New massacre in Colombia: two adults and two children killed in Arauca | International

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A graffiti in the department of Arauca that reveals the presence of the FARC and ELN dissidents. Human Rights Watch

Two adults and two children from the same family were killed on Sunday night in the rural area of ​​Tame, Arauca, in northern Colombia, near the border with Venezuela. In the attack, attributed by the national army to the FARC guerrilla dissidents, five people were also injured, two of them very seriously. With this violent act, there are already 33 massacres in the country in the first four months of 2022, according to the NGO Indepaz.

The four fatalities are: Elison Portela, 51; Delvis Arvey, 9; Ángel Julián Estrada, 48; and Briangis Yelina Prada, 4 years old. The injured, transferred to the San Antonio de Tame hospital, were identified as: Edwar Felipe Ostos, 9 years old; Durlys Prada, 10; Andreina Laica Peroza, 31; Ingrid Castro, 28; and Felix Arbey Prada Puerta, 41 years old.

Through a press release, the army’s Quirón Task Force, which operates in the area, revealed that the nine people were traveling in a Chevrolet Montero truck on the road to the village of Las Nubes when they were attacked by armed individuals “dressed in garments for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces, who identified themselves as members of the FARC dissidents.”

Once the information was known, the army ordered the movement of troops on the ground, in coordination with the National Police, to arrive as soon as possible at the site and clarify the reasons for what happened. However, almost 24 hours after the attack, the municipal representative, Juan Carlos Villate, denounced in a video on social networks that the authorities had not yet removed the bodies: “We make an urgent call for the Attorney General’s Office to the Nation and the public force carry out the removal of the bodies of the murdered people. We demand responsibility from the institutions.”

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Villate recalled that this year alone, 25 people have been killed in the municipality of Tame for reasons related to the armed conflict. The personero also denounced that there are currently rural areas of Arauca where students and teachers cannot go to school and are confined to their homes due to threats from violent groups.

The Attorney General’s Office condemned the attack through its official Twitter account. “We repudiate the massacre that mourns Tame, Arauca, and all of Colombia. From the Attorney General’s Office we urge the authorities to act forcefully against the perpetrators of the murder of two minors and two adults in the village of Las Nubes, two kilometers from the Santo Domingo farmhouse.”

In addition to the latest murders, so far this year, the department of Arauca has suffered two serious attacks against the security forces. The first occurred on January 19 in the urban area of ​​Saravena and left one person dead. The second, recorded on March 23, was a car bomb that exploded near the army battalion in the municipality of Fortul. In the region, there have also been more than 2,000 forced displacements this year.

For its part, the Ombudsman’s Office condemned what happened, expressed its solidarity with the families of the victims and made its humanitarian channels available. “Children and adolescents are subject to special protection at all times, which is why the Ombudsman’s Office has repeatedly insisted that they should be left out of the conflict and that their life and integrity should be respected.”

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