joined the paramilitaries as an informant.
In the afternoon, local media reported that in the same incident a mother and her two-month-old baby, who were passing by, were also wounded.
When they heard the shots, the reporter Alex Campos and the cameraman Daniel Ramirez, of the program The World According to Pirry, went to the place along with international observers and human rights defenders,
The reporters who went out from the Humanitarian Space filing a report were intimidated by paramilitaries who arrived at the place and in the presence of the public forces tried to attack them with a rod and made a death threat against them saying, “Squealers, we’re going to kill you.” A few meters away were members of the police who had arrived at the place and members of the Naval Infantry who did nothing to protect the reporters. Therefore, the reporters ran back to the Humanitarian Space for safety.
During the attack against the youths, members of the Naval Infantry were near the place, who saw them move at the moment of the attack and who moved to one side when the assassins fled, according to witnesses.
At the same time, the leader Nhora Castilla was threatened by the paramilitaries known as “Barrabás,” “Chinga,” and “Chino” and seven others, who said, “All those s.o.b.’s of Puente Nayero are going to die…. We are going to place a bomb so that all those squealers will die, the human rights people and the gringos.” The one called “Barrabás” threatened her directly, saying, “And you are the main one, you are going to die, we are going to kill you.”
A half hour later, about 9:15 a.m., several shots were heard in the place known as Ramiro Street, coming from the direction of Piedras Cantan Street, 120 meters from the Humanitarian Space, that resulted in the wounding of the paramilitary known as “Barrabás” by the public security forces.
According to information from local media, three people were killed in this second incident, including a pregnant young woman.
While we were finishing up this report in Bogotá, we received information that the paramilitaries took over the sector of Piedras Cantan that includes the school called Republica de Venezuela, where they attacked several students and attempted to recruit several students.
Bogotá, D.C., July 30, 2014
Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz
Interchurch Justice and Peace Commission