COLOMBIA: Good news for Las Pavas! Government revokes gun permits for Aportes San Isidro security guards.


14 August 2013
COLOMBIA: Good news for Las Pavas!  Government revokes gun permits for Aportes San Isidro security

  Razed plantain field

The Superintendencia de Vigilancia y Seguridad Privada (The
Superintendent of Vigilance and Private Security), the government institution
that regulates surveillance and grants firearms licenses for private security
firms has revoked Aportes San Isidro SA’s license, stripping the right of the
corporation’s private guards to bear arms.

Since mid 2011, under the leadership of Mario Marmol, the
head of security for palm company Aportes San Isidro SA and company lawyer
Danilo Palacio, the campesino community of Las Pavas has suffered many
incidents of harassment and injury by the company’s armed security.

The presence of armed men on the farm has created an overall
insecure work environment for community members who spend much of their day in
pairs or alone working the land.  The
community’s animals and food crops have been destroyed and killed, their ranchos have been torn down, and members of
the community have been shot at and attacked. These acts of intimidation and terrorism
have not only threatened the community’s food security but have created a
climate of forced displacement, an experience etched deep in the historical
memory of the community.  The violence perpetrated by the company’s thugs
has increased in proportion to the legal decisions ruled in favor of the

 Mario Marmol, head of security (center)  

The Superintendent’s decision is a positive step in guaranteeing
the safety, freedom of movement and right to a livelihood of the community.  However, considering the historical ineffectiveness
of the local police force in enforcing the court’s decisions and protecting the
rights of the people, it remains to be seen if these decisions will have a
concrete, positive impact for the community.


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