The Northern Antioquia Peace Bulletin is a grassroots initiative to provide a panoramic monthly report of the resurgence in violence in northern Antioquia and southern Cordoba, the implementation of the peace accords with FARC rebels, and development projects.
May 1, 2019
Santa Lucia, Ituango – FARC dissidents graffitied rural school and public transport. Shots were also fired in the air. School is located 200 meters from FARC transitory zone where 100+ former guerrillas are reintegrating back into society.
May 2, 2019
Cucurucho, Briceño – Soldiers of the 10th infantry battalion discovered a bunker used by “Cabuyo,” leader of the 36th front FARC dissidents. The guerrilla commander is a high priority target for the government and has a 280 million pesos bounty on his head.
May 3, 2019
Quebrada del Medio, Ituango – A former FARC guerrilla was gunned down. The 38 year old was part of the now demobilized guerrillas for 13 years. The victim had taken part in the peace and reintegration process.
May 4, 2019
Ituango – The OAS, UN, OIM, UNHCR, USAID along with the mayor’s office and the Ombudsman’s office began the second part of a human rights course for the municipalities youth. The course began in 2018.
May 6, 2019
Peque – Police and army arrest 15 Clan del Golfo fighters, including “El Mono,” implicated in the 2018 homicides of two FARC party members in that same town.
May 7, 2019
HidroItuango – Integral Consulting Firm submitted to EPM a detailed technical study on the failures of HidroItuango. The study is said to explain the reason behind the April 28, 2018 emergency that saw tens of thousands evacuated. The study is key in an ongoing battle between the Consortium and EPM on who will be paying the cost of the emergency. EPM has yet to make the study public.
Ituango – The Jurisdicción Especial de la Paz (JEP) and the Comision de la Verdad visited town for the first time and held a meeting with the community to explain their mandate.
May 8, 2019
HidroItuango – Workers found dead fish in one of the discharge tunnels of HidroItuango. For nine months, water was being evacuated through the discharge tunnel of the machine room to prevent water from flowing over the unfinished dam. The finding has been reported to the environmental authority which are currently investigating the dam project for damage caused to the Cauca ecosystem.
Santa Rita, Ituango – A women of approximately 28 years old was shot to death in the rural area of Santa Rita. Authorities suspect Clan del Golfo of the homicide.
May 11, 2019
HidroItuango – EPM evacuated 105 workers after an increase in water filtrations between the reservoir and intake tunnels for the machine room. EPM later stated that the move was preventive and did not represent a risk to the project or communities downstream.
Ituango – After nearly a year of occupation, the mayor’s office along with the Ombudsman’s office reached an accord with the Rios Vivos members displaced by HidroItuango to vacate the municipal coliseum. In exchange for vacating the coliseum, the municipality has agreed to pay eight subsidies for six months of rent and 36 food baskets.
May 12, 2019
Montañita, Taraza – Five soldiers were injured when they activated a minefield while on rural patrol. The unit was undergoing military operations against FARC dissidents that operate in the area. 2018 saw a 208% increase in mine victims compared to 2017.
May 13, 2019
Guacharaquero, Ituango – The mayor’s office inaugurated the paved road in the rural sector of Guacharaquero 20 minutes from town. Post-conflict development funds have been directed mostly to road improvements.
May 15, 2019
Uramita – ‘Carnitas’ is captured in a police operacion. Carnitas was a midlevel commander in the FARC’s 18th front but left the guerrilla movement in 2015 when rebel leader Roman Ruiz was killed in an aerial bombardment. The former guerrilla switched sides and led the first paramilitary incursion into Ituango in 2017 to occupy the the lands left by the FARC.
May 16, 2019
Ituango – Former Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre announced he was going to present a case in the supreme court and the ICC in Hague against former president Alvaro Uribe Velez for his complicity in the massacres of El Aro and La Granja as well as the murder to the human rights defender Jesus Maria Valle.
El Doce, Taraza – Six unknown men on three motorcycles opened fired with Ak-47s at a bar and then threw a grenade into the establishment as they left – killing one and injuring six others. The 25 year old woman killed was from Ituango and a family member of a local leader.
La Granja, Ituango – The mayor’s office along with various government agencies and institutions perform a service fair in the community.
May 20, 2019
Taraza – With all commerce closed in protest, over 2,000 hit the streets to protest the rising tide of violence in the region. According to the mayor’s office, so far this year, there have been over 500 forcefully displaced and 18 homicides. Despite these high numbers, they are still better than 2018 that by this time already had 1,200 forcefully displaced and 56 homicides. The area is being contested by Clan del Golfo, Los Caparrapos, dissidents of the 18th front, and ELN guerrillas.
Ituango – Army troops from the 4th Battalion destroyed four coca labs with an ability to produce up to 600 kilos a month of paste, according to them.
May 23, 2019
San Jose de Ure, Sur de Cordoba – Heavily armed men of the Bloque Vigilio Peralta (Caparappos) and 18th Front FARC dissidents entered the rural community of Brazo Izquierdo. The fighters forced everyone out of their home and killed two 24 year olds in front of the community. Both young adults were subscribed in the government voluntary coca crop substitution programs (PNIS).
May 24, 2019
Ituango – All nine candidates running for mayor reported being extorted by unknown callers. According to authorities, many of the calls originate from prisons in other parts of the country by criminals wanted to take advantage of the poor security situation.
May 25, 2019
Quebrada del Medio, Ituango- Candidates running for mayor reported being called to the rural sector of Quebrada del Medio to meet with FARC dissidents. Apparently, they demanded candidates pay 15 million pesos (~$4,500) to campaign in the rural areas.
Santa Rita, Ituango – On the way back to the urban center of town, the municipal bus of the Secretaria de Educacion was stopped by FARC dissidents and graffitied. The graffiti was a commemoration of the anniversary of the killing of the 18th front founder, Roman Ruiz.
Quebrada del Medio, Ituango – During a community football match, armed men killed one and wounded another. A third victim, an ex combatant in process of incorporation, is missing. It is believed the 18th front dissidents are behind the attack.
May 26, 2019
Quebrada del Medio. Ituango – Armed men were reported at the billiards next to the road that leads to the transitory zone in Santa Lucia roughly an hour away. A strong paramilitary presence is also reported in the Rio Sucio Cañon.
May 27, 2019
HidroItuango – EPM, Instituto Humboldt, Corantioquia and AUNAP signed three year contract for environmental restoration of the Cauca river downstream of the hydrodam project as well as the zone of influence.
Santa Lucia, Ituango – The government has announced that the 18th front transitory zone is among the 11 FARC transitory zones that will be relocated out of the 24 that currently exist. The transitory zones are set to expire in August.
May 28, 2019
HidroItuango – Heavy rainfall caused landslides above the spillway doors and the blockage of a tributary to the Cauca river. The emergency temporarily suspended work at the site and has put on alert the construction project.
May 29, 2019
Taraza – Governor Luis Perez announced he will buy 12 unmanned drones for surveillance in 14 municipalities with security issues. Each drone costs around 200 million pesos each (60,000 USD) and will be given to the army and the police. The drones will operate in Bajo Cauca – Taraza, Caucasia, El Bagre, and Caceres.
HidroItuango – Engineers managed to finally close the doors to the second of three auxiliary deviation tunnels. The tunnel had collapsed in April 2018 and marked the beginning of the emergency which led to thousands being displaced. This achievement marks a significant reduction in risk to communities downstream. Only one of the three tunnels are left unsealed – a process which will take two months, according to EPM.