Saturday March 4th, more than 200 paramilitaries in camouflage uniforms wearing an armband identifying them as Autodefensas Gaitanistas entered the afro-descendent community of Pena Azul, in the municipality of Alto Baudo in the department of Choco. The paramilitaries shot in direction of the population and occurred a confrontation with members of the ELN guerilla. The population fled. Only 5 of the 28 families of the community managed to get to Pie de Pato village (on March 4th). We currently ignore where are the other members of the community, of which many children and elderlies. Up to now, we do not know if there are people injured or assassinated.
8 other communities and about 700 people were confined within the confrontation which continued into the night of the 4th of March to the 5th in the villages of Batal, Las Delicias, Puerto Misael, Boca de Leon, Punta de Pena et Puerto Cardozo, amongst others.
In addition, on Sunday March 5th, , more than 108 displaced families were counted regarding the events that occurred on the 4th of March. The displaced families came from the communities Peña Azul, Bocas de Apartadó, Amparradó y Cocalito. More families are still arriving.
According to a censing operated by the Personaria of Colombia and by the Colombian Red Cross, 340 individuals are currently staying in the House for social action (Casa de Accion Social) in the municipality of Alto Baudo, including 84 young boys, 93 young girls, 3 pregnant women, 17 women breast feeding and 21 elderly.
We urgently ask that :
• The institutions make act of presence and find the remaining families of the Pena Azul community, alive.
• We demand the protection of the right to life and that the necessary assistance be given to the displaced families in the urban area of Pie de Pato.
• We demand from the governmental institutions an effective response to this situation of extreme vulnerability of the families.