Human Rights Groups Report Fighting in Cauca
News from Colombia |
on: Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Human rights organisations in Cauca have reported that intense fighting in and around the villages of El Palo, and Alto del Palo has caused the displacement of 855 people.
Fighting began at 6am on 25th April 2012, when guerrillas of the FARC’s 6th Front attacked a checkpoint manned by troops of the 14th Mobile Brigade (part of the Apollo Joint Task Force) above the settlement of El Palo.
Villagers report that as soon as the attack began, the government troops fled into the village itself, and stationed themselves in civilian homes, using them as firepoints. The troops called in air support, and a helicopter gunship arrived, and began “indiscriminately” shooting. Four tanks also arrived, stationed themselves in the village, by the cemetery and began heavy firing towards El Alto del Palo. The intensity of the fighting in and around the two villages forced the displacement of 533 people from El Palo towards the village of El Nilo, and of another 322 civilians from Alto del Palo, among them women and children.