Colombia’s president apologizes to families of victims of 2000 massacre by paramilitaries
Edited on Fri Jul-08-11 06:37 PM by cory777
Source: Associated Press
BOGOTA, Colombia — President Juan Manuel Santos asked for forgiveness Friday from victims and survivors of a 2000 massacre by right-wing paramilitaries that is considered one of the bloodiest chapters in Colombia’s long internal conflict.
A report from the National Commission of Reparation and Reconciliation says at least 60 people were killed in the town of El Salado in northern Bolivar province between Feb. 16 and Feb. 21, 2000.
“I come to ask the victims for pardon, pardon in the name of the State, pardon in the name of all society,” Santos said in El Salado, which is 350 miles (560 kilometers) northwest of Bogota.
Santos, who took office in August 2010, acknowledged that “there were omissions” by the government that allowed the massacre to happen.
5. President Santos apologizes for paramilitary massacre .
Source: Colombia Reports
President Santos apologizes for paramilitary massacre Friday, 08 July 2011 14:45 Matt Snyder
President Santos apologized to the people of El Salado in northern Colombia Friday, asking their forgiveness for the massacre carried out there by paramilitaries 11 years ago.
Santos issued his remarks as he announced a new land subsidy for the people of the town. "I come to tell the victims, sorry, I apologize on behalf of the state and on behalf of the whole of society." said Santos."There was a slaughter that never had to happen. There was a failure by the state, all kinds of failures that happened during that time."
Santos then announced a land grant that would give families displaced from El Salado 741 acres.
In February 2000, approximately 400 armed paramilitary fighters stormed the town of El Salado and accused the residents of being revolutionaries. The paramilitaries then began systematically removing families from their homes and dragging them to the village soccer field where they were tortured and killed. The killing lasted several days, and although there was a Colombian military base very close to the village, the military never intervened.
Colombia, the United States and the Massacre at El Salado
Declassified Documents Highlight U.S. Concerns Over Role of Colombian Security Forces in February 2000 Paramilitary Killings
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 287
Posted - September 24, 2009
Washington, D.C., September 24, 2009 - The United States harbored serious concerns about the potential involvement of Colombian security forces in the February 2000 massacre at El Salado, an attack that occurred while the two countries were hammering out the final details of the massive military aid package known as Plan Colombia, according to declassified documents posted today on the National Security Archive Web site.
Orchestrated and carried out by paramilitaries from the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), an illegal paramilitary army, there have long been allegations that Colombian security forces, including those from the Colombian Navy's 1st Marine Infantry Brigade, facilitated the massacre by vacating the town before the carnage began and constructing roadblocks to delay the arrival of humanitarian aid. U.S. assistance under Plan Colombia required the Colombian military to demonstrate progress in breaking ties with paramilitary forces.
The documents described in the article below—and in Spanish on the Web site of Semana (Colombia's leading news magazine)—show that U.S. officials had significant doubts about the credibility of their Colombian military counterparts and were well aware, even before El Salado, of the propensity of the Colombian military to act in concert with illegal paramilitary forces, whether through omission or commission.
These findings also complement those of Memoria Histórica, an independent group charged by Colombia's National Commission on Reparations and Reconciliation with investigating the history of the country's armed conflict. Its report on El Salado, La Masacre de El Salado: Esa Guerra No Era Nuestra (The El Salado Massacre: That Was Not Our War), was released this week before audiences in El Salado and Bogotá.
As opposed to all the totally necessary massacres carried out by our faultless military. Which is why we don't have to worry about any international truth commissions or tribunals or other such nonsense.
9. Paramilitary leaders trained by US School of Americas
these criminals were trained by US military with US tax dollars. Those villagers's blood is on our hands.
which village will be next ? The school changed it's name but it is still training paramilitary from various countries.. like the Columbian paramilitary groups they are trained to kill "rebels".. which is also know as innocent villagers including women and children.
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