On august 4th 2013, a threat entitled “comunicado público #12” with the headline “Los Rastrojos, Comandos Urbanos” has been issued. It mentioned several organizations, human rights defenders, lawyers and politicians of opposition.
In this threat, Jose Humberto Torres, lawyer of the Solidaridad con Presos Políticos Committee (CSPP), Iván Cepeda, chamber representative and representative of the Jose Alvear Restrepo lawyers collective and every member of the Movement of Victims of State Crimes (Movice) were targeted as “military objective”.
The threat has been issued on Sunday, august 4th at 5:50 pm and was sent from email address firstname.lastname@example.org . It also targeted as “military objective” the following persons and social organizations: “Sintramienergetica, Funtraenergetica y Sintraime, Edgar Muñoz Araujo, Juan Aguas Romero, Cesar Florez Rodriguez, Ruben Morron Guerrero, Yonis Ojeda Lobo, Jorge Pelaez Suarez, Humberto Suarez, John Mendoza Mendoza, James Trillos, Estivenson Avila Pertuz, Sergio Becerra Moreno, José Olarte Carrascal, Omar Traslaviñas Vargas, Apolinar Rojas Payares, Sabas Brito Mendoza, Horacio Llanos Avila, Luis Manuel Mendoza, Miguel Corvacho Ortiz, Libardo Ledesma Fernández, Ricardo Machado, Wilder Martinez, Luis Morales Lopez, Ever Causado, Marcos Mendoza, Henry Ayala Gualdron ... Alexander Lopez, Jorge Enrique Robledo, Hensel Delgado Rada, Jose Humberto Torres, Iván Cepeda, Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, Marcha Patriotica, Polo Democratico Alternativo and several other organizations who, according to our sources, are in direct relation with leaders of FARC and ELN narco-guerrillas…”
The persons named in this threat are described as “Union guerrilleros leaders” and “ideologists in lawyers, senators and representatives cassocks…insurgents”. They are accused of “attacking the good and nobles intentions towards peace and democratic prosperity of Dr. Juan Manuel Santos’s high government and doing so, holding back progress brought by multinational companies such as Glencore, Drummond, Pacific rubiales, AngloGold Ashanti”.
The document also states that the paramilitary group “Los Rastrajos” realized a “thorough investigation process and used infiltration as a way to gather information”. It is also requesting “the lifting of all disturbance of social order such as blockades and protests”.
The communiqué released by the Rastrojos was issued a day before Marmato and Irra (Caldas)’s municipal authorities imposed a curfew to their municipalities.
Furthermore, this threat happens when senior government officials once again link the national protests with the FARC: on Monday august 5, the business section of the newspaper “El Tiempo” published an interview with the Minister of Labour Rafael Pardo, in wich he stated that “the FARC are speaking out of both sides of their mouths… while in Havana they are concluding agreements and conciliations, the Marcha Patriótica's Unions are in confrontation…”
The members of Sintramienérgetica who were named in the threat are negotiators for the union with Drummond enterprise and who led a strike in response to the negotiations of their demands since July 23rd.
On March 14 2012, “Los Rastrajos” offered a 200 million pesos reward for the assassination of Jose Humberto Torres, lawyer of the CSSP, an offer that still stands.
On February 6 2013, the planning of an attack targeting the representative Iván Cepeda was revealed by an anonymous phone call which informed that the brothers Pedro y Santiago Gallón Henao would have paid and sent an armed group in the municipality of Melgar (Tolima) to perpetrate the assassination.
On April 1st 2013, “Los Rastrajos” sent an email entitled “Comunicado público # 001” under the same format, threatening 92 organizations as well as social and political leaders.
-That the Columbian authorities and specifically the Fiscalía General de la Nación, clarify the content and circumstances of this threat and realize a full-fledged inquiry resulting in the arrest and punishment of those responsible for it;
-That the Columbian authorities and specifically the National Protection Section, the Presidential Human Rights program, the International humanitarian law and the National Police take urgent preventive measures to ensure appropriate safety to the persons and organizations mentioned in the threat;
-That the national and international community take action to ensure that the authorities do everything in their power to meet the requirements set out above.
Photo: La semana