Siege of populated areas of Bijao and Humanitarian Zones

At 12:15 p.m. Inhabitants of Cacarica confirmed that paramilitaries have penetrated the collective territory and divided in three groups. The presence on the communitarian land is inhibiting the free mobility of the black communities that live in the areas of Bijao, El Limón and the Humanitarian Zones Nueva Vida and Nueva Esperanza de Dios which are the targets of their operation.

According to the victims of the armed operation the paramilitaries reached the point known as Lomitas circling important transit and work spots of the region.
Since nine days the government was informed about the armed paramilitary operation, without any concrete measures taken.

The information provided by the people of the communities and carried on to state officials indicates exact information about mobility and location of the paramilitary forces.

Since nine days there are neither any known concrete actions by part of the public forces to gain control of the situation nor any sign of the construction of a preventive plan. The facts prove that for the case there had been a preventive plan, it is completely worthless.

On the other hand, acts of complicity with the paramilitary operations on the part of the Military forces, particularly the 17th brigade, and Police of Urabá and the omission of counteractions against paramilitary operations that take place in Turbo, in Río Sucio and near to el Río Atrato, have been reported.

The villagers fear, to be forcibly displaced once again or to face serious harms against their lives by the paramilitaries, which announced that they would reach the Humanitarian Zone and the people of El Limón and Bijao in a few hours.

The armed groups argued that they would have a list of Leaders which they conceived as guerillas. The paramilitaries indicated that they will clean the territory from guerillas and silence those who continue to point out the existence of the development of the paramilitarism and the “paraeconomía”, protected by the 17th brigade and supported by highly influential business sectors.
Bogotá, D.C. September 12th , 2013

Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz