Juridica Libertad released the following account of the massacre at San
Apartado. All human rights violations documented below took place
February 21 and 27, 2005 and are only now reaching the press. Please
join the Colombian
Support Network’s campaign to denounce this massacre of community
leaders and their children. You will
find additional information on the San Jose de Apartado peace community
on the Fellowship
for Reconciliation’s web-site.
February 21, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. Luis Eduardo Guerra Guerra, member of
Internal Council of the Peace Community of San Jose Apartado, Deiner
Guerra Tuberquia (Luis Eduardo’s 11 year-old son) and Beyanira Areiza
were abducted and held against their will in an area near the Mulatos
day, people from the surrounding region found the mule Luis Eduardo
transportation on the path to La Resbalosa. At a nearby farm owned by
Bolivar they discovered bloody prints leading to a shallow grave
several bodies, including those of children. Some of the bodies had
mutilated. They believed that the grave contained the bodies of Deiner
Luis Eduardo and Beyanira, along with the entire Bolivar family.
point, several farmers were dispatched to San Jose Apartado where they
the Internal Council of the Peace Community of their discovery.
neighbors of the Bolivar family installed themselves at the Bolivar
wait for a Judicial Commission to begin its investigation.
time the Corporacion Juridica Libertad was notified of the massacre,
afternoon of February 23, 2005, we sent a message to the Director of
Rights and International Law Program, Vice-President, Dr. Carlos
requesting the immediate convocation of a special commission to begin a
criminal investigation and recover the cadavers. By the next afternoon,
February 24, a commission comprised of one federal official, one
10 judicial technicians arrived in San Jose de Apartado. On February 25
the helicopters from the Colombian Armed Forces finally arrived at the
farm. That afternoon they confirmed that five bodies were in the grave:
of two children (a 6 year-old and a two year-old), a woman and two men.
were identified as Natalia Andrea Tuberquia Munoz (6 years old),
Tuberquia Munoz (2 years old), Sandra Milena Munoz, Alfonso Bolivar and
Alejandro Perez Cuiles. The adults
showed signs of dismemberment.
February 25 at 5:30 p.m., the bodies of Luis Eduardo, Deiner Andres,
Beyanira were found by members of the peace community near the Mulatos
health center. The bodies were lying in an open field. This discovery
immediately communicated to Dr. Franco and a judicial commission was
to the area. Nevertheless, the bodies were not recovered until the
Monday, February 21, 2005 military troops from the XVII Brigade of the
Army arrived at El Barro where they held six families from the area
February 26. On February 26 a commission from the Peace Community
the site and was able to procure the release of the families held
Those held by the XVII Brigade, including women and children, had not
allowed to leave for any reason, were continuously threatened and
by the soldiers. They were not allowed to bring in any food to the
Additionally, the soldiers dug two graves, telling their hostages that
would be killed and buried as soon as the soldiers received the
During the time they held the six families, the soldiers made many
against the Peace Community and their accompaniment.
soldiers arrived on February 21, they told the residents they had
guerrillas –a man, a woman and a child. Since Luis Eduardo, the leader
Peace Community, his girlfriend Beyanira, and his son had just left El
heading toward Cantarrana where they had a cacao farm, the families
soldiers that they had killed members of the Peace Community. Upon
this, the soldiers decided that the three had been killed by
They then indicated that they had actually come from Las Nieves and had
four people from a family there.
soldiers had scrawled anti-guerrilla graffiti signing as the Battalion
the XVII Brigade. They removed the graffiti when the rescue commission
at the site.
Community commission and the accompaniment team received a message sent
those held at El Barro imploring them to rescue the families, stating
were being held totally against their will and without access to food.
contact was established with the official responsible for the 33
they told him that members of the Peace Community and accompaniment had
at el Barro to free the families held there, exactly where the troops
quartered. The official denied any families were at the site and stated
would be a waste of time to attempt to free them as the area was
February 26, the area where Luis Eduardo, Beyanira and Deiner’s bodies
found was totally cordoned off by the Counter-Guerrilla Police of Uraba
Battalion Velez and soldiers from Battalion 33. A soldier from the 33
found a bloody machete near the bodies, which he picked up. In front of
those present, he took the machete to the Mulato River and scrubbed it
sand. This accomplished; he told the soldiers that the machete was the
used to kill the victims. This incident was immediately communicated to
Castro of the Police Force. The next day the Federal Commission that
recovered the bodies, and members of the NGO that had participated in
commission, left documentation of the act they had witnessed –the
and concealing of evidence on the part of the soldiers.
the three days the Peace Community Commission and their accompaniment
present, it was confirmed that the only uniformed individuals in the
been soldiers from the XVII Brigade, 33 Battalion. Many people
on Friday, February 18, 2005 a major military operation was launched
several angles with troops converging on Mulatos. They received
farmers from Las Nieves, Mulatos and La Esperanza confirming that
families have disappeared. Families in La Resbalosa announced there
waiting for accompaniment and planned to leave the area.
the past twelve months, the Corporacion Juridica Libertad has
informed the national government that an effective means of protecting
Peace Community needed to be put in place. And, as stated on various
by the Inter-American Human Rights Court, there is an especially urgent
remove the XVII Brigade from the area as their ties to the paramilitary
been amply demonstrated. The various state entities responsible for the
coordination and implementation of provisional measures, including the
government, the Attorney General, and the Public Prosecutor, have been
uniformly unwilling to comply with the suggestions made by the
Human Rights Commission.
March 1, 2005