A 200-man paramilitary group is threatening to kill members of the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado, located in the north-west Colombian Uraba region, the community says.
According to the community’s website, the paramilitary fighters arrived in the region on June 26 and have since threatened to kill anyone who refuses to cooperate with the illegal armed group.
So far, the paramilitaries have obliged locals to register and forced community meetings wherein the paramilitary rules have been explained, the community said.
The peace community said that a number of families already have fled out of fear of being killed, and asked government forces to prevent the paramilitaries from killing locals and to allow the displaced members of the peace community to return to their lands.
The peace community of San Jose de Apartado was founded in the 1990s in response to ongoing violence by guerrillas, paramilitary groups and the army against the local population. It has received support from the Inter-American Human Rights Court and several NGOs in its attempt to not be involved in ongoing violence in the strategically important region.