Cacarica: 2015

Among the most severe attacks against the communities of Cacarica in 2015, the following are worthy of note:

Threats and attacks

27 April: six members of the Army stated that they were carrying out a health brigade, and entered with their weapons and without identification about their names, ranks, battalion, unit or brigade, into the Nueva Vida Humanitarian Zone (in the Cacarica River basin, in the department of Chocó), without the permission of the black community. The community demanded that the armed men leave and said they could not carry out any brigades.[1]

Monitoring and surveillance

8 of August: tracking of Danilo Rueda (CIJP), from the outskirts of the Port of Turbo to the Currulao station by four motorized men, while he traveled with UNP (National Protection Unit) bodyguards from the Cacarica collective territory after having participating in the opening of the process to implement the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ ruling on the Operation Genesis case.[2]

Slander and defamations

27 April: hostile statements by Army personnel against a member of the Community for Self-determination Life and Dignity (CAVIDA) of Cacarica, in Chocó.[3]


The 26th of December 2014 marked one year since the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling that found the Colombian State responsible for the displacement of thousands of people from the Cacarica river basin, through a joint military-paramilitary operation called Operation Genesis, and which included the gruesome murder of the civilian Marino Lopez.

Fourteen months after the Inter-American Court ruling, the members of the community organization CAVIDA continue to receive threats. During the first quarter of this year, members of CAVIDA were retained once by paramilitary and another time by the Navy. CAVIDA also denounced that members received death threats on both occasions.[4]

In the Bajo Atrato region a major presence of neo-paramilitary groups identified as Gaitanista Self-defense Forces of Colombia (AGC, in Spanish) was registered during the first week of September. According to the denunciations, more than 200 neo-paramilitary troops, in fatigues and with long barreled weapons, were seen traveling in the Bajo Atrato between Tumaradó,Travesía, La Honda, La Larga, Riosucio, and entered the small village of Clavellino in Truandó on Thursday September 3rd.[5]

In the Riosucio village center there have also been denouncements of a neo-paramilitary presence and they were even seen distributing pamphlets coinciding with local electoral campaign activities. At the same time, inhabitants along the Atrato River have stated that the typical military patrols on the river between Turbo and Rio sucio and in the larger Bajo Atrato region were not taking place during this period.[6]

Additionally, the AGC reportedly forced, via threats, a group of community members from the Clavellino community and members of the Truandó Community Councils to attend a meeting with them. According to the communities, in this meeting AGC members stated that they were going to repeat these meetings in Salaquí, Cacarica, Curbaradó, Jiguamiandó and La Larga Tumaradó with all the communities that inhabit these territories.

They also said that they were going to control the region from Domingodó to Cacarica removing “those who don’t want progress” from the Bajo Atrato region. One neo-paramilitary indicated that they had the support of the State Security Forces in Riosucio and Turbo, affirming that they shared with them goal of progress for the region. In addition they expressed that had their politicians ready and they would not give up: “The government should take us into account for peace.”[7]

The warning regarding the meetings was repeated on September 13th, when inhabitants came upon a neo-paramilitary group in Bocas de Cacarica, collective territory of Afro-descendant communities.[8] The civilian population in the area is fearful that these groups intend to resume control of the Chocó section of the Bajo Atrato.[9]


[1] CIJP: Amenazas e intimidaciones contra habitantes de CAVIDA, 30 April 2015
[2] CIJP: Seguimiento entre Turbo y Currulao a Defensor Danilo Rueda, 8 August 2015
[3] CIJP: Amenazas e intimidaciones contra habitantes de CAVIDA, 28 April 2015
[4] CIJP: Paramilitares amenazan a lideresa de Cacarica, 27 February 2015
[5] CIJP: Omisión, tolerancia de Fuerza Pública ante ofensiva paramilitar en el bajo Atrato, 14 September 2015
[6] Ibíd.
[7] Ibíd.
[8] Ibíd.
[9] Contagio Radio: Paramilitares amenazan con tomar el control del Bajo Atrato chocoano, 9 September 2015


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