COLOMBIA: Paramilitary oppression, small miracles, SOA sentences, and visa issues. A letter from Scott Kerr

CPTnet
July 29, 2002
COLOMBIA: Paramilitary oppression, small miracles, SOA sentences, and visa
issues. A letter from Scott Kerr

[Note: The following letter dated July 15 has been edited for length and
clarity. People wishing to see Scott Kerr's original letter may send their
request to guest.445947@MennoLink.org.]

Dear Friends,

The situation in Barrancabermeja has deteriorated even further in the last
few months. The AUC paramilitaries have tightened up their control of the
city, and even government officials say [the paramilitaries] are in control
of the
city. The Paras have brought in a new moral code that makes my stomach
turn, with rules like hours of play time for kids, what color of garbage
cans you can use, hours to illuminate your house, regulations on travelling
in and out of certain areas, just to name a few. It seems like every week
more mutilated bodies are pulled from the river with signs of torture. In
the latest most brazen act, the Paramilitary have put on their death lists
some girls between the ages of 12 and 16 that have been "unfaithful" to
there paramilitary "boyfriends." Some girls have already been killed.
When I most recently talked to a military commander in the area about the
paramilitary control, he looked at me and said,