(Colombia) (Autor: CCAJAR )

Miércoles 6 de diciembre de 2006, por Prensa - Colectivo

“It’s said 16 graves with bodies have already been found here, and that another 600 persons were also murdered. Now do you understand why it’s so distressful -so sad- to learn about this place?”

“It’s said 16 graves with bodies have already been found here, and that another 600 persons were also murdered. Now do you understand why it’s so distressful -so sad- to learn about this place?”

The approximately 20 minutes it takes to go from San Onofre to the farm El Palmar are truly traveled in dread only by thinking about what the hundreds of victims felt while going down this path leading to their death, for the simple reason: “If you were fat, they killed you; if you weren’t, the same. It was just a matter of not liking you.”

Reference is made to Rodrigo Pelufo, alias Cadena, the paramilitary chief in the region, whose whereabouts -despite having supposedly demobilized- are presently unknown. Some say he is in Sincelejo and that “he had his face operated on so he wouldn’t be recognized.”

The farm comprises approximately 2,500 hectares of land. To the left there is an enormous rubber tree with a trunk bearing the marks of what happened here for more than eight years, now seen in the bullet holes left by the paramilitaries who used the massive tree to finish off their victims.

The farm installations are across the way diagonally. After climbing a spiral staircase with approximately 18 steps, you come to a second floor with two rooms that are now totally deserted. The first one, which became known as “the room of the last tear”, is where persons were allowed to leave from to tell of the atrocities that had been committed. This is where the worst violations imaginable were endured as persons were taken there to be tortured before being killed.

The other room was used by “Cadena” to meet his victims. Afterwards they would be executed or disposed to interrogation. On some occasions he himself would kill them in cold blood, the local peasants say.

The stables are located on the other side of the farm installations. This is where persons would be buried who didn’t pass the test or who were to be punished for whatever reason. Some say they were able to save themselves: “They only had me harvest what was around, then I was let go to bear witness to what had happened there.”

The pain is immense. Far-off cries for help can be heard; your imagination plays with bad memories. At least three common graves can be seen. Apparently, up to now, 16 have been found at this farm. People say there are still many more. It is said 600 persons were murdered, because in the entire area there are said to be more than two thousand murdered over these eight years.

It is pointed out that more than two persons were found dismembered and buried in each grave. The truth is that the length of these graves does not make you think that persons were buried whole. Silence haunts the memory of those who remained.

When you leave, there is the lake the victims were thrown into and “swallowed” by the alligators -or in some way the animals finished the work begun by the victimizers.

The terror that reigned over the years in this area has kept people from coming to this place. Even so, when the day begins for the hearing convened by the Movement of Victims of State-Sponsored Crimes and the Senate Human Rights Commission, the people of San Onofre, faithful witnesses to what happened on this farm, patiently and quietly sheltered the hope to be heard.

However, of the 10 members of congress belonging to the Commission, only one arrived, Alexander López (along with Wilson Borja as always in solidarity), after a three-hour delay. The plane that brought them from Bogotá supposedly had a technical problem. The members of congress belonging to this commission should be held responsible.

Three days after carrying out the hearing, public opinion debates amidst the lies by the members of congress and politicians from this region, who deny their responsibility as well as the grief that is felt when asked: How could all of this happen unbeknownst to us?


Afiliado a la Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos
y la Organización Mundial contra la Tortura
Estatus Consultivo en la OEA

José Alvear Restrepo

Nace en Medellín el 1 de julio de 1913 en el seno de una familia de profundas convicciones religiosas y bajo los parámetros de la ideología del partido conservador. Realiza sus estudios en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Antioquia, donde se gradúa de Abogado con una brillante tesis titulada: "Conflictos del trabajo: la huelga"

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