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Murder attempt and death threats against social activist in Barrancabermeja, Colombia

Translated by Adam Bar from the Spanish origin in Agencia Prensa Rural

In the end of February 2013, two events have broken the calm of Barrancabermeja, Colombia, originating from the terrorism of the Colombian state against social organizations that struggle daily for a better future for the country.

On February 27, there was an assassination attempt by paramilitarists on Melkin Castrillon, one of the leaders of the “Asociacion Campesina del Valla del Rio Cimitarra” (‘ACVC’ – Peasants association of the Rio Cimitarra valley), winner of the National Peace Prize 2010. Melkin Castrillon is the coordinator of the middle section of the ACVC. The paramilitarists, which operate openly in the city, invaded Melkin’s home in Barrancabermeja. After they failed to find him, the paramilitarists shot at his sister-in-law – Bernardina Bermudez – who came to take things from the house. She was saved by the skill of the taxi driver whom she was with.

In the same pattern of systematic state terrorism, in February 28, 2013, an email with death threats was received by the “Escula Popular Sandia Rondon Pinto” (Popular School Sandia Rondon Pinto). In the email were death threats and accusation of terrorism against its members who work on social programs with youths and adults, mostly in Barrancabermeja.