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Bombardments Causing Civilian Casualties



Jan. 6-7: Farmer Catalino Guerra disappeared after airplanes and helicopter gunships attached to the army and the V Brigade carried out a dawn bombing raid on the villages of La Concepción, La Concha, Bocas del Don Juan and El Bagre, Yondó (Antioquia) and San Lorenzo (Bolívar). One man was killed and six others, including two children, were seriously injured. Houses, schools and a community building along with crops and stock were destroyed. Three days later, approximately 75 area residents remained under house arrest. Three peasants fleeing the bombardment in a canoe were killed by the navy. Although these abuses were reported to the Procuraduría, the paperwork has since been lost.

Feb. 9-12: Airplanes and helicopter gunships from the Nueva Granada Battalion attacked villages near San Vicente de Chucurí (Santander), forcing 1,400 families to flee. Eliseo and Juan Caballero, two elderly deafmute brothers, were tortured and killed inside their house in nearby Altogrande during an army bombardment of the area. Soldiers buried them in shallow graves near the house. Farmers Gilberto Peñaloza. and Noé Quintero, 15, were tortured and killed in their fields by soldiers and Gilberto Caballero and Isidro Cepeda were "disappeared." Many families fled the area. Carlos Garavito was detained and forced inside a helicopter. His destroyed body was found a week later. Although these abuses were reported to the Procuraduría, the paperwork has since been lost.

June-July: Peasants from the Sierra del Perijá (César) reported that indiscriminate bombings and sweeps by the 11 Brigade and counterguerrilla units resulted in the torture of five peasants, destroyed crops and stock and the forced displacement of an estimated 2,500 peasants from 13 villages. Virgilio Durán and Prino Pinto were forced to act as army guides. At least 700 families were prevented from fleeing by army roadblocks, which also severely restricted the transport of food and medicines. Indiscriminate bombings in Aguasfrías, Puerto Coca (Bolívar) forced families to evacuate. Fourteen houses were later destroyed by the army. No information is available of the status of any official investigation.

Sept. 4-12: Mobile Brigade 2 bombed and strafed El Bagre, La Concha, No Te Pases and La Poza, Yondó (Santander). All the crops in La Concha were lost and 15 houses destroyed. Families were prevented by soldiers from leaving. A joint government-NGO commission documented property crimes against 20 people, five arbitrary detentions, five cases of torture and one "disappearance."

Sept. 8: Four peasants were killed by Mobile Brigade 2 during an attack on the village of Santa Coa, Pinillos (Bolívar).

Sept. 10: Arnulfo Hernández, president of the La Poza neighbors association, was killed during a combined operation led by Mobile Brigade II in the villages of La Concha, Elo Bagre, Cuatro Bocas, La Poza, Campo de Cimitarra and Caño Blanco, Yondó (Santander).

Dec. 9: With Operation Centaur II, designed to eliminate the General Secretariat of the FARC, Mobile Brigade I and other units of the Colombian Armed Forces begin a series of bombardments, aerial strafings and ground searches that leave many villages around La Uribe (Meta) decimated.


May 29: A 73-year-old woman died after suffering severe injuries in the bombing by the army of Cañabraval, Barrancabermeja (Santander).

July-August: Operations by Mobile Brigade 2 in the villages of Las Conchas, Tipaco, Alto de¡ Caballo, Las Frías, Los Azules, Las Cruces and Paladeros, Cáceres (Antioquia) resulted in mass arbitrary detentions and numerous reports of threats and torture. Many detentions were never reported to civil authorities, who later reported the abuses to the Procuraduría for investigation.

July 11: Bombardments and strafings in the village of Nariño by Mobile Brigade 3 killed the son of farmer Hernando Cossio. In addition, the villages of La Julia, Tierradentro and El Diviso, La Uribe (Meta) were also bombed. That day, Julián Buritica -Zúñiga was killed in his home near Puerto Asís (Putumayo) and later claimed by the army as a guerrilla victim.

July 19: A bombing by Mobile Brigade 2 over Puerto López, El Bagre (Antioquia) resulted in 61 civilians injured. However, the military claims all were guerrillas.

Oct. 11: Bombardments and aeriel strafings in Coroncoro and Yanacuí, San Pablo (Bolívar) forced some families to flee.

Nov. 1: Helicopter gunships attached to Mobile Brigade 2 strafed villages near Puerto Santander, Vistahermosa (Meta) indiscriminately and soldiers committed a series of abuses against area farmers.

Nov. 19: Bombardments and aerial strafing around Puerto Asís (Putumayo) wounded one peasant. Near Villagarzón, one peasant was killed in a bombardment and later presented by the army as a guerrilla killed in action.

Nov. 20: Bombardments and fierce combat between the army and the FARC near Mulatos, U Resbalosa, Las Nieves and La Hoz, Apartadó (Antioquia) left a three-year-old girl dead, more than 100 people displaced and houses and at least one school destroyed.

Nov. 24: Peasants reported that indiscriminate bombardments and aerial strafing in Lejania, Patio Bonito, El Caguí, San Lorenzo Alto and Yanacué, San Pablo (Bolívar) resulted in the deaths of peasant Alfredo Roldos and the wounding of Tiberio Ramirez as well as the destruction of crops.


January-March: Intense fighting between the army and guerrillas caused 120 people from the Chucurí region to flee to Barrancabermeja (Santander). Reports of abuses by the army remain under investigation.

Jan. 14: Four peasant homes were burned and animals killed during a counterattack by the Nueva Granada Battalion against insurgents near the village of La Legía, Barrancabermeja (Santander). I I people were forced to flee.

Jan. 17: Army bombardments around El Paraiso, Cofania and La Castellana, Villagarzón (Putumayo) forced peasant families to flee. They reported considerable damage to their homes and farms.

February 13: Five peasants were killed and a child injured when the XIII Army Brigade bombed near Gutiérrez, Cundinamarca. Several days later, another bombardment destroyed a peasant home, killing three children and their father and leaving one child seriously injured.

Feb. 14: Bombardments by the army near Rio Blanco village left six farmers dead and one wounded.

Feb. 16: During a five-day operation by soldiers in the villages of Patico Alto and Bajo and La Rinconada (Bolívar), peasants report that they were threatened and tortured during ad-hoc interrogations. Pablo Antonio García was detained, shot then dressed in guerrilla clothing and declared a combatant killed in combat.

Feb. 20-23: During bombings and aerial strafings by Mobile Brigade 1 in Las Gaviotas, Paraiso, San Carlos, Diviso and Recreo, La Uribe (Meta), peasants report the sacking of houses, arbitrary detentions, the killing of stock and threats against them. The investigation into these reports has since been shelved with no resolution.

Feb. 25: An airplane and five helicopters began an indiscriminate bombing over the villages of Charcodanto, Lindosa and La Hermita, Puerto Rico (Meta). Soldiers then detained two minors for over five hours, interrogating then with blows and threats for the whereabouts of their father.

Feb. 28: Intense bombardments and aeriel strafings over Paraiso and Santander, La Uribe (Meta) caused some families to flee temporarily.

April 18-19: The villages of Pozo Nutria and El Pueblito, Barrancabermeja and La Rasquiñosa, San Vicente de Chucurí (Santander) were bombed and strafed by the Nueva Granada Battalion. Soldiers reportedly burned one house, tortured one woman and stole valuables and the equivalent of $120 from her home. One man was detained and forced to act as a guide for 18 hours. An investigation continues.

May 11-13: Intense bombardments by Mobile Brigade I destroyed two houses and domestic animals in La Esperanza, La Uribe (Meta). In a sweep, I I-year old Martha Cecilia Ayure was killed.

May 12: The military bombed and strafed the villages of Granada, Tambo Redondo, La Colorada, Pamplona, Pamplonita and La Bodega, Barrancabermeja (Santander). Later, 70 Pamplona and Pamplonita villagers peacefully occupied government offices in Barrancabermeja to protest abuses by the military and MAS.

May 20: During an operation by Mobile Brigade 2 around San Lorenzo (Bolívar), a peasant was detained and tortured and Marta Cecilia Sepúlveda was forced to take off her clothes, then tortured and made to accompany soldiers in a boat for a night.

June 12: Nine farmers, including four children, were "disappeared" during bombardments and a ground sweep by Mobile Brigade 2 from La Conformidad, Morales (Bolívar).

July 14-24: Two days after a Peace Forum sponsored by the town of La Uribe, Mobile Brigade I increased bombardments and aerial strafing against 7 villages, causing an estimated 1,200 peasants to flee. Diógenes Silva, Froilán Cabrera and Saúl Torres were "disappeared" along with two minors. An investigation continues.

July 17-23: Six people were tortured and killed and three reported receiving threats during an operation led by Mobile Brigade 2 in the villages of General Córdova, Tienda Nueva, Peroles, Los Tubos, El Pueblito, Las Margaritas, Las Marías and Nueva Colombia, Barrancabermeja, and El Marfil and Trienta y dos, San Vicente de Chucurí (Santander).

October: Bombardments by Mobile Brigade I in La Julia, La Uribe (Meta) were carried out with threats and mistreatment of the civilian population.

November 9: The army launched an operation to punish guerrillas for the deaths of 26 policemen near Orito (Putumayo). Helicopters strafed villages near Orito and La Hormiga.


February 28: Combat between the ELN and Mobile Brigade 2 left several houses sacked and destroyed in te villages of La Cabaña, Fortul (Arauca).

April 15: In La Cumbre, El Castillo (Meta), indiscriminate bombings and aeriel strafings left one farmer dead. A month later, continued combat between guerrillas and the army forced 12 families to leave.

* through November

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