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Latino Daily News

Monday May 16, 2011

Local Farms Under Seige in Colombia, Pope John’s “Operative Dove” Comes to the Rescue

Local Farms Under Seige in Colombia, Pope John’s “Operative Dove” Comes to the Rescue

Photo: Paramilitary in Cordoba, Colombia

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Paramilitary groups are threatening the local farmers living in the district of Cordoba, in the north of Colombia, so that they abandon the area around the artificial lake created by the Urra dam as soon as possible, leaving free hand to build a second dam, mining concessions and drug dealing, this according to religious organizations.

This area, called Alto Sinu, is one of the richest heritages of Colombia for the presence of gold mines, coal, nickel and iron, and one of the largest reservoirs of Latin America. The construction of the second dam and the voices of the forthcoming enlargement of the National Natural park of Nudo Paramillo, which would involve these same areas, hide enormous economic interest for multinational companies in Colombia and abroad.

The complaint comes from volunteers of “Operation Dove”, Non-violent Peace Corps of Pope John XXIII Community founded by Don Oreste Benzi, who has been in the district just over a week to protect families of the Peace Community of San José of Apartado who live in that area. According to information sent to Fides, the Community consists of about 1,500 people, scattered throughout the district of Antioquia and Cordoba, who have united to resist the armed conflict in Colombia in a neutral and non-violent way.

The Community has asked volunteers from Operation Dove, operating in the area for about two years, to extend their stay in the area as a result of the worsening situation. The paramilitaries are in fact threatening the farmers of the area to carry out indiscriminate slaughter or to kill their local leaders, causing panic and concern, to force them to leave the area, some have already left and others are about to do so. In particular, the small villages most exposed are those of Alto Joaquin, Porto Nuevo, Las Claras, Nain, Taparito, Diamante, Manzo , Rio Verde, Baltazar.