Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space: 2016

Since January, there has been a strong presence of neo-paramilitaries in La Playita neighborhood of Buenaventura, where the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space is located. Among the most severe attacks against the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space in 2016, the following are worthy of note:

  • 15 January: five neo-paramilitaries were seen entering Puente Nayero,[1] and the next day two neo-paramilitaries entered the Humanitarian Space, confiscating alcohol from a shop which had not paid its extortion fee for the last 20 months.The same neo-paramilitaries threatened the Mondragón Zamora family.[2]
  • 28 January: there was a new incursion by a group of neo-paramilitaries from the Piedras Cantan neighborhood, who harassed and assaulted Luis Miguel Mondragon Zamora and plied him for information, demands the young man refused. During all of these incidents the inaction of the police was continuous, despite it being responsible for the security of the Humanitarian Space.[3]
  • 29 January: alias ‘Chapulín’ a neo-paramilitary in charge of extortions in the Alfonso Lopez sector and Punta Icaco Street, entered the Humanitarian Space, while seven neo-paramilitaries waited for him at the door of the Humanitarian Space,[4] and he entered again on 7 February without being apprehended by the Police.[5]
  • 9 February: the leader Orlando Castillo received a threat from the neo-paramilitary, alias ‘Chinga’, who entered the Humanitarian Space with two young men and came up to the UNP car which had been granted to Orlando, and verbally harassed them. In this case too, the Police took no action at all despite having an official permanent presence stationed at the entrance of Puente Nayero.[6] A few days later, the existence became known of a plan to kill Orlando Castillo and Nora Isabel Castillo, by neo-paramilitaries from Piedras Cantan. The attack was meant to happen in the tidal flats, taking advantage of the absence of Navy patrols, which has not been present since September last year.[7]
  • March: the neo-paramilitaries kept up their incursions into Puente Nayero. On 7 March, a woman known as ‘Puchela’ entered the Space with two neo-paramilitaries who operate in the Maria Eugenia and El Cristal neighborhoods, and attacked an inhabitant of the Humanitarian Space, Ana Patricia Angulo Portocarrero, with a knife. On their way out, the three individuals were registered by the Police, who let them go having found no prior records against them, unaware that they had injured a person.[8]
  • 13 March: two neo-paramilitaries entered the Piedras Cantan sector, and two days later alias ‘Chapulin’ and another neo-paramilitary entered the Space to charge extortion from an artisanal fisherman, without being apprehended by the Police at the main entrance. In Piedras Cantan, more than 20 neo-paramilitaries have established positions without any reaction whatsoever from the Security Forces.[9]


Incursions by neo-paramilitaries continue into Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space, in La Playita neighborhood of Buenaventura (Valle del Cauca). After the mayor’s verbal attack against the community, people identified alias ‘Jairito’ (an alleged member of the neo-paramilitary structures based in Piedras Cantan street), who entered the Humanitarian Space along with two other people.[10]

The respect for human rights in different parts of Buenaventura is affected not just by the overt reestablishment of illegal armed groups looking for territorial control, but also by the climate of insecurity it carries with it. For example, CIJP reported on the case of Idelino Sanchez Valenzuela and his wife Carlina Aragón, who were threatened with death if their daughter, the leader Doris Valenzuela, did not withdraw her criminal complaint against José Alipio Ibarguen, who allegedly raped her when she was a girl in the sector of Nayero Bridge.[11]

During the period of July to September this year, neo-paramiliitaries have been persistently present in the La Playita neighbourhood in Buenaventura. The Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP) reports that the neo-paramilitary structure that is attempting to take complete control over Buenaventura is that of ‘the Urabeños,’ in areas that coincide with economic interests.

This control includes commercial operations and the drug trade, as well as charging extortion of local shops, petrol sales, the wood trade and those working as mototaxi drivers.[12] In the last few months, various paramilitary incursions have taken place in the Humanitarian Space, which require passing through an entrance controlled by police.[13] The illegal actors have also attempted to collect extortion money within the Humanitarian Space.[14]

It bears reminding that there have been two other threats in the same context: the first against leader Doris Valenzuela, who was threatened with death by the paramilitary known as ‘Diego Macuña,’ a threat he issued from his place of detention on 8 July.

This threat follows the leader’s testimony and her reports after her son Cristian Dainer Aragón Valenzuela was murdered because he refused to work with the paramilitaries. Macuña also declared that he had contacts in the Police that would enable him to find the leader’s family.[15]

The Aragón Valenzuela family has been persecuted for two and a half years now, and Doris has become the target of neo- paramilitaries because she challenged them and prevented the forced recruitment of children and young people in Calle Puente Nayero, now a Humanitarian Space.[16]

The second threat was against Jorge Ocoro, another leader from the Humanitarian Space, who was threatened by two neo-paramilitaries on 26 July in El Jorge neighborhood, in District 4 of Buenaventura, who accused him of being a “snitch” for the “gringos.”[17]


[1] CIJP: Nuevas amenazas y operaciones neoparamilitares, 16 January 2016
[2] CIJP: Continúa inacción de policía en Espacio Humanitario, 1 February 2016; CIJP: Persiste el control paramilitar, 16 March 2016
[3] CIJP: Continúa inacción de policía en Espacio Humanitario, 1 February 2016
[4] Ibíd.
[5] CIJP: Amenazan a líderes de Espacio Humanitario, 11 February 2016
[6] Ibíd.
[7] Ibíd.
[8] CIJP: Neoparamilitares intervienen en conflicto personal apoyando ataque a afrocolombiana, 9 March 2016
[9] CIJP: Persiste el control paramilitar, 16 March 2016
[10] CIJP: Ingreso de paramilitar a Espacio Humanitario, 17 June 2016
[11] CIJP:Amenazan de muerte a familia que denunció acceso carnal violento a una niña, 10 April 2016
[12] CIJP: Neo neoparamilitares extorsionan en Espacio Humanitario, 1 September 2016
[13] CIJP: Reconocido paramilitar ingresa al Espacio Humanitario, 3 July 2016; Cijp: Neoparamilitares ingresan en medio de inacción policial, 8 July 2016; Cijp: Paramilitar opera sin restricción alguna, 17 de julio de 2016; CIJP: Amenazan a dos líderes del Espacio Humanitario, 26 July 2016
[14] CIJP: Neo neoparamilitares extorsionan en Espacio Humanitario, 01 September 2016
[15] Contagio Radio: Lideresa Doris Valenzuela es amenazada por neoparamilitares en Buenaventura, 12 July 2016
[16] CIJP: Reiteran Amenza de Muerte a lidresa Doris Valenzuela, 9 July 2016
[17] CIJP: Amenazan a dos líderes del Espacio Humanitario, 26 July 2016


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