After the explosion of a bomb car in Saravena, Arauca, in Colombia this past 19th January, which affected the local community, the staff of the World Lutheran Federation and its facilities, the ACT South America Forum (FESUR) joins its voice to the religious and social helpers in favour of peace with justice in this country.
In a moment of violence increase and the upcoming elections just round the corner, we observe the Colombian population, in particular the poor and the outcasts, we feel that our ecumenic solidarity is called to stand beside the weak and embrace all those affected by this act of violence, they say.
They state that “our presence offers solidarity with FLM- Colombia, whose office was damaged. The testimony in favor of Human Rights and of humanitary action in the area will corageously prevail, with a human team recovered, and its facilities repaired. From ACT Forum South America, all the love and support, against all fundamentalism and the stemming violence!”
The bomb car blew up in front of the branch of a human rights organisation, in the urban area of Saravena. The explosión affected buildings, electric power connections and drinkable water pumps. The army, in a statement, claims that it was perpetrated by Estructura 10, a remainder of the former FARC. This armed group already has a presence as a political party detached from violence.
The reinforcement of security by the administration of Iván Duque has failed to stop the level of violence in an area controlled by guerrillas, in the border between Colombia and Venezuela.
The World Lutheran Federation, Colombia Program, expressed its deep concern about the harshening of violence: “Arauca is a place that has been affected historically by armed conflicto, which has given rise to a critical situation regarding human rights and violations of the DIH, and the start of this year 2022 sets a worrying scene for the area, the civilians and those who fight for protecting human right. This act of violence is outrageous and shows the accelerated increase of the violence patterns which plac this area in a critial situation.”
Since January 2nd, 2022 multiple fights have arousen between armed groups present in the area and other acts of violence, which have greatly affected the civilians: 23 murders, at leats two massacres,in addition, 428 families (a total of 1,531 people)expelled, including 36 signers of the Final Peace Agreement, who received threatens or had to move to avoid inminent risk. These events, in addition to the one occurred on 19th January in Saravena, which left one casualty and 20 people hurt (including a minor) might only be the start of a violent escalation taking lives and causing material damages, in addition to the psicosocial consequences affecting the general population, the FLM states.