2005: The massacre that changed the Peace Community forever

Eight people, including four minors, were assassinated and dismembered. During the 21 February 2005 massacre Peace Community of San José de Apartadó leader, Luis Eduardo Guerra, was assassinated. He had been in charge of the negotiations with the State to stop the installation of a police post inside the limits of the village of San José de Apartadó, as the community feared the police post would transform the inhabitants into a military objective and that they would be even more exposed to potential confrontations within the armed conflict.

After the massacre, the Peace Community, struck in its heart, cut off its dialogues with the State until four requirements were fulfilled,[1] they displaced to the “La Holandita” farm (about ten minutes from the village) and never forgot.

For 22 years, the Peace Community has resisted in its territory, denouncing human rights violations carried out by legal and illegal armed actors, and rejecting any involvement of civilians in the armed conflict.

Brigida, a founding member of the Peace Community, conserves and transmits the Community’s memory through art, and in this video she tells us this story. In December 2005, her 15 year-old daughter, Elisenia Vargas Gonzales, was also assassinated after an overhead bombing in San José de Apartadó.


PBI Colombia


[1] The four demands are: the police post’s removal from the village of San José de Apartadó, a legalization of the creation of humanitarian shelters to protect the civilian population amid the armed conflict, the creation of a commission to evaluate the judicial system, and that ex- President Uribe ask for forgiveness for his accusations that the Peace Community was part of the insurgency, in response to the 21 February 2005 massacre.

**Video realized by Javier Bauluz and produced thanks to the support the International Cooperation Agency of Extremadura for the Development (AEXCID)


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