Colombian Peace Community Leader Murdered by Colombian Army Print
Friday, 18 November 2005 00:00
While the weekend?s events to close the School of the Americas (SOA) are getting started and thousands are converging in Columbus, Georgia, we received sad news from our friends in the Colombian Peace Community San Jos? de Apartad?. Yesterday, on Thursday, November 17th, 2005, troops commanded by General Luis Alfonso Zapata Uribe* attacked and killed Arlen Salas David, a leader of the peace community.

10,000 Colombian soldiers have been trained at the SOA/WHINSEC. Colombia continues to send more soldiers to the SOA than any other country--with chilling results. SOA graduates are consistently cited for human rights abuses. The U.S. is an active contributor to the war in Colombia, providing extensive military and economic aid to the Colombian government. We need to stand in solidarity with the people of Colombia, change U.S. foreign policy and close the SOA.

*General Luis Alfonso Zapata Uribe, who has commanded the 17th Brigade of the Colombian Army since May 2005, was trained in counter-insurgency at the School of the Americas. He attended the ?Small-Unit Infantry Tactics C-7? course to become ?familiar with small-unit operational concepts and principles at the squad and platoon level, ? [to] receive training in planning and conducting small-unit tactical operations.?

The SAN JOSE DE APARTADO PEACE COMMUNITY wrote today (November 18 2005):

?We make an appeal for national and international support, so that our extermination can be stopped; so that the inhabitants of the whole region of Arenas Altas are not forced to become internally displaced, which the Army has told us is their objective. The serious and committed work that ARLEN was carrying out will guide us. Pain barely lets us talk but we will continue to cry ?Dignity? out loud, like he taught us to do during his daily chores and his commitment to the community. His two small children will continue to walk besides us, building a different tomorrow in which there will be respect for life. ARLEN, OUR TEARS ACCOMPANY THIS HORROR BUT YOU ARE WITH US, GIVING US LIFE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP, FOR YOUR COMMITMENT. SOMEDAY HISTORY WILL JUDGE THOSE WHO MURDERED YOU.?

Click here to read the entire message from the San Jos? de Apartad? community in Spanish

Click here to r For the translation of the statement into English, click here

Click here for information about the February massacre in San Jos? de Apartad?

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