Our Peace Community of San José de Apartadó is forced to communicate to the country and the world the criminal incursion that took place on the morning of today December 29, 2017 in our central settlement of San Josesito, by a paramilitary commando that arrived with the explicit intention of assassinating the Legal Representative of our Community, GERMÁN GRACIANO POSSO.
Already in the previous weeks and months there was a progressive intensification of threats and intelligence operations that announced a serious blow against the Peace Community. Our compelling records addressed to the country and the world did not produce any reaction or protection on the part of Colombian Government institutions.
Previously, a paramilitary named ARCADIO arrived [today] under the pretext of selling cocoa to the Community, just to confirm Germán’s presence, which he immediately reported back on his cell phone. Minutes later, around 10:15 am, 4 paramilitaries arrived at the winery where the Community commercializes cocoa. Among those who arrived was the paramilitary command of the area known as «FELIPE», and also: RICARDO DAVID, widely known in the area and who identified themselves as: JAMES CARDONA HIGUITA (cc 1038811594) and HUMBERTO ANTONIO LONDOÑO ÜSUGA (CC 1028025340).
They first tried to make several members of the Community who were there, to enter into a room threatening to kill them with their weapons. Then, several members of the Community reacted and struggled with the criminals until they managed to take the weapons away from one of the paramilitaries and immobilized two of them who were tied up. In the struggle, Germán and other members of the Community were wounded, as were the two immobilized paramilitaries.
The Community called the Ombudsman’s Office to deliver the detainees and at the time of issuing this communication they have not yet arrived.
A few moments ago we have communicated with the Vice President of the Republic, General Óscar Naranjo, who promised to examine [our concern of] the enormous complicity of the public forces present in the region, which, in our opinion, has been the key factor in the enormous freedom of action with which the paramilitaries move in the area. As it is known to all the groups that have been in solidarity with us, these attacks are widely announced and publicized with the complicity of all the institutions.
Let this be the occasion to thank again and deeply the immense network of communities and groups of the world that in a few minutes have reacted by manifesting their unconditional solidarity [towards us].
Community of Peace of San José de Apartadó
December 29th, 2017”