ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
MILITARY OPERATIONS IN RURAL AREAS
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss military operations in rural
parts of Colombia and their impact on the local and Indian populations.
In making this review, the Commission does not seek to make a thorough
analysis of such a complex problem as the situation of the Indians.
This problem, as it is in any other country in the Americas, has
implications of different types, among them, anthropological, sociological,
legal, economic, cultural and religious.
Colombian military authorities have informed the Commission that these
operations have not resulted in the militarization of certain geographical
areas. Military regimes have not
been established in any of these areas and the civil authorities designated by
the central government continue to carry out their normal functions.
In recent months, the Commission has received claims and information
referring to military operations in certain rural parts of Colombia.
According to that information, these operations have had adverse effects
on the local farm population and on certain Indian communities.
Some of the information that is in the hands of the Commission speaks of
“militarized” zones, resulting from military operations aimed at eradicating
subversive movements and the armed and political activities of guerrilla groups,
among them the FARC and the M-19, in those rural areas.
The Case of the El Pato region
On September 12, 1980, the Commission received the following claim:
Three thousand campesinos from the El Pato Region have come to
Neiva, the capital city of Huila Department.
This exodus started on August 27 following air bombardments and other
military operations. Legislative
bodies such as the Council of Neiva have announced their unanimous opposition to
new acts of repression against the civil population and have demanded the
demilitarization of farming areas and implementation of full guarantees for the
local people. Last August 31, 100
police agents occupied the lands of the Embera-Katia Indian community in the
municipality of Bagadó, Chocó Department.
As a result of this punitive action Luis Enrique Arce, an Indian and the
Governor of Cabildo, Jairo, were killed.
The Indians have denounced the disappearance of five children and the
destruction of huts, personal belongings, tools and the loss of a large sum of
money that was to be used to pay the workers of the gold mines they own. /
In a communication dated October 15, 1980, the Government replied to the
Commission’s request for information as follows:
It is not true that three thousand campesinos have left the El
Pato region as a result of air bombardments or other types of military
operations. This exodus of people
has been caused by subversive elements belonging to the FARC who have attempted
to stop the public force action that was being carried out in neighboring areas
as a result of the serious incidents caused by that criminal organization last
August 18 when three soldiers of the national army were killed.
Members of the National Congress and the Colombian press went to the El
Pato region and saw that the area had not been subjected to bombardment by the
air force. This type of military
action was used only once to bring about the capture of a clandestine airport
located in the Las Perlas area, outside the El Pato zone, This airport had been
used by these anti-social elements as the delivery point of large sums of money
as ransom for persons kidnapped. As
the congressmen and journalists were able to see, no houses or properties that
could have been affected by the air force action exist within ten kilometers of
The President of the Republic and several ministers had the opportunity
to talk with a delegation of approximately 80 campesinos that said they
were from El Pato. The purpose of
this meeting was to examine the situation, which has arisen there.
During this meeting the Government informed them that the persons
actually responsible for the disturbances of that region were the members of the
FARC. It then read out the names of 103 local people who had been killed by that
subversive organization in violation of their human rights. One interesting
point, it should be noted, is that there were only eight campesinos at
that meeting who were actually from the El Pato region.
The other 72 were recruited from areas around this capital city through a
deceitful maneuver by several leaders of the Communist party.
The large majority of the campesinos involved in the August 27
exodus have now returned to El Pato, the area in which the national Government
and the army, in particular, have been building an important highway and other
works of interest for development of that region.
As for the situation that has arisen in the municipality of Bagadó,
Department of Chocó, between the members of an Indian Community and the
national police, it should be recalled that this intervention of the public
force was carried out under the terms of an injunction issued by competent civil
authority. An investigation is being conducted into the incident between
the authorities and the Indian community. /
Colombian Government has turned over to the Commission other documents on this
case. These documents deal with
different aspects of these military operations.
One of these documents reads as follows:
1954 the Guayabero and El Pato region has been used as the chief refuge and
center for organization and training of the armed groups that operate in
different parts of the country under the direction of the Communist Party of
Colombia and, at this time, the self-named Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de
the start this organization has been carrying out intense activity in an effort
to convert and coerce the people living in the region.
They have conditioned their stay there and their lives on gaining their
addition to this, these groups and specifically, those in the area of influence
of Guayabero and El Pato, have conducted several criminal activities in the past
on neighboring villages
of army and police patrols
following persons were killed in these
June 4, 1980, in the area surrounding the Uribe (Meta) police inspection
station, anti-social elements of the FARC ambushed an armed patrol and killed
August 18, 1980, in the area of Puerto Crevaux, these same anti-social elements
ambushed another army patrol and killed two soldiers at this time.
Following these events, the army with the corresponding and necessary
support from the air force launched operations on August 19.
To date, the army has located the following installations:
- The installations of the so-called “chiefs of staff,” located on
right bank of the Guayabero River, with two lodgings for personnel, four huts
for the kitchen, dining room and dispensary, an escape tunnel 20 meters by one
meter, and infantry training field and wooden training rifles.
- Installations occupied by Luis Alberto Morantes Jaimes (also know as
Jacobo Arenas), the political chief of the organization, located on the Right
Bank of the Leiva River, with the following facilities: hut, kitchen,
dispensary, camp for 40 men and training field.
This area had fortified surroundings.
- Landing field on the left bank of the Leiva River with two huts for the
kitchen and lodging for men. This
800-meter long field was built by the bandits whom they used for landings and
take-off of DC-3 airplanes.
- Installations at Puerto Chiguiro, with shoe-repair, leather-working,
sewing, and carpentry shops, a dental clinic, an armory, two huts, lodging for
80 men each, and a conference building for 150 men.
The area sound this installation is also fortified.
- Installations at Guayabo Negro, with lodging for 20 men, kitchen, a sugar
mill, shooting range and dispensary. This
area is also fortified.
- Installations in the Moja Huevas gorge, with hut, dining room, sports
fields, and housing for 100 men. This
area is also fortified.
- Camp across from the so-called Sara Cruz house, on the Guayabero River,
with hut, dining room, kitchen and lodging for 60 men.
This area is also fortified.
EXODUS OF LOCAL PEOPLE
a result of the presence of troops in the area where, for a considerable length
of time, there has been no authority other than that of the seditious elements
and since the local population is afraid of them and obedient to them, the
so-called chiefs of staff of the self-named FARC gave the order to evacuate the
area for the following purposes:
- To generate a social problem in the city of Neiva to pressure the
Government into compliance with their demands.
- To use certain local persons to conduct a well designed propaganda
campaign thorough the national media to have public opinion condemn the action
of the troops.
- To remove small groups of local persons to the principal cities for the
apparent purpose of looking for human solidarity but for the real purpose of
promoting disorder among students and workers.
CIVIC ACTION OF THE MILITARY FORCES
the operational area the military forces encircled the El Pato and Guayabero
region to keep the anti-social elements from spreading their criminal activities
beyond the control area, and to support the different works that the military
command is carrying out there. These
projects include civil and military cooperation in the so-called rehabilitation
plans, developed after 1966 directly by the army command in coordination with
governmental, semi-official and private agencies, were designed to build the
basic infrastructural works needed to rehabilitate the region, to reintegrate it
into the national economy and to eliminate the primary socioeconomic causes of
the disturbances of public order. Many
of these social problems were started by the FARC groups and were being
exploited by them in their political conversion activities.
the start of execution of these plans, the decisive participation of the
military forces helped to achieve the following:
1) The reintegration of former inhabitants who had been removed from their
land by the anti-social elements. More
than 300 families returned to the El Pato region during this stage.
2) A loan program was conducted by the Caja Agraria for families who
resettled in Alto Pato. Under this
program, each family received a loan of $74,000.
3) A road section of the Platanillal – Balsillas road 24 kilometer long
4) A mule path 40 kilometers long from Yucales
- Balsillas San Jorge was built.
5) A dirt road 13 kilometers long between Holanda and Pueblitos was build.
6) Organizational assistance was given to a number of consumer cooperatives,
with the help of the national Superintendence of Cooperatives and IDEMA:
7) The National Coffee Growers Federation helped to build a school in Upper
Pato region in 1975. Later, another
was built in Galicia (Middle Pato).
8) A health center was built at San Jorge (Upper Pato) for permanent health
services in the person of a nurse from the National Health Service.
a later stage of this work (starting in November 1976) the Balsillas. San
Vicente road was started with a projected total of 111 kilometers.
Of this amount, 36 are now designed and 25 are built, following an
investment of $42,589,000.
this time, the average cost of this work is $4,000,000 per kilometer.
On October 10, 1980, the Permanent Committee for the defense of Human
Rights published a press bulletin about this case.
In addition to other points, this document makes the following:
is not the first time that the Colombian army has committed aggression in the El
Pato region. During the violence
unleashed in 1948 throughout the entire country, this was one of the hardest hit
areas. During the second wave
of violence in 1955, military forces bombarded and systematically machine-gunned
the region of Villarica and Galilea, converting their fields into cemeteries and
forcing the survivors to move to El Pato and Guayabero.
In 1965, under the same pretext that is brandished about now, that is,
“suppressing the independent republics,” the Colombian army, advised by a
United States military mission, committed the most ferocious genocide of campesinos
of this region. Once again the area
was machine-gunned and bombarded, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives,
property and other goods of the local people.
Hundreds of settlers were detained and tortured.
The others emigrated in a mass movement to the cities.
in 1971, the Government guaranteed that the farmers could return freely to this
area affected by violence and promised that the army would not intervene there
militarily. It also promised these campesinos
that hey would se socioeconomic development plants, school, health centers,
loans, highways and other improvements. None
of these plans has been carried out by the authorities.
the promises to refrain from military operations in the region, In August 1980,
troops of the Ninth Brigade invade, bombarded and machine-gunned these rural
areas under the pretext of repelling a guerrilla attack and arguing that
Colombia could not tolerate the presence of “independent republics.”
new military actions provoked a new massive flight of the civilian population.
Two thousand persons, among them men, women, old people and children,
marched hundred of kilometers to Neiva and other cities to save their lives.
The economic losses were great since crops and cattle were abandoned.
Congress of the Republic has appointed investigating committees to find a
settlement for this problem. Most
of the departmental assemblies and the municipal councils have requested that
the El Pato area be demilitarized.
its part, the government and the military affirm that the army will remain in
the area for an indefinite time and they refuse to offer sufficient guarantees
to the campesinos so that they can return to their land without risking
their lives. Authorities have also
refused to guarantee that they will not impose measures that are in effect in
other militarized parts of the country, among them, the implementation of
military passes for moving about, constant personal appearances at control
points, restrictions on the trade of foods and medicines, massive detentions,
raids and tortures at the military Camps.
the problem still has no solution in sight. The campesinos refuse to
return until they have sufficient guarantees and will continue taking refuge at
the stadium in Neiva. Hundreds of
the families there suffer form the inclement weather and one child has already
died from gastroenteritis.
Other Military Operations
In a communication dated February 5, 1981, the Commission received
information on new military operations in rural parts of Colombia. This information included press releases on those operations.
The pertinent parts of this information follow:
are also sending to you press clippings informing the Colombian people about a
new military operation that covers all the territory of the Intendency of Caquetá
and also the departments of Meta, Huila, Tolima and Cauca.
As high military leaders have said, this is a military operation much
broader than any others conducted to this time in Colombia.
This war action, like the others before the civilian population,
especially against local campesinos as has been occurring to date, always
under the pretext of their being the helpers of the rebel groups.
have just learned that preparations are under way for another military operation
against other municipalities and regions in Meta department.
Specifically, there is a threat of a large-scale military occupation of
the area of Medellín del Ariari and the municipalities of Lejanías and San
Juan de Arama. It should be noted that these places have large civilian
populations and it has been more than twenty years since there has been violence
there. To the contrary, Colombians
in general know that the inhabitants of these places are hard working, peaceful
people. I t is clear that this
unusual activity of the Colombian Armed Forces is closely linked to the
discussion and possible approval by the national Congress of the official draft
law on a presumed amnesty for the rebels. The behavior of the high military commanders is aimed at
increasing public tension and making it practically impossible to apply the
benefits of the amnesty, which would obviously be qualified and limited.
At the time, the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in
Colombia turned over to the Commission a report of military operations conducted
in 1980. This report reads as
10, 1980 – Puerto Boyacá: Five thousand (5,000) soldiers were sent to
reinforce the militarization oft his municipality.
Dos Quebradas, El marfil, Pinzón and Guanegro are the targets of strong
restrictive measures. Their
inhabitants are under strict controls for purchases of food, medicines and goods
in general. Troops raid the homes
of these people. Some people have
been detained and tortured. Among
these are Luis Enrique Henao and his son, Luis Enrique and Luis Carlos Galindo,
their family members have denounced their disappearance.
17, 1980 -
La Uribe (Meta): a large
and representative group of inhabitants from la Uribe met with Minister Germán
Zea Hernández and denounced the bombardment of their village.
Military helicopters and airplanes took part in that operation in which
the homes and streets of the village were indiscriminately bombed on several
occasions. Later, land troops
occupied the village and started to search homes, businesses and teaching
establishments. Several of the repressive measures adopted by the troops are
required passes, control of supplies, appearance of citizens before military
base commanders and massive and indiscriminate detention of citizens.
According to the members of this group, more than 50 persons have
detained. These include farmers,
businessmen, schoolteachers, and the physician of the Office of the Secretary of
health and the Police Inspector.
1980 – Arauca: Hundred of soldiers belonging to the Seventh Brigade were
sent to the Fortul region (Intendencia of Arauca) under the pretext of pursuing
alleged members of the FARC. Troops
of the Air Transport Battalion and the Guías del Casanare Battalion are
participating in this military operation.
24, 1980 – El Pato: Military airplanes and helicopters bombarded the place
know as Las Perlas in the lower Pato region between the department of Huila and
the Intendency of Caquetá. The
bombardment is part of the Pato operation planned by the Ninth Brigade
headquartered in Neiva, the capital of Huila.
As a result of the bombing, more than 1,500 families of local settlers
left the area. These terrified campesinos
abandoned their farms, livestock and crops and went to the cities of Neiva and
San Vicente del Caguán. In Neiva,
authorities sheltered the farmers and their families in a sports stadium.
The unhealthy conditions, the confusion and the overcrowding resulted in
the death of three small children.
1, 1980 – Chocó: A military operation approved and coordinated by the
Ministry of Defense and the National Police command in Bogotá was carried out
in the Upper Andágueda, a region located on the boundaries between the
departments of Antioquia and Chocó. The
Embera-Catín Indian tribe inhabits this jungle area.
This tribe has been harassed for several years by military and police
authorities who defend the interest of large Antioquia landowners interested in
depriving the Indians of a rich gold mine located within the boundaries of their
all, 200 police agents armed with rifles and grenades took part in this
repressive action. The press repots
that news military and national police groups have gone to the area to
strengthen the public forces involved in these operations.
A committee of Indians reached Bogotá and claimed that during the
repressive action, Jairo Rivera, Roberto Murillo and the Governor of the
reservation, Enrique Daza, were killed. This
committee also claimed that during the political aggression against the Indians,
4 children disappeared and 8 Indians were taken prisoner, several wounded among
10, 1980 – Urabá (Antioquía): The troops of Operational Command No. 11,
headquartered at the La Maporita of Dabeiba Base, were reinforced by military
units belonging to Voltígeros, Junín and Bomboná battalions, making a total
of 10,000 men belonging to the infantry, the navy, the air force and the
paratroopers. This was the start of
a pincer operation under the pretext of putting and end to the rebels.
As a result, the local campesinos fled to the city.
10, 1980 – Santander: The southern part of the department of Santander has
been militarized and the municipalities of La Paz, Santa Elena, Vélez and Florián
occupied. The reason for this,
according to high military officers, is the murder of Nolasco Niño who was
executed by civilians who have been seen many times accompanying army patrols.
These persons also shot José Rodríguez, a teacher in the leg.
16, 1980 – Urabá: Several operational units of the Caucheras military
garrison started a large-scale military operation in the Urabá region. Army soldiers and groups of individuals dressed in civilian
clothing, who belong to the counter-insurgent force, occupied the districts of
El Sungo, San Martín, La Pancha, San José, El Mariano, La Balsa, Los
Mandarines, El Gaz, El Salto, Arenas, Oviedo, Caravallo, Caravallito, and Pueblo
Galleta which are in the municipalities of Apartadó en Turbo.
They also took the districts of Leoncito and La Curva in the municipality
of Mutatá where they held and tortured seven (7) civilians, among them, Alfredo
Pérez, Conrado Pérez and Tocayo Durán.
delegation of counselors from the region requested a meeting with the Minister
of Government and legislators from Antioquia for the purpose of requesting
guarantees and the withdrawal of the army so that they are not forced to
emigrate to the cities. The members
of the group state that the operation has been in preparation since early in the
year when the military garrison was installed at Caucheras.
In January 1981, military authorities reported to the Commission on
several parts of the military actions in rural areas and the operational fronts
of the FARC in those areas. In
conversations about this matter, the following points were covered:
a) The military operations were carried out in geographical areas where
subversive groups have been active and where the FARC has been active for a long
The rural military action of the FARC includes the establishment of
guerrilla fronts in the following areas:
The El Pato region in the department of Huila and in Caquetá;
ii) Department of Huila;
iii) Department of Caquetá
iv) Middle Magdalena Region;
v) Urabá region;
vi) Parts of the Cauca Valley;
vii) Meta department, specifically in the Guayabero region;
viii) Dismembering of the Fourth Front which operates north of Cimitarra;
ix) Department of Caldas;
x) Arauca region;
xi) Area along the border between the Departments of Boyacá and Cundinamarca.
c) It was also explained that there were eight fronts in 1979 and eleven fronts by early 1981. /
This claim was transmitted
by the Commission to the Colombian Government in a communication dated
September 12, 1980. The
communication requested information about this matter.
The Commission proceeded to open this case as No. 7561.
The pertinent parts of the
Government’s reply were transmitted to the claimant in accordance with the
In addition, the Colombian Government gave to the Commission a report
on the deaths caused by subversive groups in Huila and Caqueta.
This list has 75 persons and their deaths have been attributed to the
FARC. Another list of 16 dead
persons has been charged to the Ejército Popular de Liberación while another
list of 15 has been charged to the M-19.
The Government also turned over to the Commission the press bulletins
issued by the Ministry of national Defense in connection with the military
operations in the areas of Guayabero and El Pato.
Press bulletin No. 041 dated
August 25, 1980, reads as follows: “In
connection with the military operations that army troops have been carrying
out since last August 18, with the support of the air force, and under the
jurisdiction of the Seventh and Ninth Brigades, the ministry of national
Defense reports: 1. Following
several actions carried out in the southern part of Meta department, the
Seventh Brigade occupied and dismantled the command post of the FARC, and its
training and supply areas located to the east of the place known as Puerto
Crevaux. During these operations
army troops took a clandestine airport located at the confluence of the Leiva
and Guayabero Rivers, captured different war material, uniforms, tools for
landing field maintenance, large quantities of medicine, implements to make
uniforms, provisions and large amounts of communist party propaganda.
The landing field is 800 meters long and 40 meters wide and trenches
protect the ends of the runway. 3.
While the Seventh Brigade was occupying a large zone of Meta department
where the FARC had its command post, training and supply areas for a long
time, the Ninth Brigade proceeded yesterday to occupy the general area of Las
Perlas on the boundary between Meta department and the intendency of Caqueta.
4. During their retreat,
the FARC burned their Camps and installations and abandoned equipment, arms,
tools, livestock and crops, thereby losing the logistical support that they
had organized over several years. There
were also indications that in their flight, the FARC took their dead and
wonder with them. 5.
In these actions, First Corporal CARLOS AGUDELO MADRID lost his life in
the performance of his duty and First Corporal FRANCISCO MONTOYA and soldiers
ORLANDO HERNANDEZ HENAO, HENRY VARGAS MUÑOZ and JORGE YANTEN
were wounded. The public is informed that the FARC took first all types of
outrages, including low forms of humiliation and torture.
6. The command had
refrained from conducting military operations in this part of the country in
view of the situation of the local people who wee constantly advantage of to
carry out their criminal intentions. The
national Army and the Colombian Air Force will not stop their operations in
the southern part of the Meta department until they succeed in reducing to
insignificance the FARC elements operating in that zone.”
The pertinent parts of this information from the claimants were
transmitted to the Colombian Government by the Commission in a communication
dated February 10, 1981, as part of case No. 7561.
The press information that was released in Bogotá newspapers referred
to the Government’s actions against the FARC and the M-19 in Caquetá.
These publications include the message which the Commanding Officer of
the Colombian Army, General Fernando Landazábal Reyes, issued to military
personnel at the start of the offensive against the subversive groups.
That statement reads as follows: “In
making up this operational unit, a group of the most select officers and
noncommissioned officers of the army were selected for command and staff
positions. They will be under the
command of Colonel Luis Eduardo Barragán Gutiérrez, a man with long
experience in counter-insurgent warfare and skilled in all forms of army
combat. These soldiers will carry
out their missions. Operational
Command No. Twelve will be in charge of troops selected form the Seventh,
Ninth and Tenth Brigades belonging to the Vargas Infantry Batallion, the
Serviez Air Transport Batallion, the Tenerife Artillery Batallion, the
Magdalena Infantry Batallion, the Cazadores Infantry Batallion, the Juanambú
Infantry Battalion and the Colombia Air Transport Battalion.
I wish to emphasize the patriotism and dedication that the tactical
units that make up operational command number twelve has shown at all times.
In particular, I wish to emphasize the excellent work that they had
carried out in the performance of their duties in the different jurisdictions
where they have performance of their duties in the different jurisdictions
where they have employed their will, enthusiasm and spirits to guarantee the
tranquility, life, honor and property of all our compatriots.
Placing Operational Command No. Twelve in charge of this is consistent
with need to structure a properly commanded and out fitted organizations
which, as a cohesive and disciplined unit convinced of the just cause of our
democratic system, should make all efforts and sacrifices that the present
times require to restore peace to these lands and tranquillity and trust among
the people. I wish to take this
opportunity to request that the people support and work with the troops. Remember that by being at their side, they are supporting
liberty, the legitimate government, democracy, progress and peace.
I wish to state that if, to the contrary, the people are indifferent or
opposed to our cause, which is the cause of the whole country, they should be
mindful, that they are unavoidable participating in this chaos and dissolution
of the Republic. The Americas and
the world offer examples, which I ask the people to consider.
I wish to tell all these people, all men and women of Caquetá,
Putumayo, El Pato, Coreguaje, El Guayabero, La Macarena, Yari and surrounding
areas, that the flag carried by the soldiers is the flag of their traditions,
their customs, their ideas, their liberty, their beloved Colombia.
On the other hand, the banner of the subversive groups is nothing but
he symbol of slavery, repression, and the despotism of the so-called
dictatorship of the proletariat. Under
this form of power, as we see in Poland, the proletariat is the slave and the
Marxist Committee, the tyrant of the society, its people, their property and
their destiny. I also wish to
request civilian and ecclesiastical authorities to view these troops as a
substantive part of our nation and to offer them their support, give them
their counsel and guarantee them the completion of their duty, by all means
available to them. I also ask
them to pay whatever prices that loyalty and sacrifice may demand and to give
the soldiers the constant support of the professional and patriotic enthusiasm
in their hearts. I trust that
with the help of God and the good will of the people of the region, every soon
tranquility and order will be restores to this land of promise for the
progress and happiness of the entire Colombian nation.”
Information from the AFP Press Agency, dated January 24, 1981, Bogotá,
on the military operation in the Caquetá zone, reads:
“Approximately 1,000 persons including alleged guerrillas and their
helpers have been detained since Friday in remote parts of southern Colombia. This was part of a gigantic regular troop offensive against
insurgents, reliable sources said here today. Included in this operation being
conducted in the vast, partially jungle area of Caquetá, are approximately
3,000 men of a new counter-insurgent command, which was launched yesterday by
the Army Commander, General Fernando Landazábal. Most of the arrests were in Florencia, the capital of Caquetá,
where Operations Command No. two, which will be supported by other battalion,
will be based. In this area located in the Colombian Amazon the pro-Soviet
rebel group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), has
become a type of independent ¢Republic¢
as has occurred in other remote areas as will, according to military
spokesmen. According to the same
spokesmen, the FARC, the largest guerrilla group in the country, shot several campesinos
in recent days as presumed traitors and kidnapped six land-owners and an
important businessman, obviously for the purpose of demanding huge ransoms for
their release. These sources also
say this guerrilla counter-offensive is even larger than the one carried out
mid-way through last year in the El Pato region, Huila Department, where
thousands of settlers fled in fear of army bombardments directed at the FARC
and the pro-Castro Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN).”
The Government of Colombia turned over to the Commission a number of
documents including requests from citizen groups, civic leaders, municipal
authorities, and community action groups from different towns and departments
of the country to re-establish army positions or police stations in those
areas, or to expand their jurisdictions.
The purpose of these actions was to protect the rural areas from
violence and threats stemming from the action of the subversive groups.