Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/24/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Body parts are then thrown into sea.

The screams of people being dismembered alive with chainsaws echo throughout the Colombian port city of Buenaventura. People who live here say they hear the cries late at night, as the local drug gangs exact their vengeance against those who dare to cross them.

Thousands of Buenaventura's residents have been forced to flee as a result. Some 50,687 people have been forcibly displaced in the past three years, according to official figures.

Thousands of Buenaventura's residents have been forced to flee as a result. Some 50,687 people have been forcibly displaced in the past three years, according to official figures.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/24/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Buenaventura, Colombia, murder, dismemberment, drug gangs


LOS ANGELES,CA (Catholic online) - Local gangsters have been spotted leaving late at night from the "chop houses," which are warrens of wooden shacks on stilts, carrying plastic bags with dismembered body parts that are thrown then into the ocean.

With a population of roughly 370,000 people, Buenaventura is a key smuggling point for cocaine being transported by sea. The drugs are then trucked through Mexico into the United States. This grisly fact marks Buenaventura as one of Colombia's most violent cities.

Light a virtual candle -- by going here!

Fishermen report coming across body parts floating in the waters of Colombia's main port on the Pacific coast.

The gangs here fight over control of Buenaventura's waterfront areas where the cocaine is stored and shipped, putting communities in the middle of drug turf wars.

"The chop-up houses do exist even though the government finds it hard to accept that they do," said a nun and women's rights leader says. "Women in our support group have heard the screams at night. They fear that their sons, daughters and husbands who've disappeared have been dismembered. People are too afraid to act."

Mutilated body parts of at least a dozen people have been found washed up along Buenaventura's shores over the past year and a half.

In testimonies collected by Human Rights Watch (HRW), officials say that when they visited Buenaventura in November 2013, they found a city that was wracked by "terror in no-man's land" and at the mercy of criminal gangs linked to former right-wing paramilitaries. These outfits demobilized as part of a controversial peace process from 2003 onwards but then returned to crime.

"We found a city where entire neighborhoods were dominated by powerful paramilitary successor groups - known as the Urabenos and the Empresa - who restrict residents' movements, recruit their children, extort their businesses, and routinely engage in horrific acts of violence against anyone who defies their will," Jose Miguel Vivanco, HRW's Americas director, told reporters.

"These mafia are terrorizing communities. The fact that people disappear and dismembered parts of bodies continue to appear on Buenaventura's beaches shows that the horror has no limit," he said.

Thousands of Buenaventura's residents have been forced to flee as a result. Some 50,687 people have been forcibly displaced in the past three years, according to official figures.

Buenaventura has reported the highest numbers of residents uprooted from their homes every year since 2011 and is home to the largest number of people registered missing in Colombia. At least 150 people disappeared in the city from 2010 to 2013, HRW says.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Americas

PROTECTING THE PAST: Peru resorts to drones to save archaeological treasures Watch

Image of Home to the spectacular Inca city of Machu Picchu as well as thousands of ancient ruins, Peruvian archaeologists are working around the clock to protect sites from squatters, builders and miners.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A culture is worth nothing if it doesn't preserve its past. To this end, the South American nation of Peru has now resorted to unmanned drones to protect its many archaeological sites. Home to the spectacular Inca city of Machu Picchu as well as thousands of ... continue reading


Would you know if a tiger was in your home? Watch

Image of A tiger was found in a cage in a room of an abandoned house by Mexican authorities. The tiger has been moved to a local zoo while police conduct an investigation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Bengal tiger was found by Mexican police officer in an abandoned house after they  received an anonymous tip from a member of the public. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The property was located in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez, in the state of ... continue reading


CHILD LABOR HORROR: Ten-year-old children can now be put to work in Bolivia Watch

Image of Ten-year-olds will be able to work as long as they are under parental supervision and also attend school. Twelve is now the minimum age for a child to work under contract. Those children would also have to attend school.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long a blight of many civilized nations, the South American nation of Bolivia has become the first nation to legalize child labor for children as young as 10 years old. Congress approved the legislation early this month, and Vice President Alvaro Garcia signed ... continue reading


Watch out America! China invades South America with epic trade deal Watch

Image of Brazil is one of the countries that is seeing a massive economic boom, and has made major deals with China in the last few years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China is expanding its trade partnership with Brazil, with a $7.5 billion financing agreement with Brazilian miner Vale, the purchase of 60 passenger jets from Brazilian plane maker Embraer, and renewed commitment to invest in Brazil's infrastructure. LOS ... continue reading


Looking good for your age? Try this Brazilian who's 126 Watch

Image of Jose Aguinelo dos Santos was reportedly born on July 7, 1888, a recently released birth certificate says. If true, at 126 years old, he would be the oldest person alive.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Brazilian man may hold the distinction of being the oldest living person in the world after he received a birth certificate showing that he turned 126 last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Jose Aguinelo dos Santos was born on July 7, 1888 to two former ... continue reading


Putin meets with Fidel Castro and his brother: Russia and Cuba to work together Watch

Image of Cuba and Russia at one time enjoyed one of the firmest Cold War alliances. That relationship ended abruptly with the collapse of the Soviet bloc at the start of the 1990s.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cuban President Raul Castro, joined by his ailing brother Fidel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both Putin and his Cuban counterpart signed a slew of agreements expanding cooperation between the two countries. Russia has been the communist island's ... continue reading


The only clear winner in the World Cup - is Univison Watch

Image of Legions of soccer fans used Univision's free streaming to covertly watch games on their office computers or cellphones.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Whatever side of the fence you're on with the World Cup - along with the worldwide televised phenomenon it's quickly become, it's clear that the only real winner will be Univision. It's a gamble that paid off. Taking half-a-million dollars, the Spanish language ... continue reading


Peruvian government makes abortions easier to obtain Watch

Image of Women who become  pregnant as a result of the crime of rape are not allowed an abortion in Peru because the child in the womb is also recognized as having a right to life. The U.N. is attempting to coerce Peru to change its laws to allow abortion in cases of rape.The legislators of Peru do not want to promote another crime in response to horrendous crime of rape. The death of the child would also be a criminal act.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peru may be making the procurement of an abortion easier. The South American nation, along with  many others on the continent, have had very stringent laws on taking the life of a child in the womb through procured abortion. Every procured abortion always ... continue reading


Nicaragua canal will be 'the biggest [project] built in the history of humanity' Watch

Image of Workers supervise the dredging of the Río San Juan in Nicaraugua.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hailed as "the biggest [project] built in the history of humanity," the Nicaraguan government and the Hong Kong-based HKND Group plans to build a canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. A route has been settled upon, stretching 173 miles from Punta ... continue reading


Amazon rainforest may have been a savannah just 2,000 years ago Watch

Image of As little as 2,000 years ago, the parts of the Amazon rainforest might have actually been savannah, new evidence suggests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers have recently revealed that parts of the immense Amazon rainforest may have been grassland until just about 2,000 years ago, citing that a shift to a wetter climate may have been the culprit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study, which ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter