[Translated by La Chiva Collective]
11 July 2008
The board of Acción Comunal of the highlands sector of the municipality of Patía, Cauca, REPORT:
In the early hours of Friday July 11th 2008, an emergent paramilitary group operating in the western highlands of Cauca department kidnapped 6 peasants, including 4 members of the board of Acción Comunal, from the township of La Ceiba in the municipality of Patía. The kidnapping of these peasants was promptly reported to the public ministry and mayor’s office of the municipality of Patía, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Peace Process Support Mission of the OAS in Colombia, as well as the Public Ombudsman in Popayán.
We call upon the kidnappers to respect the lives of these peasants, honest working people many of whom are parents of families and who were born and have lived their entire lives in these townships and are not involved in anything other than agricultural activities and working in the service of their community.
It is also known that this same emergent paramilitary group is holding 4 other peasants from the municipality of Argelia, who might be held alongside those kidnapped from Patía.
The kidnapped peasants from Patía are:
We respectfully ask that the local and regional authorities and organizations working in the defense of human rights help us save the lives of these peasants. We also thank the media for circulating this communiqué and suggest that they contact the aforementioned national and international institutions.
THE BOARD OF ACCIÓN COMUNAL OF THE HIGHLANDS SECTOR OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF PATÍA