Thursday, March 26, 2009

Armed transportation stoppage

Dear friends,

The “Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army” (FARC) declared an armed transportation stoppage here in the state of Arauca that is causing hardship for the people they claim to be defending. FARC guerrillas called the transport companies on March 16 and threatened to burn their vehicles if they didn’t obey the order to halt transportation.

I’m currently in the town of Arauquita – which lies along the highway that runs through the north of Arauca. The route to Saravena (35 miles west) was the first to be suspended early on the morning of March 16. The last taxi for Arauca City (65 miles east) left town around 2:30 that afternoon. Two armed men on a motorcycle halted a bus on the highway that day and forced it to turn back.

There are no longer any taxis circulating in Arauquita. The motorized canoes that take people across the Arauca River to La Victoria in Venezuela have also been suspended. School bus service in the towns of La Esmeralda and Fortul was suspended this morning due to threats from the FARC. Local stores are running out of fruit and vegetables, and the remaining food is increasing in price because of the scarcity.

Defense Minister Juan Santos flew to Arauca City on March 16 for a public meeting about the security situation in Arauca. Government authorities decided to fine the transport companies that are refusing to risk their drivers and vehicles during the stoppage. The military and police also announced that they were launching “Plan Meteor” to prevent the guerrillas from paralyzing transportation.

FARC guerrillas have burned a cargo truck and a tanker truck, halted a vehicle on the Arauca-Tame highway and placed it across the roadway blocking traffic, attacked a tractor-trailer, and also attacked a caravan of oilfield workers.

The military and police launched the “Arauca Moves” plan on March 17. The plan consists of armed escort for transportation caravans. One caravan of vehicles leaves Arauca City every morning for Arauquita, Saravena, Fortul and Tame. Another caravan travels daily from Tame to Arauca City. The caravans are accompanied by a large contingent of soldiers, police and secret police. Three of the caravans have been attacked by the FARC.

The United Nations’ World Food Program planned to deliver food supplements for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and children at risk of malnutrition, in Arauquita on March 19. The delivery was cancelled because the food packets couldn’t be brought here due to the transportation stoppage.

According to United Nations’ reports, FARC commanders ordered the “Black March” campaign (which includes the stoppage in Arauca) to commemorate the death of three of their top leaders in March 2008. Raul Reyes, the second-in-command, was killed along with 25 other people when his camp inside Ecuador was bombed by the Colombian military on March 1. Ivan Rios was killed on March 3 by his own bodyguard, who then cut off Rios’ hand to present to the government as proof to collect the reward money. Manuel Marulanda, the legendary leader of the FARC, died of natural causes on March 26 – after fighting against the Colombian government for more than 50 years.

The vast majority of people here in Arauquita have no idea why the FARC is imposing this transportation stoppage – they just want it to end soon. According to those same UN reports, the stoppage is going to continue until March 30.

In love and solidarity,



Teo Ballvé said...

Thanks for this post, Scott. This puts transport workers between a rock (the FARC) and a hard place (police/military).

On the one hand their livelihoods are at stake, but I would also think that traveling by military escort to make their daily bread might get them for place A to B, but also puts them at risk of later reprisals by the guerrillas.

Once again, we see that civilians aren't simply caught in the "cross-fire," but actually the principle targets/victims of the violence.

CAJA said...


Thanks for your response. Scott is currently in the U.S. beginning his annual spring speaking tour of the Northwest U.S.

This year he is accompanying Nidia Castellanos who is a single mother of three children who is risking her life to defend human rights in Colombia. She is the secretary general of the Arauca Peasant Association which is enduring severe repression by the government. The U.S. government is giving Colombia more than $1 million a day in military aid – some of which is used to protect Occidental Petroleum’s operations in Nidia’s state of Arauca.

Are you currently residing in Bogota? Have you met Scott?

Anyway, thanks for your work as well. We've linked to your blog.

A couple of the board members have blogs as well:

Anonymous said...

Online Pharmacy for Cialis, Levitra, Tamiflu, Viagra. Order Generic Medication In own Pharmacy. Buy Pills Central.
[url=]Discount Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Tamiflu Drugstore No prescription[/url]. Indian generic pills. Discount pills pharmacy

Anonymous said...

Today it's instead particular to consign different medical companies generic Cialis Online, singularly those who dispense their meds online.

Anonymous said...

broadband ojsc hope factnearly rebel ipcc kabily genie iipaper bottom grasp
semelokertes marchimundui

Anonymous said...

Infatuation casinos? grill this innocent [url=]online casino[/url] poor tip and wing it denigrate online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at .
you can also survey our in craze [url=]casino[/url] swagger at and make it in urgent fate !
another smart [url=]casino spiele[/url] position is , because german gamblers, retrieve agreeable online casino bonus.

Dean said...

greetings to all.
I would first like to thank the writers of this blog by sharing information, a few years ago I read a book called guanacaste costa rica in this book deal with questions like this one.

niz said...

Hello .. firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers. After this, I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often. In my personal experience I might mention a book called Generic Viagra in this book that I mentioned have very interesting topics, and also you have much to do with the main theme of this article.

Anonymous said...

Vigrx Reviews
Proextender reviews

Anonymous said...

I every time be a fan of this site, I find it really well structured. Congratulations to the creator of the website Martin - california auto insurance

Anonymous said...

vimax extender

Anonymous said... shop louis vuitton online louis vuitton artsy gm probable tooth louis vuitton diaper bag guard lesson exam magazine fortunate hermes handbag poverty escape boy tiresome toy disaster owe mass louis vuitton handbags store metre

khasiat sarang semut said...

Sarang Semut Papua
Buah Merah Papua
Rumput kebar Papua
Kayu Akway

Stefanie Reyes said...

hey there and thank you in your information – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did then again expertise some technical issues the use of this web site, since I experienced to reload the site many times prior to I may just get it to load properly. I were pondering if your hosting is OK? Now not that I am complaining, however sluggish loading cases times will very frequently have an effect on your placement in google and can damage your high quality rating if advertising and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can glance out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again soon..

travel bromo said...

Good post,goods job and sucses
wisata bromo:obat herbal stres:obat herbal:obat Alami Stres:obat herbal Alami

nhua in 3d said...

vitenam visa in Slovenia said...

Where is Vietnam embassy in Slovenia?
How to get Vietnam visa in Slovenia
Vietnam visa requirement for Slovenian
Proposal for extending Russia visa to Vietnam
Where is Vietnam embassy in Italy?
How to get Vietnam visa in Italy
Vietnam visa requirement for Italian
Vietnam coconut festival – The biggest ever
Where is Vietnam embassy in Spain?
How to get Vietnam visa in Spain
Vietnam visa requirement for Spanish
Vietnam Tourist guidebook the 7th edition has been…
Free buses in Quang Ninh
Vietnam visa requirement for French
Where is Vietnam embassy in France?

Download lagu mp3 terbaru gratis said...

Download Lagu Mp3 TerbaruTempat Download Lagu TerlengkapDownload Lagu Mp3 Fatin

wisata bromo said...

best article
very nice...
Bromo Tour Package
Wisata Bromo
trip to bromo
Bromo Travel
Bromo Tour

Download lagu mp3 terbaru gratis said...

Download Lagu Mp3 TerbaruTempat Download Lagu TerlengkapDownload Lagu Mp3 Fatin

Andrye said...

surat dinas informasi
Slip gaji lengkap
kumpulan contoh memo singkat
contoh proposal paling terbaru

Djarum Black said...

Djarum Black - news very interesting and mind blogging articles...

Resep Sederhana said...

resep makanan sederhana lengkap dan mudah !

Bali Driver said...

What kin dog is that pass the street
Bali Tour, Bali Tours, Bali Driver

Green World Global said...

Kindly let me leave the link here admin.
Obat Kanker Hati

Obat Pelangsing Murah

cara memperbesar penis said...

thank's for information..

kursi tamu mewah said...

Nice article Thanks for giving me this information
mebel jepara murah

obatkanker serviks said...

Mengapa kutil bisa tumbuh di alat kelamin pria serta bagaimana mengobatinya, kutil tumbuh di sekitar kelamin pria bisa tumbuh pada batang penis pria, ujung penis pria, pangkal penis pria bahkan bisa tumbuh di sekitar anus pria. hal ini karena di sebabkan oleh virus yang bernama HPV (human papilloma Virus) sebelum melakukan pengobatan terlebih dahulu akan saya jelaskan mengenai virus HPV ini sehingga nanti kedepannya khsusunya untuk kaum pria dapat menjaga diri agar terhindar dari penyakit ini obat herbal manjur

obat maag kronis said...

i have a nice blog at this obat maag kronis

ahmad farokhi said...

Hi everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site, and piece of writing is really fruitful for me, keep up posting these articles
mebel jepara murah
kursi tamu mewah
mebel jepara
meja makan mewah
tempat tidur mewah
meja rias minimalis
mebel jati jepara
kursi syahrini
toko mebel jepara
mebel furniture jepara

kafy net said...

Wow, Excellent post. This article is really very interesting and effective. I think its must be helpful for us. Thanks for sharing your informative. Buy Facebook Likes

batu akik aceh said...

Tempat bahan baku batu akik aceh yang berkualitas
cara mengkilapkan batu akik anggur pacitan

Bali Driver said...

Nice post, you have good writing skill
Thank you for sharing this amazing post
Visit my travel blog : Bali Driver and Bali Tour

Wisata Bromo said...

Ijen Tour,
Bromo Tour
Bromo Ijen Tour
bromo tour
Wisata bromo Midnight Tour

Social Media said...

You Need Social Media Service such as Facebook Likes, Facebook Followers, Facebook Share, Facebook Post Likes, Twitter Followers, Twitter Re-tweets, Twitter Favorite, Instagram Followers, Instagram Photo Likes, YouTube Views, YouTube Subscribers, YouTube Video Likes, Pinterest Followers, Pinterest Likes, Pinterest Re-pins, Google Plus, Website Likes, Website Share, Website Tweets? Feel free to leave us a comment. Click our Social Media Website.

bromo tour said...

Thanks for this post
tour bromo murah | bromo tour midnight | bromo guide | bromo tour | paket wisata bromo | bromo malang | wisata bromo malang | paket bromo malang | wisata bromo tour murah | sewa jeep bromo | sewa homestay bromo

Vietnam Visa à l'arrivée said...

evisa vietnam
வியட்நாம் விசா
Vietnam Visa à l'arrivée
Need Vietnam Visa
Vietnam Visa
Vietnam Viza
Vietnam visa in Portuguese
viajes vietnam
Visado para Vietnam
viaje vietnam visado