For some weeks, the inhabitants of the municipality of La Esperanza, in North of SantanderThey live in fear and anxiety. Through pamphlets and audios, sent by social networks, gulf clan threatened and declared the inhabitants of this region of the country a military objective.
In the audios, the illegal armed group mentioned that it will carry out “social cleansing” against psychoactive substance users and kill those who impersonate them and “do not behave well”.
Faced with this situation, the Mediator issued the Early Warning 06-2023who was sent to the Ministry of the Interior to protect residents of the urban sectors of La Feria I, Feria II, Santa Inés, San Antonio, Caño Hacienda and Tienda Nueva and in the corregimiento La Pedregosa.
The Mediator Carlos Camargo noted that:
“The situation is critical and serious acts of violence have already been recorded in this population. On January 25, for example, 5 young people who allegedly used marijuana were murdered in a place known as La Batea, in the neighborhood of La Feria,” the official said.
In the Early warning Applications have also been sent to the town hall hope, to the Government of Norte de Santander and the Victims Unit, so that the victims of the municipality are assisted and accompanied.
Likewise, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation was tasked with investigating the cases in order to identify and prosecute those responsible for the threats and attacks against the population, and the Office of the Attorney General and the Personería with monitoring the actions of the authorities in the implementation of prevention and protection measures for the civilian population.
At the end of his speech, Carlos Camargo highlighted the creation of preventive measures and rapid response to the risk factors reported by the Early Warning System (SAT), in such a way, “that the authorities urgently adopt the necessary and relevant measures to prevent and ward off the risks and threats”, concluded the Ombudsman.
In one of the warnings issued by the Mediator It can be noted that the Arístides Meza Páez block of the Edgar Madrid Benjumea front of the gulf clan“shows its interest in expanding its presence from Puerto Wilches, Barrancabermeja and Sabana de Torres, in Santander, to municipalities such as La Esperanza in Norte de Santander, and San Alberto and San Martín, in the department of Cesar”, reads one in the report .public act.
According to official figures, currently in North of Santander there are more than 90,000 victims of armed conflictthe majority in the Catatumbo sub-region.
The National Center for Historical Memory assured that over the past seven years, in North of Santanderby the presence of paramilitary groups, 99,074 people have been forcibly displaced, representing 59.5% of displacements over the past 32 years. There were also 832 cases of selective assassinations and 599 deaths in massacres: 403 by paramilitaries and 142 by guerrillas.
The report Catatumbo: Memories of Life and Dignity argues that the armed conflict It reached this sub-region at the end of the 1970s and worsened at the end of the 1980s, when the ELN, the EPL and the FARC reinforced their military actions with selective assassinations, kidnappings, extortion and capture of cities. But it was between 1999 and 2006 that the region experienced unprecedented violence, with the action of three paramilitary structures: the Bloc Catatumbo, the Héctor Julio Peinado Becerra Front and the Motilona Resistance Front.