The violence perpetrated by state agents and groups such as the AUC against LGBTIQ+ people in Montes de María

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According to the volume 'My body is the truth' of the Final Report of the Truth Commission, between 2000 and 2008, some members of the Police and paramilitaries committed serious violence against people from this community that connects the Colombian Caribbean with the scepter of the country


Oscar Mauricio López

Violence exercised by state agents and groups such as the AUC against LGBTIQ+ people in Montes de María

The volume 'My body is the truth' of the Final Report of the Truth Commission emphasizes three situations of violence against the LGBTIQ+ community during the armed conflict in Colombia. Infobae (Jesús Avilés)

“We were in the park and sometimes they told me: «Go there at eleven or twelve at night; if not, you know what's your turn», and one had to go; They undressed me, they made me perform oral sex on them. Sometimes, when they were going to penetrate you, they passed the revolver through your buttocks. “Oh yes, like that. That's what you like, right? It makes me want to shoot you, you fagot son of a bitch.” They would go and do what they wanted with you and you let yourself do things for fear that they were going to kill you”.

Violence exercised by state agents and groups such as the AUC against LGBTIQ+ people in Montes de María

Without a better past: violence against LGBTIQ+ people was not invented by warThe volume 'My body is the truth' pointed out that, with the Final Peace Agreement, the LGBTIQ+ population seeks to build a future that accepts difference, since in the pages of their history they have not found any that have accepted them


This testimony of Adalberto, an Afro-descendant gay man from El Carmen de Bolívar, was collected by the Truth Commission —hereinafter,Commission—to portray the violence suffered by members of the LGBTIQ+ community during the armed conflict in Montes de María, one of the regions with a high presence of armed insurgent groups, paramilitaries and the same State.

This area, located between Sucre and Bolívar, is characteristic for having three mountain system peaks: La Pita, Cansona and Maco hills identify the Montes de María in the distance. Its privileged geographical position makes it similar to the Paramillo Knot, with the difference that it has more than one corridor between the interior of the country and the Caribbean. This has been used for the transport and export of cocaine, which is why in the 2000s it was so disputed by armed groups, especially the Police and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia —AUC—.

The violence perpetrated by state agents and groups such as the AUC against LGBTIQ+ people in Montes de María

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< p class="paragraph">These actors, according to the Commission, committed extensive violence against this population and one of those cases occurred in Montes de María at the beginning of the century. At that time, a group of members of this community began to meet in squares and parks in El Carmen de Bolívar. This not only drew the attention of other LGBTIQ+ people, but also paramilitaries and law enforcement.

In context: Caribbean Region: the implementation of democratic security in 2002 and the persecution in Montes de María

Violence exercised by state agents and groups like the AUC against LGBTIQ+ people in Montes de María

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Aggressions not only occurred in trenches, but also in police stations. Omar, an Afro-bisexual man who also lived in that municipality and served as a social leader in Montes de María, told the Commission that, between 2001 and 2002, the Police approached people with different sexual orientations and gender identities and uploaded them to vans to the airport —called The Landing—, “they had sex with them there, and he left them lying around”. On other occasions, they were taken directly to the stations and there they committed the abuses.

The report We resist delivered by the portal Caribe Afirmativoto the Commission, mentions that the AUC enslaved several transgender women between 2001 and 2007, a period in which members of this group came to the houses and forced them to attend to them not only with the washing of their clothes, but also sexually, since they they had to introduce them to several of their friends so that they could have encounters of this type with them.

The warning they gave was that if they did not behave well, they would do the so-called 'cleaning' “Of those who did harm to society.” In the same way, they had to see how these subjects assaulted other lesbian and trans women.

The AUC demobilized in 2006, but in 2007 the threats against LGBTIQ+ people continued with intensity in Montes de María; In fact, that last year a trigger occurred that horrified the residents of this region and of El Carmen de Bolívar: a pamphlet circulated in that area mentioning a group of this group that began to meet in public places. Added to that, nine other names appeared inside a coffin. Said threats were attributed to demobilized paramilitary groups.

When they went to make the complaints, the Prosecutor's Office He received them with various questions. This is how Danesa, a trans woman and victim of the conflict, told the Truth Commission:

“And why are they threatening you? What did you do?”. “But look what the letter says.” “Ah, don't pay attention to that, they are ordinary people.” That I don't know what, I don't know how much, “but in any case, leave me your data”. After making the complaints, they received new intimidating messages loaded with homophobia and hate.

“We left the information in the morning and in the afternoon they were calling us, that they had us watched 24 hours a day, “faggots, sons of bitches, wretches, get out of town”, that this, that that,” Danesa related. Precisely that message generated suspicion about an alleged delivery of information to paramilitaries by the Prosecutor's Office.

Some were put into trucks, others did war work

Elías, 14 years old, was also violated by paramilitaries in El Carmen de Bolívar. Around that same time when the attacks against the LGBTIQ+ community intensified, they made him get into a truck known as La última lágrima, which was traveling freely through that region. In total, six people were in that vehicle when they forced him into it.

“That day they raped me, beat me, and abandoned me on the outskirts of the municipality, on the road to San Jacinto. During the attack, they referred to me in a pejorative way, that I was an “unfortunate, bastard fagot,” he told the Commission. Another boy who was approached by a van was 17-year-old Nelson. The last time he was seen, he boarded a vehicle with that characteristic and since then he has not been heard from again.

According to the Commission, between 2000 and 2008, various police officers National Police and parastatal agents such as the AUC cruelly persecuted and committed various types of violence —including sexual— against LGBTIQ+ people in Montes de María.

“The victims reported violations of rights human rights, in the case of the former, in tasks of war granted by legal powers and the territorial context; the consent of the State with the AUC and the paramilitaries, as well as the modalities of violence carried out by them and by the National Police, which had great similarities”, affirms My body is the truth.

< p class="paragraph">Continue reading the Final Report special:

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