Indigenous Leader Disappeared
Elderly indigenous leader José Agustín Poloche was detained by the paramilitary Autodefensas Unids de Colombia (AUC) on 12th May. The Chenche Zaragoza community in Coyaima, Tolima department, lives in exterme poverty. They waited 10 days for José’s return, and then put out an alert seeking whereabouts as a ‘disappeared’ person.
Peasants Abducted and Shot
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Nidia Correa Velasquez and members of the forcibly displaced community of Tulua, department of Valle del Cauca. She was reportedly abducted on 16th May by five unidentified individuals, who are thought to be members of an army-backed paramilitary group operating in the area.
Two days after her abduction, Andres Robledo, President of the Asociacion Campesina de Base "Los Yarumos", "Los Yarumos" Peasant Association was reportedly shot dead by army-backed paramilitaries. Members of the Association have reportedly been threatened by paramilitaries since July 1999.
Ref: UA 156/02 27th May 2002
Paramilitaries Massacre 15 Campesinos and Rape a Woman
On Saturday 18th May, a group of more than 100 men , dressed in military uniforms and bearing the distinctive trademarks of the AUC, entered the villages of San Juan Ito and La Congoja in the municipality of Yondo, Antioquia department.
The paramilitaries detained an undetermined number of campesinos and stopped the transit of vehicles on the road which leads from Yondo to this rural area and suspended all telephone services. 15 rural workers were assassinated and a woman raped, accused of helping the FARC, and the rest of the inhabitants of these villages have been threatened with the same fate if they do not abandon the region in the next 24 hours.
The Valle del Rio Cimitarra Campesino Association