COLOMBIA: Aportes San Isidro increases violent harassment of Las Pavas community, including attempted arson

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CPTnet
1 July 2013
COLOMBIA: Aportes San Isidro increases violent harassment of Las Pavas
community, including attempted arson

 On Monday 24 June 2013, as two CPTers arrived in Las Pavas,
four armed security guards on horses appeared and prevented them from traveling
by motorcycle the rest of the way to the settlement of campesinos.  The
guards claimed that the land they were traveling on was private property of the
palm company Aportes San Isidro despite government rulings that the land of Las
Pavas is state land to be titled to the small farmers who have been working the
land for decades.  After engaging in conversation about the illegality of
this restriction of movement, the CPTers dismounted the motorcycles and walked
the remaining fifty meters to the settlement.

 
  Community members carry
supplies along the road the
company’s security guards
are patrolling.

The next morning, 25 June, three Las Pavas community
members were arriving to the farm with their farming tools when five armed
guards stopped them on the main road and would not allow them to continue.
 Two CPTers arrived with other community members. The guards were adamant
that the men could not pass with farm implements regardless of international
presence.  They insulted the CPTers and accused them of being guerillas
who had brainwashed the community.  The three men had to return home
and lost a day’s work in their fields.

A couple of hours later, community members asked CPTers to
accompany their people arriving from town, carrying supplies for their homes.
 CPTers carried baskets along the road under the watchful eye of the
security guards who looked inside to see what they were carrying but let them
pass.  While passing through, Mario Marmol the head security guard,
unsuccessfully tried to steal a CPTer’s personal camera from the hands of a
campesino. 

On Wednesday June 26 June two armed security guards
followed campesino farmers to their land.  The farmers had taken two law
students with them to show them the crops. The security guards accused them of
having clandestine guerilla meetings on the farm and chopped down one of the
farmer’s fences.

At 11:13 a.m. on Thursday, 27 June a ball of fire was
launched at the communal ranch house.  In an

 
A ball of socks lit with diesel fuel
burns on the ground after being
launched at the communal ranch house
on June 27.
 

attempt to burn down the thatch
roof structure, a ball of socks held together with wire and doused in diesel
fuel was lobbed at the ranch from inside the palm crops of Aportes San Isidro.
 The fireball flew over the ranch house where one CPTer was inside and
landed on the tin roof of a community member, bouncing twice and falling to the
ground.  A pregnant woman with her three children was inside the house at
the time. 

The situation in Las Pavas
is escalating and the palm company Aportes San Isidro is enjoying continued
impunity from the Colombian authorities.  CPT denounces these continued
acts of violence against the Las Pavas community and prays that the Colombian
government will take action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these rural
farmers.

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As global capitalism continues to exploit, Canada is seeing an increase of folks sleeping on the street. In Toronto, there is a growing encampment on the church property where our office is located. CPT is in solidarity with residents of the encampment.  Unfortunately, some Canada Post workers have since refused to deliver mail to our office. We are unsure if the mail is being stored somewhere or will be returned to sender. To ensure your donations make it to CPT, now would be a good time to switch to online donations, if you are able.  

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