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Colombia: Paramilitaries murder peace community leader

Dairo Torres, coordinator of the Alto Bonito humanitarian zone, was murdered on July 13 by members of the "Black Eagles" paramilitary organization.

On July 13, 2007 at 12:15 p.m. two men who had the previous day identified themselves as members of the “Black Eagles” paramilitary organization, stopped a public transport vehicle, forced Peace Community member Dairo Torres out of the vehicle, and shot and killed him. Dairo was the coordinator of the Alto Bonito humanitarian zone, located about 4 hours walk from the San Josecito Peace Community, since 2004. He was a serious, responsible leader in the hamlets in the San Josecito area.

Dairo was murdered less than 2 minutes drive from a police checkpoint on the road between Apartado and San Jose. His murderers had been seen at about 9:10 a.m. talking to and sitting next to the police at the checkpoint. It is clear that the police were complicit in the murder of Dairo.

Please write to President Uribe to tell him the international community supports the Peace Community and is watching what happens to Community members. Ask him why the paramilitaries keep killing with impunity in association with the Police, as has frequently happened and as if no demobilization of paramilitaries had happened at all. We all expect an investigation to be carried out by his government, with the murderers arrested and tried for their heinous crime. We also expect the Uribe government to bring the Police to justice for their collaboration with the paramilitaries in this killing.

Trade & war in Colombia

The Colombian government is threatening to reject Plan Colombia II funding if they don’t get the FTA - let’s make sure this threat is realized!

Congress is gearing up for a vote on the U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement while the House drafts its version of the foreign aid bill. The bill will determine the make-up of "Plan Colombia II," which plans to extend more than $600 million to fund the War on Drugs that has failed to reduce production and trafficking of cocaine. You can sway their vote.

What’s at stake

U.S. policy is on the path towards making the conflict in Colombia worse if military aid continues and the FTA is ratified. In Mexico NAFTA caused 1.7 million peasants to be displaced it will likely do the same in Colombia. Let’s not carry on policies that will add to the 3.8 million people who have fled their homes from violence over the last two decades.

Call today to tell Congress to change direction on trade and war in Colombia!

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