Following the appearance of alleged paramilitary pamphlets, 97 people have been
killed and two disappeared in acts of “social cleansing” throughout
Colombia, independent investigation center CINEP has announced.
According to investigators, pamphlets threatening to kill prostitutes, drug users and “weirdos” appeared in almost three-quarters of the country. In regions where the pamphlets were most widely distributed – the capital Bogota and the departments of Norte de Santander, Cordoba and Boyaca – the pamphlets were followed by higher numbers of reports of disappeared or murdered teenagers, prostitutes and people from the GLBT community.
The study showed that people from poor neighborhoods are most vulnerable to threats, forced disappearance and murder by the alleged paramilitary groups.
“We are very concerned that the use of fear and threats has become a tool for social control,” CINEP executive Jorge Julio Mejía told Caracol Radio.
The threatening pamphlets appeared first in Medellin and appeared later in dozens of other Colombian cities. Authorities previously blamed the FARC for spreading the threats, but NGOs say paramilitary groups are responsible.