COLOMBIA: Spring and Martens witness guerrilla graffiti and bullet holes

CPTnet
July 27, 2002
COLOMBIA: Spring and Martens witness guerrilla graffiti and bullet holes

by Lisa Martens

On Sunday June 30, 2002, CPTers Charles Spring and Lisa Martens went to
San Miguel del Tigre , a small town in the Cimitarra River valley, to
investigate what they had read about a guerrilla attack that took place
early Saturday morning. El Tigre is reputed to be occupied by AUC (United
Autodefences of Colombia) paramilitaries.

Spring and Martens witnessed and documented multiple bullet holes in the
doors, windows and walls of low-income houses, including two bullet holes
inches from a child's bed.

Civilians recounted their terror and the terror of their neighbours on
Saturday morning.

The CPTers photographed graffiti on people's low income dwellings that said
"FARC" (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and "ELN" (the
National Liberation Army.)
These two guerilla groups are currently at war with the Colombian military
and the AUC.

At one point, a large man with a cell phone came up to the CPT members,
assuming a spread-legged stance so close that he touched Spring and
Martens. Without introducing himself, the man began to give permission for
civilian responses to Spring and Martens' questions. The man offered to
take them to see more damage. Sensing that the man wanted to control their
investigation, Spring and Martens politely declined.