Blood on the Palms
David Bacon writes in Dollars & Sense:
On Sept. 7, 2006, paramilitary gunmen invaded the home of Juan de Dios García, a community leader in the Colombian city of Buenaventura. García escaped, but the gunmen shot and killed seven members of his family.
The paramilitaries, linked to the government of President Alvaro Uribe and to the country’s wealthy landholding elite, wanted to stop García and other activists from the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (Process of Black Communities, or PCN), who have been trying to recover land on which Afro-Colombians have lived for five centuries. The PCN is a network of over 140 organizations among Black Colombian communities.
García later told Radio Bemba, “when the paras [paramilitary soldiers] came looking for me, I could see they were using police and army vehicles. They operate with the direct and indirect participation of high government functionaries. So denouncing their crimes to the authorities actually puts you at an even greater risk.”