Protect Community Allegedly Occupied By Paramilitary Organization

foreign and commonwealth office, president Santos of Colombia

Target: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

Goal: Protect the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, a community allegedly occupied by a paramilitary group.

A community in north-western Colombia is reportedly being occupied by armed men identifying themselves as members of the Gaitanista Self Defence Forces (AGC), a right wing paramilitary organization. Residents of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó say that gunmen have camped out on local land and have refused to leave. Further, members of the paramilitary group have allegedly burned crops, beaten prominent members of the community, and have threatened to kill four members of the community ‘to show them who is in charge.’ Residents are afraid to leave their homes.

Members of the the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó claim that their requests for help from local state security forces were denied on the basis that the community would distort any action by security forces. If these allegations are true, this would be a clear dereliction of duty. Sign our petition to demand protection for this community and an investigation into allegations that local security forces refused to help.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Santos,

I was shocked to hear reports of paramilitaries identifying themselves as members of los Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, AGC, occupying the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó. The occupiers have repeatedly refused to leave the area and, as the occupation stretches into its second week, local residents have reported assaults, threats of murder and destruction of property. Further, there are multiple reports that residents are afraid to leave their homes. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure this occupation ends, and members of the community receive protection from these gunmen.

Secondly, residents of Peace Community of San José de Apartadó claim that their requests for help from local security forces were denied on the basis that the community would distort any action taken by security forces. If these allegations are true, this represents a serious dereliction of duty on behalf of the security forces. I ask that you do everything in your power to investigate these allegations, and bring those refusing to protect the community to justice.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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