A Colombian army patrol hacked a 34-year old man with Downs’s syndrome to death with a machete in the village of Santiago Perez. Possible motive: vengeance
“Pirinolo” was the nickname that villagers from the tiny hamlet of Santiago Perez in central Colombia used for the good-humoured 34-year old Ulises, a native of the town of Chaparral. He suffered from Down’s syndrome also known as “mongolism”.
The locals at the market used to give the strongly built Pirinolo small jobs carrying sacks of coffee and bundles of firewood. But since the evening of Saturday September 29th, the villagers have been marked by fear after witnessing the public execution of Pirinolo at the hands of the Colombian Army, writes the weekly paper Voz.
Around 23.30 that night, thirty soldiers from the Caicedo Battalion of the Colombian Army entered the village where the streets were filled with weekend revellers. As they came across Pirinolo some of the soldiers grabbed him and started beating him and kicking him around.
One of the soldiers took a machete and apparently tried to cut Pirinolo’s neck with a strong blow but only injured him badly in the back. Bleeding heavily, Pirinolo crawled to the next street corner where he collapsed. The soldiers followed him and finished him off with four gunshots in the chest before leaving the corpse in the street.
The villagers of Santiago Perez in the Tolima department told Voz’s correspondent that the possible motive for the slaughter of the defenceless Pirinolo was revenge. According to the locals, a brother of one of the soldiers in the patrol from the Caicedo Battalion was killed in the same village two years ago. The soldier’s brother was a suspected member of a right-wing death squad allied to the Colombian Army.
MARIA ENGQVIST writes on Colombia for AnnCol.