Colombia – Soldiers are illegally holding a member of the Peace Community prisoner

Another human rights violation in Colombia. We received this communiqué out of Colombia and are sharing it here in the hopes of inspiring reflection.  

‘On Saturday, 8 February 2014, at around 11.40 a.m., Wber Areiza was held prisoner for 30 minutes by troops of the XVII Brigade from the military base in San José, at an illegal checkpoint set up next to San José de Apartado. The troops claimed that he was «suspicious» but released him when a group from our Peace Community arrived at the spot where he was being held. However, just minutes later, another group of soldiers illegally detained him again. He is currently being held prisoner by military troops in the same way the paramilitaries do: they assure us that they will release Areiza if a family member or acquaintance comes forward, ignoring the presence of the large group of people from our community, who all know him, as Wber grew up in our Peace Community.

Therefore, we urgently call on the national and international community to urge the national government and authorities to release Wber Areiza immediately, as we are concerned that Wber may be handed over to the paramilitaries who patrol the region in total complicity with the military. Areiza had already been threatened by soldiers on 15 January 2014.’