Mass Detention in Meta
News from Colombia |
on: Friday, 2 November 2007
Masked men, in one case accompanied by police officers, have taken away 18 people from the town of La Julia in Meta department during the past five days. Among those detained were community leaders and trade unionists in the latest in a long line of attacks against those who have spoken out against the Colombian regime.
The first detention occurred in the early hours of October 29th when police and masked men went house to house through La Julia, a small rural town in Uribe municipality, taking various people away. Those detained included Jhon Freddy Velasquez, Hipolito Calderon, Hugo Jaramillo, Jose Angel Angarita, Victor Murcia Ferreira, Luis Efren Ramirez Lopez, Eliecer Sierra, Orlando Aguirre, Luis Hernando Sierra, Jose Diaz Cuellar, Mauricio Gallego, Darley Upegiu and Nancy Castano.
The following Thursday (November 1st) at around 4.30pm, a helicopter landed on the outskirts of the town and men in military uniforms wearing balaclavas were seen disembarking. By 6pm they had rounded up and taken away another five members of the community.
To date it is not clear what has happened to the 18 individuals taken away nor where they are at the current time.