Summary executions and enforced disappearances
Assassinations and enforced disappearances of trade unionists and peasant leaders
Enforced disappearance of Messrs. Nilson Severino Franco Ortega and Emidio Prado Trujillo24. Mr. Nilson Severino Franco Ortega, nephew of Mr. Rafael Esquivel Ortega, treasurer of the National Union of Food Industry Workers (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de las Industrias de Alimentos – SINALTRAINAL), and Mr. Emilio Prado Trujillo, brother of Mr. Carlos Prado Trujillo, treasurer of the Barranquilla branch of SINALTRAINAL, and of Mr. Alvaro Prado Trujillo, treasurer of the Cali branch of the Steel Workers' Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Metálica – SINTRAIME), were still reported missing by the end of 2006.
On August 4, 2005, Mr. Nilson Severino Franco Ortega and Mr. Emilio Prado Trujillo had been approached by four armed men in Andalucía (Valle de Cauca), and forced into an unregistered vehicle. The four armed men had told Mr. Emilio Trujillo that they had "warned" him.
Status of the investigation into the assassination of Messrs. Héctor Alirio Martínez, Jorge Eduardo Prieto Chamusero and Leonel Goyeneche Goyeneche25. By the end of 2006, three sets of legal proceedings were still in progress in connection with the assassinations, on August 5, 2004, of Messrs. Héctor Alirio Martínez, president of the Regional Association of Peasants (Asociación Departamental de Usuarios Campesinos – ADUC), Jorge Eduardo Prieto Chamusero, president of the National Association of Hospital Workers (Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores Hospitalarios – ANTHOC) in Arauca, and Leonel Goyeneche Goyeneche, director of the United Confederation of Workers (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores – CUT). The first procedure was instigated by the National Unity for Human Rights (Unidad Nacional de Derechos Humanos – UNDH); the second by the Special Court of Arauca and the third by the office of the Attorney General of the Nation. Four military officers – including one non-commissioned officer – and a presumed contract killer were identified as the perpetrators of these extra-judicial killings. The Attorney General was also investigating the responsibility of a lieutenant-colonel and other members of the mechanised battalion of the Revéiz Pizarro army based in Saravena, in the Arauca province, in respect with these killings. Indeed, after the death of the three leaders, the authorities had stated that their execution had occurred during a military operation led by members of the abovementioned battalion. The Vice-President of the Republic and the spokesperson for the battalion had accused the victims of belonging to a subversive group. In addition, the Minister of Defence stated that they were armed "delinquents" and that arrest warrants had been issued against them.
However, on July 14, 2005, the Prosecutor with the Human Rights Unit of the Ministry of Justice had qualified the assassinations of the three men as "war crimes and crimes against humanity", stressing that the social leaders had "not been killed during combat, but were cruelly murdered" and that they were "shot in the back". According to the Prosecutor, the military officers had acted "with criminal intent, being protected by their military position, and on the orders of one of them or the individuals in charge of the military operation". He also added that the witness statements and the scientific evidence showed that the victims had been shot at close range and that the crime scene had been disguised.
Messrs. Alirio Martínez and Prieto Chamusero were under precautionary measures granted by the IACHR since July 2002.
Assassination of two SINTRAINAGRO leaders26. On January 2, 2006, the body of Mr. Carlos Arciniegas Niño, leader of the National Farming and Animal Industry Workers' Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria Agropecuaria – SINTRAINAGRO) in Barrancabermeja (Santander province), was found bound, bearing signs of torture and three bullet wounds. His body was found in the premises of the Palmeras Bucarelia company, where he worked, halfway between Barrancabermeja and Puerto Wilches (Santander). Mr. Carlos Arciniegas Niño had been reported missing since December 30, 2005.
On October 11, 2006, Mr. Jesús Marino Mosquera, SINTRAINAGRO leader and a member of the National Workers' Commission (Comisión Obrero Nacional) in Urabá (Antioquia province), was also shot dead as he was on his way to work in the municipality of Carepa (Antioquia).
Assassination of Ms. María Isabel Fuentes27. On January 23, 2006, Ms. María Isabel Fuentes, a school teacher and a member of the Education Workers' Union of Valle del Cauca (Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Educación del Valle – SUTEV), was murdered in the hamlet of Alto del Rocío de Tuluá (Valle del Cauca) by an armed group which burst into the building where she was teaching.
Assassination of Mr. Alirio Sepúlveda Jaimes28. On February 4, 2006, Mr. Alirio Sepúlveda Jaimes, a community leader, was murdered in Saravana, Arauca. Since 2002, Mr. Sepúlveda had continuously been threatened and harassed by national police forces because of his activities.
Assassination of Mr. Daniel Cortez Cortez29. On March 2, 2006, Mr. Daniel Cortez Cortez, a member of the Colombian Electricity Workers' Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Electricidad de Colombia – SINTRAELECOL), and of the Barrancabermeja branch of CUT, was shot dead as he was working at the Santander power station, in the municipality of Puerto Parra.
Assassination of Mr. Héctor Díaz Serrano30. On March 2, 2006, Mr. Héctor Díaz Serrano, a member of the Workers' Union (Unión Sindical Obrera – USO) and an employee of the Colombian Oil Company (Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos – ECOPETROL) in Campo Casabe, was killed in El Cincuentenario, a neighbourhood under paramilitary control in Barrancabermeja (Santander), while on his way to work.
Assassination of Mr. Harvey Morales Guevara31. On March 23, 2006, Mr. Harvey Morales Guevara, a member of the Ciénaga branch of the Mining and Energy Industry Workers' Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria Minera y Energética – SINTRAMIENERGETICA), was murdered in Santa Marta (Magdalena) as he stepped out of the shuttle of the Drummond Ltda. mining company, where he worked. Eleven days prior to his assassination, SINTRAMIENERGETICA had undertaken a collective action against the company, denouncing in particular the poor work conditions as well as the recruiting of paramilitaries by the company to protect its interests.
Assassination of Mr. Nelson Martínez32. On April 29, 2006, Mr. Nelson Martínez, a member of the Construction Workers' Union (Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Construcción – SINDICONS), was murdered in Arauquita (Arauca).
Assassination attempt against Mr. Eduardo Enrique García Fuentes' son33. On May 14, 2006, two unidentified individuals on motorbikes asked a neighbour to indicate where Mr. Eduardo Enrique García Fuentes, leader of the Hospital Workers' Association (Asociación de Trabajadores Hospitalarios – ANTHOC), lived. When the neighbour pointed to Mr. García Fuentes' son who happened to be walking in front of the house, the two men shot at him, leaving him seriously injured, and said that the same would happen to all union leaders.
Mr. García Fuente received numerous death threats in the past few years which were reported to the Prosecutor. However, the latter reportedly closed all the files.
Assassination of Mr. Luis Antonio Arismendi Pico and Ms. Belquis Dayana Goyeneche34. On June 6, 2006, the body of Mr. Luis Antonio Arismendi Pico, president of the "Manuela Beltrán" Union of Food and Beverage Workers and Distributors of the San Francisco District Market Place (Sindicato "Manuela Beltrán" de Trabajadores y Expendedores de Alimentos y Bebidas de la Plaza de Mercado del Barrio San Francisco – SINDIMANUELABELTRAN), was found in the municipality of Zipacón (Cundinamarca province). He had disappeared on April 28, 2006 along with a friend, Ms. Belquis Dayana Goyeneche, as they were leaving their workplace. Her body was also subsequently found. The day before his disappearance, Mr. Arismendi Pico had told the police that suspicious individuals were lurking around his workplace.
Mr. Arismendi Pico's son, Mr. Loudwing Arismendi, was also subjected to several serious acts of harassment after he publicly denounced the disappearance of his father.
In particular, members of the Criminal Police Directorate (Dirección de Policía Judicial) questioned him, confiscated his identity papers and followed him on several occasions.
Assassination of Mr. Carlos Arturo Montes Bonilla35. On August 17, 2006, Mr. Carlos Arturo Montes Bonilla, a SINALTRAINAL member, was killed near his home in the north of the city of Barrancabermeja. Mr. Montes Bonilla was involved in denouncing abusive pratices by the multinational Coca-Cola.
Assassination attempt against Mr. Eliécer Morales Sánchez36. On August 18, 2006, Mr. Eliécer Morales Sánchez, an ANTHOC member, was once again the victim of an assassination attempt in Bogotá. Two individuals on motorbikes approached him before shooting at him twice, leaving him seriously injured. This was the eighth attempt on Mr. Morales' life. It was allegedly perpetrated by members of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – AUC, a paramilitary group).
On September 21, 2006, a complaint was filed with the Ministry of the Interior, the police of Bogotá, the Vice-President of the Republic, the Prosecutor and the Ombudsman. Fearing for his life, Mr. Morales was still staying in protected quarters provided by the Prosecutor by the end of 2006.
Assassination of Mr. Ismael Monsalve Suárez37. On September 2, 2006, Mr. Ismael Monsalve Suárez, a popular leader and a member of the Workers' Union of the Municipality of Arauqita (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Alcadía Municipal – SINTROPEAR), was killed in a neighbourhood of the city of Arauqita.
Assassination of Mr. Alejandro Uribe38. On September 19, 2006, Mr. Alejandro Uribe, a board member of the Bolivador Miners' Association (Asociación de Mineros del Bolivador) – a branch of the Federation of Peasants and Miners of South Bolívar (Federación Agrominera del Sur de Bolívar – FEDEAGROMISBOL) – and president of the Mina Gallo Communal Assembly in the Morales municipality (Bolívar province), was killed by military officers.
On September 20, 2006, members of the Mina Gallo and Mina Viejito communities went out looking for Mr. Uribe and found the clothes he was wearing the day before. They were later informed by locals that his body had been taken to the Nueva Grenada anti-aircraft battalion in San Luquitas, Santa Rosa municipality.
Members of the two communities went to the military base to claim Mr. Uribe's body but were told by soldiers that they "should not move in large groups because the army's reaction could be dangerous". Other members of the battalion reportedly said that "[they hoped] to cross paths with leaders of the Federation of Peasants and Miners of South Bolívar while alone", which raised further concerns for their safety.
On September 7, 2006, Mr. Alejandro Uribe had reported to the Public Defender's office the extra-judicial execution of Mr. Arnulfo Pabón, a member of the same community, on August 18, 2006, by the abovementioned battalion, in the village of Bolivador, in the Arenal municipality.
On the next day, Mr. Uribe had taken part in the organisation of the Southern Bolivar Mining Communities' Assembly, during which more than 18 communities met with the Ombudswoman and human rights organisations to scrutinise the human rights situation and to take protective measures in favour of the members of his community.
These events occurred in a context of increasing violence from the anti-aircraft battalion of Nueva Grenada. This battalion is allegedly in charge of protecting the multinational Anglo Gold Ashant's (Kedahda S.A.) which operates in the area. Local miners are strongly opposed to its presence; many of them notably denounced its harmful effects on the environment as well as the forced evictions its operations have caused.
Assassination attempt against two USO members39. On November 25, 2006, unidentified individuals on motorcycles shot nine times at the security vehicle of Mr. Rodolfo Vecino Acevedo, national leader of the Workers' Union (USO), a CUT-affiliate.
A complaint was lodged on the same day with the police and the General Prosecutor.
In the night of November 26 to 27, 2006, another USO member, Mr. Fernando Ramírez, received a threatening phone call.
On November 27, 2006, the Northern Bloc of the AUC claimed responsibility for these events in a press release, which was sent by email to CUT and USO.
Assassination of Mr. Norberto Fajardo Quintero40. On December 16, 2006, Mr. Norberto Fajardo Quintero, leader of the Construction Workers' Union (Sindicato de constructores – SINDICONS), was killed in the "Estadero el Estero" public building in the Arauquita municipality.
Assassinations and enforced disappearances of civil society representatives
Investigation into Mr. Orlando Valencia's assassination41. On November 6, 2006, Mr. José Montalvo Cuitiva was arrested on suspicion of being behind the assassination of Mr. Orlando Valencia, an Afro-Colombian member of the Community Councils of Jiguamiandó and Curvaradó, and an environmental defender in his community. Mr. Montalvo Cuitiva was the fourth person to be arrested in connection with this case, and reportedly belongs to a "criminal group" active in Mutata and Chigorodo. Another murderer was sentenced to 24 years and eight months in prison.
On October 24, 2005, Mr. Orlando Valencia's body was found in the León River, near the city of Chigorodó. He had been abducted on October 15, 2005 by two paramilitaries on motorcycles.
In September 2005, Mr. Valencia had requested effective measures from the Colombian government to address the threats to biodiversity induced by palm tree-growing companies, supported by State and para-State agents. He had also requested the return of the land which had been illegally confiscated by the companies.
Mr. Orlando Valencia was benefiting from provisional measures of protection granted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACoHR) at the time of his murder.
Assassination of Mr. Edilberto Vázquez Cardona42. On January 12, 2006, Mr. Edilberto Vázquez Cardona, head of the Arenas Altas humanitarian zone, was shot dead at point-blank range after having been violently dragged out of his home by soldiers of the Colombian regular army. The officers also fired and threw grenades at another house where two people from the community were staying and from which they managed to flee.
Representatives of the Ombudswoman, when informed of these events by Mr. Vázquez Cardona's son, met with army officers in San Josesito who admitted to have killed Mr. Vázquez Cardona, who was, according to them, a "member of the guerrilla".
On the same day, the army returned Mr. Vázquez Cardona's body to San Josesito, but did not authorise his family to identify it. A commission composed of the Ombudswoman and relatives of Mr. Vázquez Cardona later found his body near his home, where several threatening messages had been left.
Mr. Edilberto Vázquez Cardona had replaced Mr. Arlen Salas David, one of the leaders of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, as the head of the Arenas Altas humanitarian zone after Mr. Salas David was killed in November 2005.
Assassination of Mr. Juan Rodríguez Villamizar and his wife43. On March 5 and 6, 2006, Mr. Juan Rodríguez Villamizar, an indigenous leader, and his wife, Mrs. Luz Miriam Farías Rodríguez, a teacher in the Caño Claro community, were killed by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC).
Assassination of Mr. Wilson García Reatiga44. On March 22, 2006, Mr. Wilson García Reatiga, chairman of the communal assembly and former member of the Committee of the Association of Rural Inhabitants and Workers in Arauca (Asociación de Usuarios del Campo – ANUC-UR), in the village of Santo Domingo (municipality of Tame, Arauca), was killed in La Siberia (Tame). The murderers were likely to be members of an armed opposition group operating in the region. He had previously received threats from the FARC.
Torture and assassination of Ms. Yamile Agudelo Peñaloza45. On March 22, 2006, one day after her disappearance, the body of Ms. Yamile Agudelo Peñaloza, a member of the Women's Popular Organisation (Organización Femenina Popular – OFP) in Barrancabermeja (Santander), was found bearing traces of torture and sexual violence.
Enforced disappearance of Mr. Walter Álvarez Ossa and assassination of Mr. Gregorio Izquierdo Meléndez46. On August 16, 2006, Mr. Walter Álvarez Ossa, founder and board member of the Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (Comité Permanente para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos -CPDH), went missing as he was on his way home in the city of Guadalajara de Buga (Valle del Cauca). Mr. Ossa was still missing as of the end of 2006.
In February 2006, a leaflet threatening Mr. Ossa had been circulated in the city of Buga, the authors of which identified themselves as AUC members. Although regional and municipal authorities had been notified of these threats, they had not taken any measures to protect him.
In addition, on September 13, 2006, Mr. Gregorio Izquierdo Meléndez, a member of the regional assembly of CPDH in Arauca and president of the Arauca Public Companies' Union (Sindicato de las Empresas Públicas de Arauca – SINTRAEMSERPA), was killed in Bullevar de la Ceiba, a neighbourhood of Arauca. Mr. Izquierdo Meléndez had been receiving serious threats since 2002. Yet the municipal, regional and national authorities had not provided him with apropriate protection, despite the recommendations issued by the IACHR.
As of the end of 2006, the investigations into the death of Mr. Gregorio Izquierdo Meléndez and the disappearance of Mr. Walter Álvarez Ossa had produced no results.
Assassination of Mr. Juan Daniel Guerra Camargo47. On September 22, 2006, Mr. Juan Daniel Guerra Camargo, a community leader and a member of the Social Integration Committee of Catatumbo (Comité de Integración Social del Catatumbo – CISCA), was killed by two FARC members near El Aserrío, Teorema commune, North Santander province. Mr. Juan Daniel Guerra Camargo was working on a community project for the production of coffee.
Mr. Juan Daniel Guerra Camargo had previously acted as president of the Association of the Assemblies of the Aguachica Commune (Asociación de Juntas), César province, and was one of the founders of the Civic Movement for Community Action (Movimiento Cívico de Acción Comunitaria – MAC).
CISCA leaders are regularly the subject of groundless accusations made by the FARC. On July 26, 2005, another leader of the organisation, Mr. José Trinidad Torres, had also been killed by the FARC.
Arbitrary detentions of trade unionists and peasant leaders
Release of Mr. Hernando Hernández Tapazco48. On December 1, 2005, six months after his arrest at the headquarters of the National United Federation of Agriculture and Livestock Unions (Federación Nacional Sindical Unitaria Agropecuaria – FENSUAGRO-CUT) in Bogotá, Mr. Hernando Hernández Tapazco, leader of the indigenous community of Emberá Chamí and a member of the human rights section of the Federation, was released. In August 2005, his case had been transferred from the the Prosecutor's office of the city of Manziles to the anti-terrorist unit of the General Prosecutor's office.
Judicial proceedings and arbitrary detention of Ms. María Raquel Castro Pérez and Mr. Samuel Morales Flórez49. As of the end of 2006, Ms. María Raquel Castro Pérez, a member of the Arauca Teachers' Association (Asociación de Educadores de Arauca – ASEDAR), and Mr. Samuel Morales Flórez, president of the Arauca branch of CUT, remained respectively detained in the women's prison of Buen Pastor and in the "model prison", in Bogotá.
On August 5, 2004, Ms. Raquel Castro and Mr. Samuel Morales Flórez were arbitrarily arrested in Saravena (Arauca) by members of the Revéiz Pizarro mechanised army battalion who were carrying out a military operation in the village of Caño Seco. On that day, Mr. Samuel Morales Flórez had witnessed the assassinations of Messrs. Alirio Martínez, Jorge Eduardo Prieto Chamusero and Leonel Goyeneche Goyeneche50. Mr. Samuel Morales Flórez and Ms. Raquel Castro were then accused of "rebellion" and terrorism.
Arbitrary detention of Ms. Vitelvina Vargas Cortés51. On March 3 2006, units of the Technical Investigations Unit of the General Prosecutor's office (Cuerpo Técnico de Investigaciónes de la Fiscalía – CTI) arrested Ms. Vitelvina Vargas Cortés, head of the Cundinamarca Small Farmers' Union (Sindicato de Pequeños Agricultores de Cundinamarca – SINPEAGRICUN), an FENSUAGRO-CUT affiliate, in the hamlet of Santa Lucía de Fusagasugá, Cundinamarca. As of the end of 2006, no further information could be obtained about her situation.
Arbitrary detention of Mr. Luis Arnulfo Quiroga52. On March 27, 2006, Mr. Luis Arnulfo Quiroga, a member of the Arauca Peasants' Association (Asociación Campesina de Arauca – ACA) and president of the Communal Assembly of the hamlet of La Esperanza, was arrested without a warrant by two police officers, as he was crossing the main park in Tame (Arauca). On the same day, he was charged with "rebellion" and "being a member of a FARC-EP unit".
On the next day, Colonel Arturo Herrera of the Navas Pardo battalion of the fifth mobile brigade came to see him and reportedly told him that the Tame Prosecutor would offer him 200,000 pesos (about 70 euros) for every person he would denounce. As of the end of 2006, no further information had been made available about his situation.
Arbitrary detention of Mr. Tomás Ramos53. On April 12, 2006, Mr. Tomás Ramos, human rights secretary for the CUT sub-section in Atlántico, was briefly detained by members of the national police.
Arbitrary detention of Mr. Jesús Tovar54. On April 15, 2006, Mr. Jesús Tovar, vice-president of the Barranquilla branch of SINALTRAINAL, was arrested by members of the national police as he was in a protected vehicle. As of the end of 2006, no further information was available as to his situation.
Arbitrary detention and judicial proceedings against several trade union leaders55. Between August 12 and 16, 2006, several union leaders were arrested by the Revéiz Pizarro mechanised battalion based in Saravena, on the order of the Prosecutor's office of the Support Structure (Fiscalía de Estructura de Apoyo). The trade unionists were transferred to Arauca where they were charged with "rebellion". The union leaders were: Mr. Abdón Goyeneche Goyeneche, ASEDAR president and brother of union leader Leonel Goyeneche Goyeneche56; Mr. William Sáenz, ASEDAR leader in Fortúl; Mr. Esaud Montero Triana, a member of the Médica Mission and ANTHOC; Mr. Pedro Bueno, communal leader and a member of the executive board of the "Joel Sierra" Regional Foundation Committee for Human Rights (Fundación Comité Regional de Derechos Humanos "Joel Sierra"); and Mr. Nubia Chacón, a communal leader and an accountant for the Municipal Association for Communal Actions in Fortúl (Asociación Municipal de Juntas de Acción Comunal en Fortúl). As of the end of 2006, they all remained in detention facing charges of "rebellion".
Arbitrary detentions of civil society representatives
Arbitrary detention of Mr. Príncipe Gabriel González Arango57. On January 4, 2006, Mr. Príncipe Gabriel González Arango, coordinator of the Santander branch of the Foundation Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners (Fundación Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos – FCSPP), was arrested on the order of the Prosecutor's office of Pamplona (North Santander). He was then transferred to the premises of the Unified Action Group for the Freedom of Colombia (Grupo de Acción Unificado para la Libertad de Colombia – GAULA), in Bucaramanga.
On January 5, 2006, Mr. González Arango was questioned by the rapid response unit of the Prosecutor's office and charged with "rebellion". After several days in solitary confinement at the Palo Gordo prison, Mr. González Arango was sent to the "model prison" in Bucaramanga, awaiting trial.
On December 12, 2006, a hearing took place, which was adjourned as the witnesses for the prosecution turned out to be fictitious persons.
Mr. González Arango remained detained as of the end of 2006. The next hearing was scheduled for February 5, 2007.
In 2003 and 2005, Mr. González Arango had been threatened and designated as a "military target" by paramilitary groups. At the end of 2005, he had to leave his residence to go to live in Bogotá following serious threats made by the Central Bolívar Bloc of the AUC on June 13, 2005. After he complained about acts of harassment against him, the IACHR requested that precautionary measures be provided to him in addition to those provided under the protection programme of the Ministry of the Interior. As of the end of 2006, Mr. González Arango remained under protection.
Arbitrary arrest of Mr. Gelves Contreras and Ms. Trillos Carranza58. On December 7, 2006, Mr. Pedro Euberto Gelves Contreras, president of the Regional Association of Rural Workers (Asociación Departamental de Usuarios Campesinos) in Arauca, and Ms. Flor María Trillos Carranza, coordinator of the Tame (Arauca) branch of the "Joel Sierra" Regional Foundation Committee for Human Rights and a member of the human rights committee of the Municipal Association of Community Action Assemblies, were stopped by two national police officers in a park in Arauca. The police officers checked their identity and forced them to follow them to the police station for a questioning, which lasted over three hours, and at the end of which they were released.
Mr. Pedro Gelves enjoys protection measures requested by the IACHR.
Threats, harassment and assaults
Threats, harassment and assaults against trade unionists and peasant leaders
Ongoing acts of harassment against Mr. Carlos González and Mr. Domingo Tovar Arrieta59. Mr. Carlos González, a member of the Valle branch of the University Workers' Union of Colombia (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores y Empleados Universitarios de Colombia – SINTRAUNICOL), and Mr. Domingo Tovar Arrieta, director of the CUT human rights department, continued to receive threats due to their union activities. Mr. Tovar Arrieta regularly received anonymous phone calls threatening him and members of his family and he was followed by vehicles on several occasions. Mr. González was investigated by the army for having denounced the murder of a student in September 2005 in Cali (Valle del Cauca).
Death threats and acts of harassment against several human rights defenders60. On December 27, 2005, and January 9, 2006, Mr. Gilberto Cadena Bohórquez, a member of the National Association for Displaced Persons of Colombia (Asociación Nacional de Desplazados de Colombia – ANDESCOL), was approached by Mr. Arnoldo Echeverria, a member of the 2nd army brigade and an informer for its rehabilitation programme. Mr. Echeverria offered to enrol him in this programme in exchange for 2,200,000 Colombian pesos (about 750 euros), and to work under the orders of a person named "Sergio", head of GAULA in Barranquilla.
This offer was aimed at persuading Mr. Cadena to collaborate to the intimidation, attacks or elimination of the human rights defenders he knew, including Mr. Mauricio Avilez Álvarez, a member of the Inter-Ecclesiastical Justice and Peace Commission (Comisión Intereclesial Justicia y Paz – CIJP) and a representative of the Operational Committee for Human Rights Colombia – Europe United States (CCEEU), and Mr. Milton Mejía, a member of the executive committee of the Ecumenical Network of Colombia (Red Ecuménica de Colombia). Mr. Echeverria referred to Mr. Mauricio Avilez Álvarez and Mr. Milton Mejía as "scums" that must be "gotten rid of because they work for the guerrilla".
On January 12, 2006, after refusing to collaborate, Mr. Cadena found the door of his house forced open and discovered a message containing a death threat. A few minutes later, while Mr. Cadena Bohórquez was chatting in the street with two friends, Messrs. Luis Aurelio Rudas Revollo and Anarael Alfonso Daigo Montes, two motorcyclists surrounded them and shot at them, killing Mr. Rudas on the spot. Mr. Daigo Montes died from his injuries shortly after. Mr. Gilberto Cadena was able to escape and has since then left the region.
On January 15, 2006, Mr. Echeverria visited the home of Mr. Cadena's wife, Mrs. Gladys Londoño, and threatened her, asking where her husband was. After these events, Mrs. Londoño and her four children had to leave their home.
On January 26, 2006, Mr. Echeverria found Mrs. Londoño, threatened her again and warned her that Mr. Gilberto Cadena Bohórquez had until the following evening to reappear. Mr. Gilberto Cadena Bohórquez and his family had already been forced to leave Barrancabermeja following similar harassment in 2001.
Death threats against Mr. Plutarco Vargas Roldán61. On February 4, 2006, Mr. Plutarco Vargas Roldán, leader of the Bogotá branch of SINALTRAINAL, received a letter threatening him and his family with death.
Death threats against trade unionists62. On March 2, 2006, death threats against trade unionists running for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate were published in the newspaper Vanguardia Liberal. Among these unionists were members of CUT, the Association of Regional Workers (Asociación de Trabajadores Departamentales – ASTDEMP), the Workers' Union of Santander (Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Santander – USITRAS), the Metropolitan Coordination for Displaced Persons (Coordinación Metropolitana de Desplazados) and USO. This message bore the signature of the chief of the "Regional Commando of Magdalena Medio".
Acts of harassment against Mr. Henry Gordón63. On April 21, 2006, unidentified individuals filmed the home of Mr. Henry Gordón, fiscal adviser to the Barranquilla branch of SINALTRAINAL.
Acts of intimidation against SINTRAMIENERGETICA members64. On April 29, 2006, a national police squad attacked SINTRAMIENERGETICA members who were holding an information meeting regarding the complaints they had lodged against the Drummond multinational company65, at the entrance of the "Pribenow" mine in Loma de Calenturas de Paso (Cesar). This attack was led at the request of the head of security of the company. Lieutenant Hernán Javier Muñoz García accused the participants of belonging to military groups, insulted them and ordered his men to film and take pictures of them. A policeman then assaulted a SINTRAMIENERGETICA member with his riflebutt, while another policeman pointed his rifle to the chest of the union's vice-president, Mr. Luis Garzón. As for Mr. Ruben Morron, he sustained an injury to his collarbone. After the interruption of the meeting, police officers walked into the room and continued to insult and threaten the unionists, among whom were Mr. Alejandro Vergara, the union's environmental secretary, and Mr. Raul Sosa Avellaneda, fiscal adviser.
Threats against several SINALTRAINAL members66. On May 15, 2006, the secretary of the Barranquilla branch of the National Union of Food Industry Workers (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de las Industrias de Alimentos – SINALTRAINAL) received a phone call in which she was invited to attend the funeral of Mr. Limberto Carranza, SINALTRAINAL president.
Two hours later, Mr. Euripides Yance, another leader of the union, received a phone call from a person who asked him to come and pick up the bodies of his children who, according to the caller, had been shot.
On the same day, an envelope containing death threats against Messrs. Euripides Yance, Limberto Carranza, Campo Quintero, Jesús Tovar, Eduardo Arévalo, Tomas Ramos, Henry Gordón, Gastón Tesillo and Carlos Hernández was dropped off at SINALTRAINAL headquarters. The message bore the signature of the "Death To Unionists" (Muerte A Sindicalistas – MAS) paramilitary group.
Death threats against Mr. Miguel Enrique Ardila Sánchez and Ms. Luz Marina Hache Contreras67. On June 3, 2006, Mr. Miguel Enrique Ardila Sánchez and Ms. Luz Marina Hache Contreras, legal adviser and vice-president of the Asonal Judicial trade union respectively, took part in a committee which reached an agreement with the government to put an end to a strike that had paralysed the judicial sector. Asonal Judicial defends the rights of the judicial sector workers. Since then, Mr. Ardila Sánchez and Ms. Hache Contreras have received several emails and anonymous phone calls threatening them with death if they did not resign from the union.
Death threats and intimidation against ANTHOC members68. On June 14, 2006, the National Association of Hospital Workers (ANTHOC), in Bogotá, received a message from a military group presenting itself as the military wing of the former AUC69, threatening to "exterminate every single trade unionist" and demanding that the members of the organisation leave the country.
The authors of this message designated in particular as "military targets" the following ANTHOC members, stressing that this list did "not even cover half of the people targeted": Messrs. and Ms. Yesit Camacho, Juan Flores, Alberto Laines, Alberto Meneses, Wilson Perez, Maria Helena Tobon, Carmen Mayusa, Juan Osorio, Ediomar Botello, Luís Santana, Gladis Criado, William Vanegas, Angel Salas, Alfredo Castro, Aurelio Ladino, Antonio Ger, Lus Erenia Saac, Lina Gamarra, Hector Alvis, Wilson Narvaez, Bertulfo Solarte, Nubia Fonseca, Martha Lozano, Ortalides Castro, Gaston Tesillo, Gilberto Martines, Fernando Santamaria, Ligia Galeano, Raquel Salinas, Jose Merino, Ricardo Baron, Martha Ligia Castro, Carlos Bermeo, Arnulfo Parra, Billy Rusbel Beltrán, Rosa Luz Palencia, Edgar Pua and Wilson Gutierres.
Acts of harassment against SINALTRAINAL and its members70. On August 3, 2006, SINALTRAINAL headquarters were searched by members of the Judicial and Investigation Police Unit (Sección de Policía Judicial e Investigación – SIJIN). The police officers examined the premises without a warrant and drafted a statement in relation to the search. On the next morning, police officers were seen filming the outside of the building. As of the end of 2006, SINALTRAINAL had still received no explanation from the police as to this illegal search.
On August 18, 2006, a condolences card with the message "Death to Trade Unionists" was left at the home of Mr. Héctor Jairo Paz, a Nestlé Colombia S.A. employee and leader of the Bugalagrande (Valle department) branch of SINALTRAINAL. Ten days earlier, another executive board member of the same branch was also threatened while the union was peacefully demonstrating in front of the Nestlé buildings in Bugalagrande and Bogotá in protest against the unfair dismissal of 94 employees, all SINALTRAINAL members.
As of the end of 2006, the complaint lodged by the trade union had not been addressed.
Attack and acts of harassment against Ms. Martha Cecilia Díaz Suárez71. On August 15, 2006, Ms. Martha Cecilia Díaz Suárez, president of the Bucaramanga subdirection and president of the regional office of the Santander Association of Regional Workers (ASTDEMP), was approached by unidentified individuals who told her that they were detaining one of her daughters, forced her into their vehicle and drove her near to the highway connecting the towns of Girón and Florida Blanca. In particular, they asked her about the whereabouts of Mr. David Flórez and Mr. César Plazas, president and treasurer of the sub-management of ASTDEMP regional office respectively. The aggressors then violently beat Ms. Diaz Suarez and showed her pictures of her taken at demonstrations, and pictures of her daughter, claiming that they had killed her. They then opened fire twice – the bullets skimming her stomach – and ran away.
On November 22, 2006, one of Ms. Suárez's neighbours saw two individuals discreetly watching her apartment and called for the security of the building. As they were being questioned, the intruders opened fire before escaping with two accomplices who were waiting for them on motorbikes.
Finally, on December 5, 2006, Ms. Suárez received death threats from an unidentified individual, after accompanying one of her colleagues to a hearing at the court house.
Ms. Díaz Suárez has regularly received telephone threats and been followed over the past few years. On November 9, 2005, she was beaten and received death threats as she was negotiating the demands of the workers of the Los Santos municipality, Santander.
As of the end of 2006, the General Prosecutor of Bucaramanga had opened an investigation into these various threats.
Death threats and acts of harassment against Mr. Miguel Alberto Fernández Orozco72. In October 2006, Mr. Miguel Alberto Fernández Orozco, president of the CUT branch in Cauca and coordinator of the human rights and integration offices of the Colombian Range Integration Committee (Comité de Integración del Macizo Colombiano – CIMA), received new threats from members of the "Black Eagles" and "Rastrojos" paramilitary groups, an organisation that was supposed to have been demobilised.
Mr. Fernández Orozco had already received death threats on March 8, 2005, a day after the public presentation of a report on the human rights situation in Cauca. Similarly, on October 17, 2005, CIMA members in Popayán (Cauca) had received a pamphlet from AUC accusing them of being "terrorists" and "leftist delinquents", and warning them that they were being "closely watched".
Mr. Miguel Alberto Fernández Orozco has been under prosecution for "false accusations" (Article 435 of the Criminal Code), "false threats" (Article 347) and "procedural fraud" (Article 453) since November 2005.
Threats against several social and trade union leaders, human rights defenders and political opponents in Valle del Cauca73. On October 2, 2006, several leaders of human rights organisations or trade unions were accused, in a report drawn up by the third brigade of the national army based in Santiago de Cali and by the Prosecutor's Technical Investigations Unit (CTI), of "rebellion, terrorism, and belonging to a narco-terrorist organisation working for the FARC and the National Liberation Army [Ejercito de Liberación nacional – ELN]". The report was sent to Mr. Alexander López Maya, a Senator of the Republic.
Among the people mentioned in the report were several employees of Cali municipal companies, most of whom had lost their jobs in a massive wave of unfair dismissals, as well as members of Valle del Cauca civil society, in particular:
– Ms. Berenice Celeyta Alayon, president of the Association for Research and Social Action (Asociación para la Investigación y Acción Social – NOMADESC);
– Mr. Carlos Arbey González, SINTRAUNICOL president;
– Ms. Martha Nidia Ascuntar Achicanoy, coordinator of the FCSPP branch in Valle de Cauca Branco;
– Mr. William Arley Escobar Holguín, secretary for education with the Iron and Steel Workers' Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Metalúrgica – SINTRAMETAL);
– Mr. Otoniel Ramírez López, vice-president of the Valle del Cauca branch of CUT;
– Mr. Wilson Neber Arias Castillo, former president of the Civil Servants of the National Apprenticeship Service Trade Union (Sindicato de Empleados Públicos del Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje – SINDESENA) and a candidate for election to the House of Representatives; – Mr. Ariel Díaz, coordinator of the human rights department of the CUT branch in Valle del Cauca;
– Mr. Luís Antonio Hernández Monroy, former president of the Cali State-Owned Enterprises Workers' Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de las Empresas Municipales de Cali – SINTRAEMCALI);
– Mr. Harol Viafara González, former treasurer of SINTRAEMCALI;
– Mr. Frangey Rendón Gálvez, secretary of the Valle del Cauca Government Office for Peace and Civic Duties;
– Mr. Héctor Alonso Moreno Parra, director of Telé Pacifico and advisor to the Valle del Cauca government representative.
The report also contained contact details for these persons and their families, as well as personal information such as the name of their relatives, children, daily routes, etc. When Mr. López Maya asked about the information contained in the report, the Public Prosecutor replied that there were no proceedings pending against the persons mentioned.
Suspension of the protective measures in favour of Mr. Francisco Eladio Ramírez Cuellar74. On October 5, 2006, Mr. Francisco Eladio Ramírez Cuellar, president of the National Mining Company Workers' Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Nacional Minera – SINTRAMINERCOL), received a letter from the Administrative Department for Security (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad – DAS) informing him of the government's decision to withdraw the armoured vehicle he used for transport until then, as well as his armed escort. These protective measures had been granted by IACHR in 2004 in response to the risks he ran due to his union activities, following an attack against him in October 2004.
One week later, on October 12, 2006, government officials offered him financial assistance amounting to 1,900,000 pesos (about 650 euros) per month to enable him to travel daily by taxi. Mr. Cuellar refused this offer.
The suspension of these precautionary measures was likely to be linked to Mr. Ramírez Cuellar's participation in the negotiations and the strike of the workers of the Drummond company, organised from April to May 2006.
Death threats against two SINTRAINAGRO members75. On October 26, 2006, two unidentified individuals entered the house of Mr. Medardo Cuesta, a member of the board of directors of the National Farming and Animal Industry Workers' Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria Agropecuaria – SINTRAINAGRO), taking advantage of the fact that he was away. When Mr. Cuesto returned home, he found death threats against him and Mr. Oswaldo Cuadrado, another member of the SINTRAINAGRO board of directors.
Death threats against Mr. Domingo Tovar Arrieta76. On December 4, 2006, Ms. Marqueza Arrieta, the mother of Mr. Domingo Tovar Arrieta, director of the human rights department of the CUT national executive committee, was approached by unidentified individuals who threatened her. The next day, she lodged a complaint with the Prosecutor of the Corozal municipality and the CTI.
Mr. Domingo Arrieta and his relatives have been targeted by repeated acts of harassment for many years due to his union activities.
Acts of harassment against Mr. Marco Nieves Marinez77. On December 11, 2006, Mr. Marco Nieves Marinez, a union leader and president of the National Association of Displaced Persons of Colombia (ANDESCOL), in Bucaramanga (Santander), received a phone call from his brother warning him not to leave his house. On the next morning, his brother told him that he had seen two suspicious-looking individuals lurking around his house.
On December 13, 2006, a friend warned Mr. Nieves to be careful on his way to his mother's home as an unidentified individual was also watching her house.
In 2005, Mr. Marco Nieves had already been intimidated and followed on several occasions.
Death threats against several trade unionists78. On December 13, 2006, leaflets containing death threats against several trade unionists and bearing the signature of the "Black Eagles" paramilitary group were left at the University of Atlántico (Barranquilla). The persons targeted by these threats were part of the following trade unions: SINALTRAINAL, ANTHOC, the Retired from the Atlántico University Association (Asociación de Jubilados de la Universidad del Atlántico – ASOJUA), the University Professors' Union Association (Asociación Sindical de Profesores Universitarios – ASPU), SINTRAUNICOL, the Processed and Fat Containing Foods Industry Workers' Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de Industrias de Mantecas, Margarinas, Aceites, Cebos, Oleaginosas, Concentrados y Demas Derivados Grasos – SINTRAIMAGRA), FCSPP, the Coal Industry Workers' National Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria del Carbon – SINTRACARBON), the Barranquilla District Teachers' Union (Asociación de Docentes Distritales de Barranquilla – ADEBA), CUT- Atlanticó, SIMUSOL and SINTRAHOBICOL.
The leaflet also designated the following people as specific targets: Messrs. and Ms. Jesús Tovar, Euripides Yance, Campo Quintero, Henry Gordón, Gastón Tesillo, Carlos Hernández, Walter Salas, Guido Niebles, Javier Bermúdez, Walberto Torres, José Rodríguez, Moisés Sade, Hernando Romero, Gustavo López, Tomás Ramos, Limberto Carranza, Daniel Gaviria, Humberto Lara, Deniris Polo, Israel Barreiro, Antonio García, Juan Carlos Sandoval, Adolfo Llanos, Ricardo Villegas, Henry Molina, Sara Acosta, Iván Acosta, José Valbuena, "Tingo o el Indio", Jair Jiménez, Gilma Turizo, Bernardo Charris, José Gabriel Pacheco, Lisandro Cerril, Julio Casas, Nevis Niño, Néstor Brujes, Saskia del Rió, Daniela Castro, Enrique Olaya, Brenda Blanco, Ciro Becerra, Franklin Castañeda, Miguel Castillo, Walter Carcamo, Rodrigo Navarro, Javier Hebrad and Alfonso Montalvo. The letter gave an ultimatum to these people, requiring them to leave the city within a week, after which deadline they would be killed.
These threats followed the public statements of the Vice-President, Mr. Francisco Santos, who had denounced, a few days earlier, the "campaigns seeking to discredit Coca-Cola, Nestlé and other private companies", implying that these campaigns had been orchestrated by far-left radicals who had infiltrated trade unions.
Threats, harassment and assaults against civil society representatives
Judicial proceedings against CIJP members and leaders of the Jiguamiandó and Curvaradó communities79. On October 12, 2005, a criminal investigation for "aggravated homicide", "forced displacement" and "rebellion" was launched against several members of the Inter-Ecclesiastic Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP) and leaders of the Jiguamiandó and Curvaradó communities, in the province of Chocó. This investigation specifically targeted seven leaders who are particularly active in the protection of indigenous and community territories, namely: Messrs. and Ms. Ligia María Chaverra Minerai, Manuel Denis Blandón, Willington Cuesta, Fany Osten, Luis Ferias, Erasmo Cuadrado and Benjamin Sierra, as well as several CIJP members: Ms. Johana López and Ms. Ana María Lozano, and Messrs. Wilson Gómez, Leonardo Jaimes, Danilo Rueda and Abilio Peña. Moreover, about twenty Afro-Colombians and mixed-race people were concerned by this investigation. By the end of 2006, no further information as to these judicial proceedings was available.
Death threats against Ms. María Socorro Abril and Mr. César Andrés Solarte80. In 2006, Ms. María Socorro Abril, vice-president of the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (Corporación Regional para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos – CREDHOS) and president of the Association of Displaced Persons in the Municipality of Barrancabermeja (Asociación de Desplazados Asentados en el Municipio de Barrancabermeja – ASODESAMUBA), continued to be repeatedly harassed by unidentified individuals who regularly asked her relatives as to her whereabouts, saying they would kill her.
Mr. César Andrés Solarte, another CREDHOS member, found out from relatives that paramilitaries also intended to kill him.
CREDHOS members have regularly received death threats from paramilitary groups operating with the army's support, and several of them have already been killed. In the past few years, these groups have reinforced their position in Barrancabermeja, a region that is already heavily militarised.
Ongoing threats and acts of harassment against Ms. Lilia Solano81. Ms. Lilia Solano Ramirez, a teacher at the national university of Bogotá, director of the NGO "Justice and Life Project" (Proyecto Justicia y Vida) and a member of the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado), an NGO coalition working in favour of the families of assassination victims killed by the army or the paramilitaries during the forty years of civil conflict, still faced ongoing acts of harassment by the police and the army by the end of 2006. In particular, Ms. Solano was followed on her way home on several occasions, her phone was tapped, she received phone calls threatening members of her NGO and was visited by individuals in plain clothes claiming to be police officers. The police also took pictures of the NGO's headquarters.
In addition, the house of Mr. Hans Cediel, a member of the "Justice and Life Project" and legal adviser to Ms. Solano, was searched in April 2006.
In 2004 and 2005, Ms. Lilia Solano had already been targeted by similar acts of harassment and serious threats.
Judicial harassment against Mr. Diego Camilo Figueroa Rincón82. On February 17, 2006, CIJP learnt that Mr. Diego Camilo Figueroa Rincón, an economic, social, cultural and environmental rights defender and an active member of the organisation, was allegedly facing a lawsuit initiated by the Public Prosecutor of the Buenaventura 42nd section (Valle del Cauca). According to a DAS report, Mr. Figueroa Rincón would be prosecuted on charges of being an "ideologist of the FARC Manuel Cepeda Vargas Front".
In late 2005, Mr. Diego Figueroa and Mr. William Kayapul, another CIJP member, had been arrested, photographed and brutally questioned in Buenaventura by members of the DAS and the national army during a control operation, for no apparent reason. They had been released after a few hours.
Three days later, a report identifying Mr. Figueroa Rincón as a FARC member named "Camillo", and describing him as an "ideologist of Manuel Cepeda Vargas"83, was filed with the DAS.
On December 14, 2005, the Public Prosecutor of the Buenaventura 42nd section ordered the detention of 14 people, including Mr. Figueroa Rincón, and ordered the DAS to proceed to arrest him on December 16, 2005. As of the end of 2006, no further information as to Mr. Figueroa Rincón's situation was available.
New threats and acts of harassment against CPDH members84. The number of acts of harassment against members of the Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CPDH) significantly increased in 2006 despite provisional measures of protection provided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACoHR).
– In February 2006, inhabitants of the city of Buga, in the Valle del Cauca province, received a message from a paramilitary group threatening, among other people, Mr. Guillermo Castaño Arcila, CPDH president in the Risaralda province, Mr. Angelino Garzón, the Valle del Cauca Governor, as well as several institutions and organisations, including the Major Peasant Institute (Instituto Mayor Campesino – IMCA)85.
– On August 2, 2006, CPDH headquarters in Bogotá were illegally searched by the police, while the organisation's secretary was the only person present. The officers stated that they had been monitoring the building for a few days, as it seemed "suspicious". They then wrote down all CPDH members' names.
– On August 24, 2006, Ms. Martha Sofia Castaño, Mr. Guillermo Castaño Arcila's daughter, received anonymous threats.
– In September 2006, Ms. Luz Adriana González Correa, executive secretary of the CPDH branch in Risaralda, was harassed after denouncing recent "social cleansing" of impoverished populations in the city of Pereira.
– By the end of 2006, judicial proceedings remained pending against Mr. Rodrigo Vargas Becerra, an executive boad member of the CPDH branch in Valle del Cauca. Mr. Rodrigo Vargas Becerra, charged with "injuring and attacking a civil servant", had been arrested on November 8, 2005 by members of the Mobile Squad for the Maintenance of Order (Escuadrón Móvil Anti Disturbios – ESMAD) of the Cauca province, and accused of having planted a bomb. He was released on November 10, 2005, after it was proven that he was taking part in a radio show, in Santander de Quilichao, at the time of the events.
– Similarly, Mr. Luis Jairo Ramírez H., CPDH executive secretary, was still facing trial for "aiding and abetting terrorism against national institutions".
Acts of harassment against Mr. Enrique Petro86. On March 8, 2006, police officers visited the estate of Mr. Enrique Petro, leader of the Curvaradó community, who benefited from protective measures granted by the IACoHR. He was questioned about several meetings that had taken place at his home concerning the planned construction of a "humanitarian zone" which would enable the return of mixed-race and Afro-Colombian families who were displaced and facing famine.
On March 9 and 10, 2006, several military units of the 17th brigade alternately visited Mr. Petro's home for the same reason, saying that "the guerrilla [was] on his property", referring to the displaced families who were there.
Death threats and acts of harassment against Mr. Carlos Gualteros87. On March 7, 2006, an unidentified individual delivered, to the office of the "Yira Castro" Legal Corporation in Bogotá, a letter addressed to Mr. Carlos Gualteros, an executive board member of the Corporation of Displaced People of Colombia (Corporación de Desplazados de Colombia – CORPADECOL) and head of the United Peasants' Association of Colombia (Asociación Campesina Unidos por Colombia – ACUDECOL).
On March 10, 2006, Mr. Carlos Gualteros found out about this letter, which bore the signature of the chief of the AUC Northern Bloc, and which contained threats against permanent and interim members of the CORPADECOL executive board, including himself.
By the end of 2006, Mr. Gualteros had left Colombia and had been granted refugee status abroad.
Ongoing acts of harassment and threats against OFP members88. Members of the Women's Popular Organisation (OFP) continued to be subjected to repeated acts of harassment and retaliation in 2006.
– In February 2006, Ms. Graciela Alfaro, an OFP member, was followed by an unidentified individual for two weeks. On February 28, 2006 for instance, she was photographed by a couple, in Bogotá, as she was with a friend near the town hall of Bosa.
– On March 2, 2006, a woman close to OFP was questioned by an unidentified individual in the Las Cruces neighbourhood in the La Estrella area (Bolívar de Bogotá). The man showed her a picture of Ms. Monguí Gómez, coordinator of the OFP Bogotá branch, as well as a publication in which OFP had denounced the ill-treatment committed by members of the national police against the youth. The individual asked her some questions about OFP activities and made accusations against Ms. Gómez and the organisation.
– On April 1, 2006, Ms. Graciela Mejía, an OFP member, was approached by an unidentified individual in Barrancabermeja (Santander), who snatched the documents she was holding and asked her what these papers were. Ms. Graciela Mejía answered that these documents were related to OFP activities. The man then threatened with killing her if she did not leave the organisation and did not cut off all contact with its members.
– Between April 1 and 2, 2006, one of the OFP offices as well as the home of Ms. Yolanda Becerra Vega, president of the organisation, were searched by unidentified individuals. Threatening messages were left on the scene.
– On June 12, 2006, in Barrancabermeja, the husband of Mrs. Gloria Amparo Suárez, an OFP leader, was approached by a man who threatened to abduct his wife and to kill him if they continued to engage in human rights activities. On June 5, 2006, a pamphlet containing death threats against "movements, associations, corporations, trade unions, organisations" denouncing human rights violations was circulated in the town.
– On June 21, 2006, the Radio Uno station, belonging to the RCN channel, received an anonymous phone call. The caller violently insulted and threatened to kill Ms. Maria Jacqueline Rojas Castañeda, an OFP member in Barrancabermeja and presenter of a daily programme called La Mohana, produced by the organisation. This programme aims at denouncing human rights violations in the context of the armed conflict.
These events were all reported to the Ombudswoman. Although national police regularly patrolled around the homes of OFP members, none of the protective measures granted by the IACHR and the Ministry of the Interior were implemented.
Defamation campaign against the NGOs "Bread for All" and "Action for Lent"89. On April 21, 2006, during a radio programme, the Colombian Vice-President, Mr. Francisco Santos Calderón, specifically accused two Switzerland-based NGOs – "Bread for All" (Pain pour le prochain – PPP) and "Action for Lent" (Action de Carême – AdC) – of carrying out "an aggressive campaign against Colombia" and of having financed the FARC guerrilla with Swiss public funds. These statements were published in the Colombian press under the heading "Vice-President Francisco Santos questions a Swiss NGO that supports the FARC".
Following these accusations, PPP and AdC indicated that their ecumenical campaign aimed at sensitising the Swiss public on the question of human rights and presented the projects they were supporting in Colombia and several other countries, in order to raise funds. They added that they did not receive any subsidy from public authorities.
During a meeting with the Swiss Ambassador in Bogotá, the Colombian Vice-President subsequently took back what he had said.
Nevertheless, in an interview published on May 5, 2006 in the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps, the Vice-President reiterated that the two NGOs' campaign "(...) presented an erroneous and injurious political content", adding that he was considering taking judicial action against them.
Serious threats and acts of harassment against CCAJAR and other human rights NGOs90
– On April 6, 2006, Ms. Soraya Gutiérrez Arguello, a lawyer and president of the "José Alvear Restrepo" Lawyers' Collective (Corporación Colectivo de Abogados "José Alvear Restrepo" – CCAJAR), received the International Human Rights Lawyer Award of the American Bar Association (ABA) in New York. Ms. Soraya Gutiérrez Arguello continues her fight against impunity and for the right of victims to truth, justice and compensation, despite the threats and acts of harassment she and her family have repeatedly been subjected to. For instance, in 2005, her eight-year old daughter was seriously threatened.
– On May 8, 2006, CCAJAR received an email from an undisclosed sender, entitled "no more disguised lies". The message accused CCAJAR, inter alia, of encouraging large-scale terrorism "under the cover of ensuring respect for international humanitarian law". The message also stated that "each member [of CCAJAR] [could] expect to suffer".
The message was also sent to other organisations, such as the National Indigenous Organisation (Organización Nacional Indígena – ONIC), the Latino-American Institute of Alternative Services (Instituto Latinoamericano de Servicios Alternativos – ILSA), CUT, and the Colombian Platform for Human Rights, Democracy and Development (Plataforma Colombiana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo).
– On May 17 and 20, 2006, several human rights organisations, including CCAJAR, the organisation Compromiso, OFP, the Bari Association, USO, ONIC, the UWAS indigenous organisation, the Consultative Committee for Human Rights and Displacement (Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento – CODHES), the "Colombian Ethnic Groups", the National Trade Union School (Escuela Nacional Sindical – ENS), and the InterPress Service (IPS), once again received death threats through emails from a group called "Commando Nordoriental". In particular, the message accused these NGOs of having ongoing links with the FARC and ELN, and of providing financial support to these organisations.
– On May 24, 2006, another message from a group called "Colombia Free of Communists Groups, Central Bureau of the National Directorate, military wing of the former AUC" was sent to human rights organisations, designating them as "military targets".
– On August 4, 2006, CCAJAR received death threats through an email from an organisation called "Friends of a Pro-Right Colombia" (Amigos Colombia Pro Derecha). The message accused the organisation of having ties with guerrilla groups. The same message was also sent to the following organisations: CODHES, Minga, Compromiso, Media for Peace (Medios para la Paz – MPP), Movement for Victims of State Crimes, the delegations of the Peace Assembly of Arauca, Pasto and Valledupar, ONIC and the "Colombian Ethnic Groups" organisation, as well as press agencies, human rights newspapers and several universities.
– On September 15, 2006, CCAJAR once again received threats in an email from the "Democratic Organisation for a Free Colombia" (Corporación Democrática Colombia Libre). The message accused CCAJAR of being "useless servants of the FARC and ELN terrorist rebellion" who "claimed to protect human rights". The text stated that as of September 22, 2006 men would come and get them, and that the organisation "[would] continue to be their primary military target".
This message was also sent to other organisations including the Organisation for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights "REINICIAR" (Corporación para la Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos "REINICIAR"), CODHES, Minga, Voz, ONIC, the Rural Press, and the Movement for Victims of State Crimes.
By the end of 2006, the investigation into these threats had had no outcome.
– Moreover, on October 10, 2006, the IACHR acknowledged the admissibility of the complaint presented in 2001 by CCAJAR, invoking the international responsibility of the Colombian State for the assassinations, aggressions, threats and other acts of intimidation and harassment targeting its members since 1990. This decision marked the beginning of an investigative phase, at the end of which the IACHR will have to rule on the substantive question of whether the Colombian State is responsible for these violations, by virtue of the general obligation incumbent upon States to respect and ensure the respect for the rights enshrined in the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.
Threats and acts of harassment against Mr. Franklin Castañeda and his brother91. On April 23, 2006, Mr. Franklin Castañeda, an FCSPP member, was intimidated by two unidentified individuals. Two days later, he reported these events to the human rights unit of the Prosecutor's office in Barranquilla.
Moreover, on June 1, 2006, Mr. Franklin Castañeda's elder brother, with whom he shares his house and who resembles him, was threatened by several unknown individuals. As he was getting out of a taxi, at about the same time Mr. Franklin Castañeda usually returns home, two other taxis surrounded him. Eight people stepped out, and three of them approached him in a threatening manner. One of the assailants, realising that it was not Mr. Frankin Castañeda but his brother, said "it isn't him", and the men left immediately.
By the end of 2006, the threats and acts of intimidation against Mr. Castañeda were still ongoing. On December 13, 2006, the "Black Eagles" (Aguilas Negras) paramilitary group sent a letter containing death threats against trade unionists and NGO members, including Mr. Franklin Castañeda, to the University of Atlántico. In the letter, the "Black Eagles" stated that the people listed had one week to leave the country, deadline after which they would be killed92. Mr. Franklin Castañeda had to leave Colombia on December 22, 2006, for fear of reprisals.
Death threats against Mr. Rodrigo Rodríguez93. On April 26, 2006, military officers told two unknown individuals that they were going to kill Mr. Rodrigo Rodríguez, who is in charge of the Arenas Altas humanitarian zone, for being allegedly responsible for the death of a soldier who had been killed during a fighting between the army and the guerrilla on March 29, 2006, near Mr. Rodríguez' home.
Serious threats against Mr. Iván Cepeda Castro94. On April 30, 2006, Mr. Iván Cepeda Castro, a member of the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes, director of the "Manuel Cepeda Vargas" Foundation and a regular contributor to the weekly newspaper El Espectador, received death threats on his email inbox, as well as on the readers' forum of the newspaper. These threats bore the signature of the "New Generation of Farmers' Self-Defence" (a paramilitary group), which accused him of being an "oppressor of the Colombian people".
On November 24, 2006, a vehicle allocated by the DAS for the security of the "Manuel Cepeda Vargas" Foundation, and which is regularly used by Mr. Cepeda Castro and Ms. Claudia Girón Ortiz, a member of the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes and leader of the Foundation, was stopped by armed men claiming to be SIJIN members. After pointing their weapons at the driver, Mr. Emberth Barrios, who was alone in the vehicle, the unidentified individuals ran away after he showed them his DAS identification. According to the police, SIJIN had no assignment planned in this zone.
These events occurred on the day prior to the holding of a public hearing of the Human Rights Commission of the Senate in San Onofre (Sucre), attended by several members of the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes. They had come to listen to the statements of locals who had been subjected to acts of intimidation by paramilitary groups, and who had been forced to sign documents confirming that they were handing their land over to them.
On November 30, 2006, a few days after Mr. Cepeda's car had been serviced at a garage, one of his tires burst, putting its passengers at risk.
On December 2, 2006, the vehicle's suspension broke. A technical examination showed that one of the screws had become loose without any apparent reason, which suggested an act of sabotage. By the end of 2006, the investigation into these events had produced no results.
Threats and acts of harassment against Mr. Hollman Morris95. Between May 14 and 16, 2006, several individuals introducing themselves as policemen went on four occasions to Bogotá airport in order to obtain information on Mr. Hollman Morris' journey to Europe on May 16. Mr. Morris, an independent journalist and programme director for the Contravia television documentaries, is particularly known for his stands on the human rights situation in Colombia. The last time they came to the airport, the individuals identified themselves as GAULA members.
A complaint was lodged, and the investigation by the human rights and international humanitarian law national unit of the General Prosecutor's office was still ongoing as of the end of 2006.
In February 2006, a video had been publicly released, in which a new paramilitary group pretending to be a human rights NGO and calling itself the Social Front for Peace (Frente Social para la Paz) had notably accused Mr. Morris of being a spokesman for and a defender of the FARC.
By the end of 2006, the Post and Telecommunications Office informed Mr. Morris that his professional phone line was being tapped.
In the past, Mr. Morris had regularly been the subject of threats, acts of harassment and defamation campaigns due to his activities. For instance, on May 16, 2005, Mr. Morris and two other journalists, Messrs. Carlos Lozano Guillén, director of the weekly newspaper VOZ, and Daniel Coronell, director of the news programme of the UNO television channel, received funeral wreathes at their homes. On June 27, 2005, in a public statement, the President of the Republic, Mr. Alvaro Uribe, indirectly referred to Mr. Morris, placing him and his family at risk, by denouncing the links between FARC and journalists working for "an international media, and covering an attack by the guerrilla in Putumayo". The President later apologised in a press release posted on the Internet.
Furthermore, on August 2, 2005, as he was leaving a Contravia recording session, Mr. Hollman Morris was followed by four DAS members. On the same day, 19 American Congressmen had urged the Colombian government to guarantee the life and safety of journalists, including Messrs. Morris, Carlos Lozano Guillén and Daniel Coronell.
Threats and acts of harassment against the "Medias for Peace" Corporation96. On June 7, 2006, the "Medias for Peace" Corporation (MPP) – dedicated to the promotion and establishment of "responsible journalism" for the coverage of the armed conflict -, along with the Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa – FLIP) and several other NGOs were declared "military targets" through emails sent by an organisation calling itself the "Democratic Front for a Free Colombia" (Frente Democrático Colombia Libre – FDCL). The recipients of this message were accused of being "revolutionaries in disguise", who must be eradicated by the FDCL.
Acts of harassment against Mrs. Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez97. Mrs. Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez, a board member of the Hope and Dignity Foundation (Fundación Esperanza y Dignidad) in Bogotá, involved in the defence of women's rights, was repeatedly threatened and harassed in 2006.
For instance, unidentified individuals went to Mrs. Malo Rodriguez's son's nursery on May 9, 2006, and to her daughter's school on July 18, 2006, and attempted to speak to her. Mrs. Malo Rodriguez has since removed her children from these establishments.
In June 2006, two unidentified individuals claiming to carry out a study on children watched her home for three weeks. During this period of time, a person claiming to be a university friend entered Mrs. Malo Rodriguez's home.
On August 28, 2006, Mrs. Malo Rodriguez received a telephone call informing her that her husband was "resting in peace".
Finally, on September 5, 2006, she was threatened in the street by five men, who told her that "she had very few days left to live".
Mrs. Malo Rodríguez, also a member of the Women's Popular Movement (Movimiento Popular de Mujeres), coordinator of the Children and Teenagers' Section of the National Office for the Colombian Women's Consultation (Mesa Nacional de Concertación de Mujeres Colombianas), a delegate for young feminists of the Bogotá section of the World Women's March (Marcha Mundial de Mujeres), as well as the Latin-American delegate for young women for the World Action Platform (Plataforma de Acción mundial – PAM), has repeatedly received death threats since 2004 and is regularly followed by vehicles, either unregistered or with illegible number plates.
Breaking and entering at SIDHES and CODHES offices98. On the night of August 2 to 3, 2006, the hard disks and storage device of two computers of the Information System on Human Rights and Forced Movements (Sistema de Información sobre Derechos Humanos y Desplazamiento Forzado – SIDHES) and the Documentation Centre of the Council for Human Rights and Movements (Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento – CODHES) were stolen.
CODHES immediately reported the theft, as well as the various threats against its members in the previous five months, to the General Prosecutor's office and the government.
Breaking and entering at Voz offices99. On August 4, 2006, policemen of the Bogotá metropolitan police came to the offices of the weekly newspaper Voz, and conducted an unwarranted search of the premises. In the past, the Voz headquarters, its director, Mr. Carlos A. Lorenzo Guillén, and several of its reporters had been threatened by paramilitary groups for denouncing human rights violations in the country.
Death threats and acts of harassment against several human rights organisations and their members100. On August 3, 2006, the home of Mr. Orlando Raúl Flórez Orjuela's mother, in Ibagué (Tolima), was searched by the Prosecutor and several CTI members. Mr. Flórez Orjuela is a student at the University of Tolima and head of the Ibagué Youth Organisation (Asociación Juvenil de Ibagué). He also chairs the Commune 8 Council, and is a member of the Tolima Coalition of Community Organisations (Mesa de Organizaciones Sociales de Tolima) and of the New Rainbow Corporation (Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris), and head of the Alternative Democratic Pole (Polo Democrático Alternativo).
On the same day, the home of Mr. Carlos Alberto Castaño Martínez, a social leader and a member of the "Peace Planet Project" (Proyecto Planeta Paz) of the Rights for Peace Group (Corporación Derechos para la Paz – CDPAZ), a member of the Tolima Social Organisations' Coalition and of the Alternative Democratic Pole, was also searched.
In both cases, the Prosecutor and CTI members, along with military officers, explained that they were "looking for weapons and explosives". They accused the two human rights defenders of being "members of illegal groups such as the FARC and ELN".
On August 3 and 4, 2006, Mr. Orlando Raúl Flórez Orjuela and Mr. Jhon Jairo Nieto Rodríguez, a social leader, received telephone calls from people claiming to be members of the national government's reintegration programme. The callers accused them of being ELN members and offered them money and protection if they denounced members of these groups. When Mr. Nieto Rodríguez declined the offer, one of the callers threatened to kill him if he did not leave the city within the next few days.
Abduction and acts of torture against Ms. Vilma Cecilia Salgado Benavides101. On August 13, 2006, Ms. Vilma Cecilia Salgado Benavides, secretary of the executive board of the Association of Displaced Persons in the Municipality of Barrancabermeja (ASODESAMUBA), was abducted and held for three days. During this time, she was ill-treated and physically and psychologically tortured. She was eventually left in serious medical condition on the side of the road that leads to Puerto Wilches. She was then taken to a medical centre.
Acts of harassment against Mr. Bayron Ricardo Góngora Arango102. In 2006, some members of the Valle de Aburra metropolitan police, assigned to the Elite Anti-Terrorist Corps (Cuerpo Elite Antiterrorista – CEAT), coerced political prisoners into testifying against Mr. Bayron Ricardo Góngora Arango, a lawyer and a member of the Judicial Freedom Corporation (Corporación Jurídica Libertad). The police officers were accusing Mr. Góngora Arango of belonging to a "subversive group". These events followed Mr. Góngora Arango's active participation in the defence, in a trial marred with irregularities, of fifteen Antioquia University students, accused of being responsible for an explosion on the University campus during a protest demonstration against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on February 10, 2005.
In 2004, several political prisoners were similarly coerced by the Prosecutor assigned to the fourth brigade of the army, who accused Mr. Góngora Arango of being a FARC member.
Acts of harassment against members of the "Judicial Corporation Humanity in Force"103. Since October 26, 2006, the premises of the "Humanity in Force Judicial Corporation" (Corporación Juridíca Humanidad Vigente), in Nariño, and the homes of its members, have constantly been watched and photographed by individuals in plain clothes and private security agents.
The surveillance was reported on several occasions to the Prosecutor's office of Nariño, in vain.
The "Humanity in Force Judicial Corporation" works in favour of the promotion and protection of human rights, provides legal assistance and seeks to ensure that crimes against humanity are not forgotten.
Threats and acts of harassment against PCN members104. In 2006, several members of the Afro-Colombian organisation "Process of Black Communities" (Proceso de Comunidades Negras – PCN) were threatened or abducted by paramilitaries supported by the army. The "Process of Black Communities" gathers over 80 organisations seeking to ensure respect for the rights of the communities of African descent and the recognition of their right to own land.
– On June 16, 2006, Ms. Elizabeth García Carrillo, a member of the human rights team and companion of Mr. Carlos Rosero, director of PCN, was held hostage and threatened by two unidentified individuals who confiscated her papers and copied the phone numbers in her mobile phone's address book.
– On October 25, 2006, Mr. Astolfo Aramburo, a member of the PCN youth wing and son of one of the organisation's heads, Mr. Naka Mandinga, was followed and approached by two former rehabilitated FARC members from Buenaventura (Valle del Cauca). He was able to reach PCN members who immediately came to pick him up. Several members of the Aramburo family have disappeared or/and been killed in the past.
– On October 30, 2006, Mr. Washington Vladimir Angulo, a former member of the human rights team of the "el Congal" regional unit (Equipo de Derechos Humanos del Palenque Regional el Congal), a regional body of PCN, and currently a PCN member in Bogotá, was abducted by a group of armed men claiming to be paramilitaries. While being held hostage, his abductors repeatedly told him they were going to kill him because of his activities, and that they had already warned him. Mr. Angulo was released five hours later after his aggressors received a phone call instructing them to do so.
– On November 2, 2006, Mr. Willington Cuero Solís, a PCN member who had to leave Buenaventura due to the repeated threats he had received from an armed group, was once again threatened over the phone.
Assault against Ms. Martha Cecilia Monroy Pinzón105. On December 23, 2006, unidentified individuals shot at the vehicle in which Ms. Martha Cecilia Monroy Pinzón was travelling. Ms. Martha Cecilia Monroy Pinzón, a lawyer and a member of the Colombian Association of Democratic Lawyers (Asociación Colombiana de Juristas Democratas – ASCOLJUDE), an organisation affiliated to the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and to the American Lawyers' Association, was on her way to work, beween the cities of Purificación and Prado (Tolima).
Other ASCOLJUDE members have already been subjected to threats and acts of harassment in the past, such as Mr. Ernesto Moreno Gordillo, who left Colombia as a result of these threats.
[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]
24. See Annual Report 2005.
26. See Urgent Appeal COL 025/1006/OBS 123.
27. See Colombia – Europe – United States Coordination.
29. See International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
30. See Urgent Appeal COL 005/0306/OBS 025.
31. See Colombia – Europe – United States Coordination.
34. See Urgent Appeal COL 011/0606/OBS 069.
35. See Open Letter to the Colombian authorities, August 22, 2006.
36. See Annual Report 2005.
37. See Permanent Committee for Human Rights (CPDH), September 2006.
38. See Urgent Appeal COL 023/0906/OBS 111.
39. See Urgent Appeal COL 030/1206/OBS 143.
40. See CPDH.
41. See Annual Report 2005.
42. See Annual Report 2005 and Urgent Appeal COL 002/0106/OBS 006.
43. See Urgent Appeal COL 008/0306/OBS 038.
45. See Urgent Appeal COL 009/0406/OBS 042.
46. See Urgent Appeals COL 020/0906/OBS 104 (disseminated as 0806), COL 022/0906/OBS 110 (disseminated as OBS 111) and Press Release, September 22, 2006.
47. See Annual Report 2005 and Urgent Appeal COL 026/1006/OBS 126.
48. See Annual Report 2005.
50. See above.
51. See Colombia – Europe – United States Coordination.
55. See Urgent Appeal COL 019/0806/OBS 096.
56. See above.
57. See Urgent Appeal COL 001/0106/OBS 004.
58. See "Joel Sierra" Regional Foundation Committee for Human Rights, December 9, 2006.
59. See Annual Report 2005.
60. See Urgent Appeal COL 003/0206/OBS 019.
61. See Colombia – Europe – United States Coordination.
62. See Urgent Appeal COL 005/0306/OBS 025.
63. See Colombia – Europe – United States Coordination.
65. See above.
66. See Coordination Colombia – Europe – United States.
67. See National Association for Solidarity Support (Asociación Nacional de Ayuda Solidaria – ANDAS).
68. See Annual Report and Urgent Appeal COL 015/0606/OBS 078.
69. Under the 2005 Law No. 975 (also known as the Law on Justice and Peace), passed by the Colombian Congress on June 21, 2005, and ratified by the government in July 2005, numerous paramilitary groups supported by the army and other illegal armed groups were "demobilised". This law guarantees impunity and oblivion for the crimes committed by paramilitary groups and other illegal armed forces during the civil war.
70. See Urgent Appeal COL 018/0806/OBS 094 and Open Letter to the Colombian authorities, August 22, 2006.
71. See Annual Report 2005 and Open Letter to the Colombian authorities, August 22, 2006.
72. See Annual Report 2005.
73. See Urgent Appeal COL 024/1006/OBS 118.
74. See Urgent Appeal COL 027/1006/OBS 127.
75. See Urgent Appeal COL 025/1006/OBS 123.1.
76. See Urgent Appeal COL 031/1206/OBS 145.
77. See Annual Report 2005.
78. See Foundation Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners (FCSPP) and National Union of Food Industry Workers (SINALTRAINAL).
79. See Urgent Appeal COL 006/0306/OBS 031.
80. See Annual Report 2005.
82. See Annual Report 2005 and Urgent Appeal COL 004/0306/OBS 021.
83. The Manuel Cepeda Vargas Foundation is a human rights organisation which owes its name to a former Patriotic Union (UP – a left-wing party) senator, who was killed in 1994 in an attack led jointly by members of the army and paramilitaries. This foundation plays a crucial role in the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes.
84. See Annual Report 2005 and Urgent Appeals COL 017/0806/OBS 091, COL 020/0906/OBS 104 (disseminated as 0806), COL 022/0906/OBS 110 (disseminated as OBS 111) and Press Release, September 22, 2006.
85. See Urgent Appeal COL 009/0504/OBS 040.1.
86. See Urgent Appeal COL 006/0306/OBS 031.
87. See Urgent Appeal COL 007/0306/OBS 035.
88. See Annual Report 2005, Urgent Appeals COL 009/0406/OBS 042, COL 014/0606/OBS 077 and COL 016/0606/OBS 084, and Colombia – Europe – United States Coordination.
89. See Press Release, May 9, 2006.
90. See Annual Report 2005, Press Releases, April 7 and October 17, 2006 and Urgent Appeals COL 008/0505/OBS 033.1, 033.2 and 033.3 and COL 017/0806/OBS 091.
91. See Urgent Appeal COL 012/0606/OBS 070.
92. See above.
93. See Colombia – Europe – United States Coordination.
94. See Annual Report 2005 and Urgent Appeals COL 008/0505/OBS 033.2 and COL 029/1206/OBS 142.
95. See Urgent Appeal COL 010/0606/OBS 065.
96. See Urgent Appeal COL 013/0606/OBS 075.
97. See Urgent Appeal COL 021/0906/OBS 107.
98. See Urgent Appeal COL 018/0806/OBS 094.
100. See Annual Report 2005, Urgent Appeal COL 008/0505/OBS 033.3 and Open Letter to the Colombian authorities, August 11, 2006.
101. See Open Letter to the Colombian authorities, August 22, 2006.
103. See ANDAS, November 2006.
104. See Process of Black Communities (PCN), Press Release, November 14, 2006.
105. See ANDAS.