PBI-Colombia notes the extrajudicial murder of 11 people in Puerto Leguízamo, Putumayo

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: The massacre took place at this local market in Puerto Leguízamo.

On April 2, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “2022: 48 human rights defenders killed and 27 massacres. Puerto Leguízamo, Putumayo 11 people murdered, communities denounce #ejecuciónextrajudicial [extrajudicial executions]. @WOLA_org urges authorities to investigate. PBI accompanies @Justiciaypazcol verification commission.”

The Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace has also reported:

“Days after the massacre occurred in the hamlet of El Remanso, corregimiento of Puerto Ospina, municipality of Puerto Leguizamo, testimonies continue to be known that deny the official versions of the national government about the operation that barbarically ended the lives of eleven people, including an indigenous [Quechua] governor [Pablo Panduro], [Divier Hernandez] a president of the JAC [Community Action Board] of El Remanso and his wife, a child, a peasant worker, as well as four wounded, three women.”

And PBI-Colombia has shared this WOLA article that notes:

The incident that took place on March 28 in Puerto Leguízamo, Putumayo department. On that day, 11 persons were killed by the Colombian armed forces.

The Minister of Defense and President Duque claimed in the press and social media that those who were “neutralized” were killed within the context of an armed operation and belonged to illegal armed groups. However, testimonies of the survivors and victims of the family members state that persons killed were civilians.

According to the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC), what the government has deemed as an alleged confrontation between state forces and FARC dissidents resulted in the assassination of nine individuals and the capture of four others.

They report that the national army arrived at a local market where individuals were raising funds for neighborhood needs. Once there, the army opened fire in an indiscriminate manner against the fundraiser’s attendees killing nine people. Among those killed were Pablo Panduro Coquinche, an Indigenous Authority and Governor of the Kitcwhwa people.

Putumayo

Justice and Peace has previously highlighted the military repression that resulted in Nasa leader Victor Campo being wounded and Yordan Rosero Estrella being killed.

Their report on that May 31, 2021, incident noted: “Today at 5:30 am in the municipality of Villagarzon, department of Putumayo, protesters tried to enter the Costayaco field owned by the [Canadian] oil company Gran Tierra Energy, in order to block its operation.”

Villagarzon is about 250 kilometres northwest of Puerto Leguizamo.

Justice and Peace also accompanies the Perla Amazónica Peasant Reserve Zone [ZRCPA] near Puerto Asis, which is about 200 kilometres northwest of Puerto Leguizamo.

The Guardian has reported: “Jani Silva [of the ZRCPA] says she has seen firsthand the effects of big business in Putumayo, where, she believes, oil companies ‘exploit irresponsibly’ and contaminate the environment.”

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Justice and Peace Commission since 1994.

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