Colombia’s Omdusman Volmar Perez Sunday expressed concern about death threats, massacres and forced displacement committed by illegal armed groups in the north-west Colombian department of Cordoba.
Perez said that the presence of illegal armed groups in the Cordoba municipalities of Montelibano and Puerto Libertador affects the basic rights to “life, liberty and personal integrity of farmers and indigenous [people] in the region.”
The ombudsman cited an incident that occurred on June 29, when an armed group – reportedly the “Aguilas Negras” – murdered four people, among them a minor, who belonged to the indigenous council of Zenu Las Flores.
“Following the massacre and death threats … 36 families from the village of Villa Carmiña were displaced to the urban center of the municipality of Montelibano, on July 5 past, who were installed by the municipal mayor in the rooms of the municipal slaughterhouse,” Perez said.
Perez requested that these displaced families be relocated from the municipal slaughterhouse to a place which would provide them adequate and dignified conditions.
The ombudsman also indicated that on June 27 another armed group, which he identified as narco-paramilitary organization “Los Paisas,” entered another town in the district, threatened to murder locals and raided several houses, stealing money and food.
The following day there was a confrontation between the two aforementioned illegal armed groups, at which, according to Perez, the Colombian army was present. The violence resulted in a mass displacement of some 30 families, according to a census conducted by the ombudsman.
Perez asked authorities to take effective measures to protect the local population against what he called the “grave” situation they are in.