BOGOTÁ -- "The Chainsaw Massacre is not a film in Colombia," said
government ombudsman Eduardo Cifuentes, referring to the April 12
paramilitary massacre in Alto Naya, 650 kilometers (404 miles)
southeast of here.
He was revealing details of the massacres of civilians which occurred
during Easter week in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country in a
wave of right-wing paramilitary and leftist guerrilla violence.
It left some 128 people dead, including 40 in Alto Naya, according to
official reports quoted by Cifuentes in an interview with AFP.
The former Constitutional Tribunal president visited the massacre
sites Monday at a remote jungle area in the Western Andes mountains,
in the Cauca department.
Around 400 paramilitaries took part in this "caravan of death" against
civilians accused of supporting leftist guerrillas, Cifuentes said in
his Bogota office.
"The remains of a woman were exhumed. Her abdomen was cut open with a
chainsaw. A 17-year-old girl had her throat cut and both hands also
amputated," said the ombudsman, providing details of "the cruelty and
extreme abuse of the paramilitaries."
"They carried a list of names around. The would kill many for
insignificant reasons, like not explaining where they got their
cellular phone," he said.
"A neighbor pounced upon a paramilitary that was ready to shoot him
and took his weapon, but unfortunately he didn't know how to fire a
rifle. They dragged him away, cut him open with a chainsaw and chopped
him up," a witness of the massacre told El Espectador daily.
In all the massacres, "some by the guerrillas, some by the
paramilitaries, the civilian population are the victims," said
Cifuentes, adding that he has already come under a "death threat."
He said there were "4,000 people unable to leave the Alto Naya area
since the massacre," and that authorities have been asked to set up a
"military airlift" to feed them.
"Nobody, paramilitary or guerrillas, respects international human
rights," said Cifuentes before providing details of a recent attack on
Almaguer, also in Cauca department, by the leftist Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's largest rebel group.
The FARC "blew up the church and destroyed three neighborhoods with
tractors and pipe bombs."
Around 400 FARC guerrillas killed at least 28 civilians and destroyed
20 stores Sunday in Taraza (450 kilometers -- 280 miles -- northeast of
here), whose inhabitants were also charged with helping "the enemy,"
meaning the extreme right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
Cifuentes has yet to visit that massacre site.
Some 200,000 people have been killed since 1964 in Colombia's civil war.
Kidnappings average 3,000 a year and the violence continues unabated
despite ongoing peace talks between President Andres Pastrana's
government and the FARC and the National Liberation Army, the
country's second-largest leftist rebel group.
The ELN took 27 employees hostage from US-owned Occidental Petroleum
near the Cano Limon oil fields, 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast
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