peace has not yet reached the colombian countryside. The iconic Bojayá, the scene of one of the worst massacres during more than half a century of armed conflict, is again to be besieged by illegal armed groups. In fact, he has never ceased to be, judging by the multiple alerts that have arisen in the three years since the signing of the agreements with the former guerrilla of the FARC. The incursion of hundreds of paramilitaries last December 31 in rural areas, as reported by several communities that were confined, has woken up in the new year on a call to avoid the tragedy repeat itself.
it is Not the first time that alerts are issued from this town hit hard by the war in the jungle department of Chocó, in the western part of the country. There the armed groups to move the coke by the rivers out to the Pacific, a corridor of drug trafficking with destination to Central america and the united States. In the past three years, since without the presence of the FARC, there have been similar episodes in the region where they operate both the autodenominadas Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, also known as the Clan of the Gulf, the largest narco-trafficking group in the country, as the National Liberation Army (ELN), the last guerrilla is active. Although the colombian Army has increased its presence, and secured the area without reporting the clashes, this latest incursion has raised concerns.
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In that rarefied environment, the anxiety only grew with the death threats against the recognized social leader Leyner Palacios, a survivor of the massacre. The human rights defender, winner of the 2017 Award Pluralism Global, was one of the victims of the conflict that accompanied in Oslo by president Juan Manuel Santos when he received the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 by the agreement concluded with the once-Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, now disarmed and converted into a political party. Since they met the threats, Palacios has met with the minister of the Interior and the High Commissioner for Peace, who came to Bojayá as part of the government response. The authorities are committed to strengthening the security of Palaces, which is to meet Wednesday with president Ivan Duke to expose you to the serious situation of the municipality and the colombian Pacific.
Palaces anticipates this newspaper the items addressed in their meeting with the president. “There are several things. The first has to do with the need to implement fully the peace agreement signed with the FARC. Second, the humanitarian crisis that is living Bojayá ratifies the negotiated settlement of the armed conflict is a necessity. In that framework, I'm going to ask the urgent opening of the table of dialogue with the ELN and a proposal for a submission on the part of the groups of the AGC [Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, or the Clan of the Gulf] so that we can have in Colombia a peace more complete.” The ELN had begun with the previous Government some difficult negotiations that were languishing in the first months of the administration to the Duke, and were in a stalemate after the assassination attempt with a car bomb against a police school in Bogota that led to more than 20 dead a year ago. Palaces will also advocate for specific issues in health services, education and electricity to Bojayá. “If you were responding institutionally to the conflict then we would be taking as much advantage”, values.
THE COUNTRY witnessed last November several of the complaints about the imminent risk to the municipality, when he accompanied the burial, 17 years later, the victims of the 2002 massacre. In this painful episode a hundred people, among them several children, died while trying to seek refuge from the fire crossed in the church of the people, victims of a cylinder, released by FARC guerrillas who were fighting with paramilitaries. The former insurgency has apologized in Bojayá, but the other armed groups that are still active have not given truce to a municipality who is also recognized for having voted overwhelmingly in favour of the agreements in the so-called plebiscite for peace.
The Commission of the Truth, arising from the negotiation of peace, joined in November by invitation of the victims of the acts of delivery of the 78 chests of wood with the remains identified of the massacre. “There we were witnesses of the bravery of the men and women of this bank of the [river] Region, but also to receive with sorrow the news of the new displacement, the confinement, the recruitment of minors, and murders. Bojayá may not repeat that tragedy,” he pointed out, this Monday the commission in a statement signed by its president, the jesuit priest Francisco de Roux. “We urge the authorities to take the urgent measures necessary to establish the truth and ensure the life of Leyner, of all leaders and of the communities today in danger”, he added. The Executive of Duke, fierce opponent of the talks, has not managed to stop since he came to power a year ago and a half, the murder of activists, indigenous groups and ex-combatants that signed the peace.
The voices that cry because Bojayá does not become, once more, in a tragedy foretold accumulate. In its most recent report on the state of the implementation of the peace agreement, the mission of the United Nations warns that "the deterioration of the situation in the Chocó department is a cause for alarm". Position to which have been added to the Ombudsman's office and the Church on several occasions. As pointed out by the UN, the presence of illegal armed groups in regions such as Chocó "continues to have devastating consequences, such as forced recruitment of children, killings, displacement, confinement and attacks and threats against the authorities and leaders of ethnic".Updated Date: 09 January 2020, 06:00