Relatives identify the remains of Manuel Ruiz, and the search group from the communities is on the way to another body that has been found

About 8:30 today, relatives and members of the Curvarado Community Council, identified the remains of Manuel Ruíz, observing a bullet hole in his cheek and a mistreated body. The clothing and accessories correspond to those that the land restoration leader was wearing the day he was abducted by paramilitaries.

The relatives of Manuel arrived at the site with the support of the search group that the Curvaradó communities who live in the humanitarian zones had put together to look for this community leader and his son. Yesterday, the community group determined the location where the remains had been found and were there until nightfall. This morning, they went there again with members of the family to identify the body.

They are still awaiting the arrival of the Technical Investigation Corps to evacuate the body.

The relatives request that the mortal remains of Manuel be taken to Chigorodó to undertake all necessary procedures and that he be given a Christian burial.

About 8:50 a.m. local time, it was reported that another body of a youth was found at the place known as Cañaduzales. At this moment relatives are going there, with national and international accompaniers and the community search group.

These remains may be those of Samir Ruiz, a 15-year-old boy, disappeared together with his father Manuel last Friday, when they were forced by paramilitaries to get off the vehicle on which they were traveling from Mutatá to Apartadocito.

Manuel, leader of the community of Apartadocito, was the object of death threats because of the restitution of lands that are occupied by the businessmen Victor Rios, Fabian Rios, and Carlos Rios who use their workers to spread threats. “El Viyo” and Leonel Holguin Suescún are two such workers. They are beneficiaries of paramilitarism and bad-faith occupiers who carry out business deals in the communities’ territories.

Bogotá, D.C., March 28, 2012

Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

Interchurch Justice and Peace Commission