Since Sunday 18 March severeal human rights organisations have denounced to the national authorities, including the national Police, the open paramilitary presence in the north east sector of this oil port.
Up till now, 4 days later, units of the police and army based in Brrancabermeja have not carried out any action against these irregular forces:
The paramilitaries who entered BostÛn district on Wednesday 21 March in a public service bus are still there. They are setting up a permanent presence in the district and have summoned the inhabitants of the district to a meeting, but up to now we do not know where and when it will take place.
At this moment. 12.10pm on 22 March, a delegation composed of social organisations from Barrancabermeja, international accompaniment organisations and the Public Defender (Ombudsman) has gone into BostÛn district. Its mission is to collect information as to what is happening in the barrio. On its arrival at the district the delgation note two things:
- The open presence of the paramilitaries in the district. Members of the delegation affirmed that some ten paramilitaries were stationed opposite the entrance to the priests office of the Holy Family parish church. They stopped taxis that the delegation was using to asked who it was.
- The total absence of public forces in the district in spite of the protests that had been made through the whole morning to let officials know about the paramilitary presence there.
We demand that the civilian authorities, as well as the public forces, finally assume, in full seriousness and responsibility, their constitutional duty to guarantee the lives of the people of Barrancabermeja and the inhabitants of BostÛn district in the light of the risk that they are now under.
PERMAMENT REGIONAL WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE IN MAGDALEN MEDIO,
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CORPORACION.