|Villa Rica Police Station Bombing|
|Thursday, 12 July 2012 11:59|
Villa Rica, in tears after the violent attack, is raising its voice calling for peace and asking for the police station to be rebuilt outside the area where people live.
In the first half of February, two attacks on the police caused the death of Colombian civilians in two different Afro-Colombian localities, with some of the most vulnerable sectors of Colombian people, Tumaco in Nariño, and Villa Rica in the Cauca region.
'Civilians never count'
The explosion in the town of Villa Rica caused the death of 7 people, including 5 civilians, and more than 40 wounded. News reports on this issue focused on official statements by the police and other authorities as to the responsibility for the attack, completely ignoring issues of community safety. However, the state has a major responsibility to protect its citizens from the conflict, especially those in poor rural and most vulnerable communities – but security of civilians is never the priority of Colombian authorities. This appears to be the rule in the Colombian conflict.
'No to the violent acts, there are other ways to change the world'
The victims were buried on 4th February and a march for peace organised on 7th February, in which around 3,000 people participated to say “No to the violent acts, there are other ways to change the world”, to call for peace, to express their concerns about their security and to demand the relocation of the police station to a new position away from the population centre – the presence of the police station in the middle of the town endangers, rather than protects, civilians from the conflict.
Solidarity with Villa Rica
The Colombia Solidarity Campaign has been showing its solidarity to the community of Villa Rica through different educational and cultural activities and visited Villa Rica during the last delegation in summer 2011. We have experienced people’s desire to live in peace and to organise for a better life through traditional self-sustainable agricultural projects and to oppose the expansion of the sugar cane plantations that surround them.
We will continue with our solidarity towards this and other communities in Colombia and encourage the international community to do the same, leaving aside the media and listening to the people, who often tell us a very different story.
Immediately After the Attack
Community-led March for Peace and Against the Presence of all Armed Groups in the Area
Funeral for the Victims of the Attack