Our Historical Documentation and Ethical Censure of the
cynicism of military forces, which reveals their recognition and
tolerance of the development of paramilitary operations, and of
the persistent institutional inaction regarding the abuses of the
businesses, bad-faith occupiers and beneficiaries of paramilitary
actions, and their mechanisms for legalizing illegality.
Bogotá, D.C., September 17th, 2010
Juan Manuel Santos
President of Colombia
Vice President of Colombia
Angela María Holguin
Germán Vargas Lleras
Juan Camilo Restreppo
Fernando Pareja Reinemer
Vice Attorney General of the Nation
National Defender of the People
“How long, Lord, shall the wicked,
How long shall the wicked glory?” Psalm 94, 3
Re: Paramilitary presence in Curvaradó and Bajirá, in the midst
of Brigade 17, bad-faith occupiers continue implementing
strategies to legalize “land-grabbing.”
Our Historical Documentation and Ethical Censure of the cynicism of
military forces, which reveals their recognition, their tolerance of the
development of paramilitary operations, and of the persistent
institutional inaction regarding the abuses of the businesses, badfaith occupiers and beneficiaries of paramilitary actions, and their mechanisms for legalizing illegality.
The paramilitary and para-economy accustomed institution is
currently trying to justify itself to the victims, whom it holds
responsible for the failure to protect their rights due to the absence oftheir denunciations. This is occurring despite the almost permanent presence of paramilitaries at specific points on the road from Belén de Bajirá to Brisas de Curvaradó or Belén de Bajirá to Ríosucio, if they are not present there, then, in the same town of Belén de Bajirá, in Nuevo Oriente, in Brisas de Curvaradó, Mutatá and Barranquillita mobilizing themselves in the midst, beside and in front of public security forces.
Our Historical Documentation and Ethical Censure of the following
events, which should generate a minimum of modesty and reaction:
* Monday, August 30, at approximately 5:30 p.m. our Commission of
Justice and Peace in Bogotá was informed from Belén de Bajirá, of a meeting being held in the county, which was attended by Germán
Marmolejo and businesspeople from Uniban and Banacol, in which
decisions were made concerning the development of infrastructure
The meeting took place without the consent of the lower councils
[translators note: Each river basin, Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó, has
an Upper Council and each community or humanitarian zone within
that river basin has its own Lower Council, as its constitutionally
protected governing body], disregarding the order of the
Constitutional Court, in which infrastructure projects were also
*Wednesday, September 1, at about 7:00 a.m. the members of the
Lower Council that inhabit Caracolí were negatively affected by the
entry of more than 200 head of cattle from the bad-faith occupiers
Antonio Argote and Claudia Argote.
The animals again destroyed the subsistence crops of the
community. In this instance, the cattle destroyed half a hectare of ricethat had already been re-planted by the community because of
previous cattle destruction.
This new damage to the subsistence crops of the community
occurred despite the Constitutional Court Order #222, ignored by all
the authorities required to ensure its compliance.
*Thursday, September 2, around 9:00 a.m. in Bogotá, our
Commission of Justice and Peace learned of a letter sent by the
mayor of Carmen del Darién, Adán Córdoba Palacios, dated July
23rd, addressed to then Minister of Interior and Justice, Fabio
The mayor slanderously affirmed that there exists a “permanent
presence of the Guerrilla (sic) Group (sic) FARC-EP front 34, through the length and breadth of all the communities located in the River Basin (sic) Curbaradó (sic) and Jiguamiandó (sic), more specifically in the communities of Costa de Oro, San Jose de Gengado (sic), Corobazal, Despensa Baja, Despensa Media, Caracolí and Brisas, some of these are part of the so-called Humanitarian Zones, which in truth are nothing more than corridors for the free movement of this group…”
The same day we learned of a communication signed by Leir
Rentería Córdoba, representative of the Council of Pedeguita and
Mansilla, who has made usufruct agreements with businesses, badfaith occupiers in Caño Manso, such as Colonel Luis Felipe Molano.
The letter accuses the humanitarian organizations as responsible for
inflammation, soliciting: “the assistance of the National Police to
urgently halt the unconventional actions that they have been using.
Remove these NGOs for us so that they cannot divide and
consolidate political models that curb the possibility of economic and
* Saturday, September 4, at approximately 8:00 a.m., three
kilometers from the town of Belén de Bajirá on the way to Brisas de
Curvaradó, thirty armed men were present in camouflage uniforms
and identified themselves as paramilitaries. The paramilitaries were
next to a truck, which held their communication equipment. The
paramilitaries remained in this location until the next day.
This same paramilitary group established control points in the area
known as San Andrés Playa Roja in route from Belén de Bajirá to
* Thursday, September 9, around 11:00 a.m., in the Humanitarian
Zone of Caño Manso, collective territory of Curvaradó, the army
sergeant González, assigned to the 17th Brigade, called a member of
the lower council to complain that they hadn’t told him of the
presence of four paramilitaries. The sergeant assured that the
paramilitaries were there due to the request of the property owner,
who claimed that someone had taken over her property and had it
planted with coca. He said that the property owner, a woman, had
come to him for help and he had advised her to go to the Attorney
General (La Fiscalía), but “she preferred to go to the paramilitaries. If we had had an arrest warrant, we would have detained them.”
The paramilitaries effectively passed by, as few as ten meters from
where the Colombian military was located.
* Sunday, September 12, around 3:00 p.m. members of the lower
council of Caracolí that inhabit the Humanitarian Zone, together with
members of our Commission of Justice and Peace, confirmed the
total destruction of their subsistence crops of rice, corn and yucca
caused by the cattle of the bad-faith occupiers of the Argote family,
proprietors of the business “La Tukeka.”
During this confirmation, three men linked to “La Tukeka”, among
them, José Buitrago and a man named Vicente, harassed, took
pictures and video taped the members of the lower council and of our Commission of Justice and Peace in the presence of the military
* Sunday, September 12, at about 11:00 a.m. in the Humanitarian
Zone Andalucía, two soldiers with camouflage pants on and no
weapons entered the zone, without the consent of the property
owner, Enrique Petro. When the owner complained, one of the
soldiers said: “If it was the paramilitaries, you would let them enter, if
you want, call whoever you want, just like you always do.” They both
left the premises.
* Monday, September 13, in the morning our Commission of Justice and Peace in Bogotá was informed that a meeting took place in the municipality of Apartadó, the previous Sunday, between a few
government officials, the military Coronel Luis Felipe Molano Díaz,
bad-faith occupier of the communal territory of Caño Manso, and
Claudia Argote, one of the proprietors of the business “La Tukeka.”
According to the source, they discussed the mechanisms to legalize
the usurped properties for which they have support for some of the
legal representatives of Pedeguita and Mancilla.´
Molano, a member of the Colombian Association of Retired Officers
of the Armed Forces (ACORE), is know as “The Uncle” (El Tío) and is considered responsible for the business of Hugo Fenel Bernal
Molano, extradited to the United States.
According to unofficial information, Molano is one of those
responsible for ordering the assassination of Walberto Hoyos, leader
of Caño Manso.
*Friday, September 17, close to 9:00 a.m. in the village of Zone of
Caracolí, collective territory of Curvaradó, the members of the
Humanitarian Zone, accompanied by the international observer
Christiane Schwarz, of the German Coordination for Human Rights in Colombia Kolko e.v. and members of our Commission of Justice and Peace, were harassed by workers of the bad-faith occupiers of the Argote family, business “La Tukeka”, when they were identifying a Biodiversity Zone. The workers took photographic records, insulted them and said: “The s.o.b. foreigners that are here, I’m not afraid of any s.o.b. foreigner.” After communication with the national government and sectors of the international community, the bad-faith occupiers withdrew.
*Friday, September 17, around 10:00 a.m., three men and a woman, among them the paramilitary known as “Tabacco” (Tabaco), arrived at the Humanitarian Zone of Caño Manso, the collective territory of Curvaradó, driving three motorcycles.
Our Ethical Censure regarding the shameless attitude of complicity of Brigade 17, regarding the carrying out of paramilitary operations
within the collective territory of Curvaradó and the absence of
effective results against the paramilitary presence in Belén de Bajirá,
Nuevo Oriente, Mutatá, Brisas de Curvaradó, Andalucía and Caño
Manso. Our Ethical Censure regarding the business proceedings of bad-faith occupiers that are seeking to legalize their illegality in contravention of the orders of the Constitutional Court, and of the administrative decisions regarding the ownership of the collective property of Curvaradó.
Our Ethical Censure of the abuses of the businesspeople,
beneficiaries of paramilitary actions, which in bad-faith have occupied the properties of the lower councils of Caño Manso and Caracolí since 1997, destroying their “bread and butter” subsistence crops and making comprehensive restitution of territory impossible.
In conformity with article 23 of the National Constitution, we require
that you provide us answers to the following questions, based on your institutional responsibilities:
.1 What is the policy for confronting the paramilitary structures
present in Belén de Bajirá, Nuevo Oriente, Mutatá, Brisas de
Curvaradó, Andalucía and Caño Manso?
2. What have been the results in regards to armed combat, arrests,
injuries, casualties and prosecution?
3. What is the response of the Interior Ministry and Agriculture
Ministry to Order #2002 and the order of May 18th of the
4. What are the effective responses to the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights’ resolutions regarding the protection of members of
minor councils that inhabit the Humanitarian Zones and Biodiversity
5. Why haven’t the bad-faith occupiers, such as the Argote family and
Luis Felipe Molano, been investigated, given that these occupiers
continue to partake in illegal activity including: destroying subsistence
crops, participating in making violent threats, and obviously benefiting
Interchurch Commission of Justice and Peace