Boyacá Chapter into context

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In the department of Boyacá there is a geographical distribution of diverse armed actors. While the guerrilla organizations have settled in the upper parts of the region, the paramilitary groups have settled in the flat and low areas of the Western part.

As for the presence of paramilitary organizations, since 2001, the Frente Héroes de Boyacá (Bloque Elmer Cárdenas of the AUC) can be found under the control of Freddy Rendón Herrera alias “El Alemán”. Similarly, the following groups operated in the region: the Frente Lanceros de Vélez y Boyacá (Bloque Bolívar Central of the AUC), the Autodefensas Campesinas del Casanare (in the boundary zone between Boyacá and Casanare), a group led by Héctor Germán Buitrago alias “Martin Llanos” and the Héroes de Málaga group, a group that had its operations in the Southern department of Santander but made several incursions into the municipalities of Northern Boyacá.


One of the most important events in the department were the extrajudicial executions committed in Tunja between 2005 and 2008. The Attorney General’s Office has investigated members of the Gaula Militar de Boyacá for their participation in the murder of more than 8 young people, mainly with drug addiction problems, set up around the transport terminal. Also, there was the Massacre of the Páramo de La Sarna which occurred on December 1st, 2001, where the Autodefensas Campesinas del Casanare in collaboration with the Tarqui Battalion of the National Army killed 15 people on an intermunicipal bus.


Given the growing threat to social leaders in municipalities such as El Espino, Paya, Pisba, Pajarito and Labranzagrande, the Ombudsman’s Office declared a medium risk-level warning in May 2018. According to the public institution, as of March, 480 threats against defenders of human rights were registered.

The chapter includes victims of enforced disappearance, extrajudicial executions and murders from the municipalities of Tunja, Duitama, Sogamoso, Pisba, Paya, Labranzagrande, Ventaquemada and Soatá. The following organizations are part of it: Sindicato SUTIMAC-Nobsa, the Centro de Investigacion y Educacion Popular Programa Por la Paz (CINEP / PPP), the Fundación Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos (CSPP), Comité de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CAJAR) and the Comité Permanente de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos of Boyacá (CPDH) which are part of Vida Memoria y Dignidad, a group of relatives of victims of State crime in the department of Boyacá.

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