PBI-Colombia accompanies the 27th anniversary of the Peace Community days after two members were murdered

Published by Brent Patterson on

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PBI-Colombia has tweeted: “We accompanied the peaceful march and the commemorative events of the anniversary #27AñosCdP [27 years of the Community of Peace] organized by the @cdpsanjose [Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado] who claims their legitimate right to the protection of nature. We regret that the sky of commemoration has been clouded due to the murder of 2 members.”

Last week, PBI-Colombia had also posted: “We express our deep pain, rejection and indignation at the murder of Nallely and Edinson, two beloved people of the @cdpsanjose with whom we shared in solidarity only days before.”

The Peace Community

Yes! Magazine has reported: “On March 23, 1997, Brígida Gonzáles, 69, along with the others who decided to stay, founded the Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó. This ‘Peace Community’ declared itself neutral in the conflict, pledging not to get involved in any way and asked to be left in peace.”

In March 2009, Amnesty International noted: “Over 170 members of the community have been killed or forcibly disappeared since the community’s creation in 1997.”

Last week, Colombian president Gustavo Petro said that 400 members of the community have been murdered.

Some of those killed have died in massacres, such as the one in April 1999, when three of its members were killed; that of February 2000, when five members were killed; and the one on February 21, 2005, when Luis Eduardo Guerra, one of the historical leaders, was assassinated along with part of his family.

Nallely Sepúlveda and Edinson David

Two more members of the community were killed last week.

El Colombiano reports: “Nallely and Edinson were murdered on Tuesday, March 19 at noon, the news reached Apartadó around 6 p.m. and the bodies were collected 24 hours later.”

That article adds: “No one really knows who the killers were for Nallely Sepulveda, 30, and her little brother-in-law Edinson David Higuita, 14. The only thing that is clear is that their bodies, which were left lying in a house in the village of La Esperanza, in San José de Apartadó, were not picked up by either the Prosecutor’s Office or the Police, it was the same members of the Peace Community who had to rescue them four hours away and return with the bodies wrapped in sheets. passing through wild rivers and trails in which they were sometimes buried up to their knees.”

Tweet: “In these 27 years of the Peace Community we have collected our dead, murdered by paramilitaries, with the complicit consent of the government. What good is a change of government, if nothing changes, if they continue killing us in the territory. Until when?”

The speculation is that the two members were killed by the Clan del Golfo (Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, AGC) paramilitary.

On Sunday March 24, Pope Francis remembered the two killed and dedicated a space to pray for the community during the liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday.

Tweet: Pope Francis: “I express my closeness to the Community of San José de Apartadó in Colombia, where a few days ago a young woman and a child were murdered” https://vaticannews.va/es.html

We continue to follow the situation.

The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project has accompanied the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó since 1999.

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