Document - Colombia: Women human rights defenders threatened

URGENT ACTION

UA: 42/13 Index: AMR 23/008/2013 Colombia Date: 18 February 2013

URGENT ACTION

WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS THREATENED

Four women human rights defenders from northern Colombia have been threatened in an email sent to one of them, Jackeline Rojas Castañeda. Her two bodyguards were also threatened.

On 13 February Jackeline Rojas Castañeda received a threat by email. She is a member of the Popular Women’s Organization (Organización Femenina Popular, OFP), a member of Space of Human Rights Workers in Barrancabermeja (Espacio de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras de Derechos Humanos, ETTDH) and volunteers with the Political Prisoners Solidarity Committee (Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos, CSPP). The threat also names Ana Teresa Rueda Lozada and Dolores Flores who work in the ETTDH and CSPP secretary general Carolina Rubio Sguerra.

The threat said they knew about Jackeline Rojas’s recent visits to Bolívar and César Departments in the course of her human rights work, and warned her, making reference to a human rights prize she recently received: “Do not believe you are wonder woman, that prize is no bullet-proof vest” (no crea que es la mujer maravilla el premiesito no es chaleco antibalas). The email continued, “Stop opening your big mouths and getting involved with what is none of your business, no one listens anymore to your stupid complaints” (dejen de estar abriendo la bocota y metiendose en lo que no les importa, los escandalos pendejos que hacen ya nadie se los oye). All four women have been denouncing human rights violations in the region. The email threatened that the two men the government has assigned to protect Jackeline Rojas would be killed if they did their job.

Please write immediately in Spanish, English or your own language:

Expressing concern for Jackeline Rojas Castañeda, Ana Teresa Rueda Lozada, Dolores Flores and Carolina Rubio Sguerra, their families and other members of their organizations, as they were threatened by email on 13 February, and calling on the authorities to provide them with effective protection, in line with their wishes;

Urging the authorities to order full and impartial investigations into the threat; publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;

Reminding them to fulfil their obligations regarding the protection of human rights defenders as established in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 31 MARCH 2013 TO:

President

Señor Juan Manuel Santos

Presidente de la República

Palacio de Nariño

Carrera 8 No.7-26, Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 596 0631 (keep trying)

Salutation: Dear President Santos/

Estimado Sr. Presidente Santos

Director of National Protection Unit

Señor Andrés Villamizar

Director

Unidad Nacional de Protección

Ministerio del Interior

Carrera 9a. No. 14-10,

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 261 6287 (will not work outside office hours, GMT -5)

Salutation: Dear Mr Villamizar/

Estimado Sr. Villamizar

And copies to:

Human rights NGO

Fundación Comité de Solidaridad con los

Presos Políticos

Calle 26 4A-45, Piso 12

Torre KLM

Bogotá, DC

Colombia

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS THREATENED

ADditional Information

In Colombia, human rights defenders have been abused and attacked by all the parties to the country’s long-running armed conflict - paramilitaries and the security forces acting either alone or in collusion, and guerrilla groups.

Jackeline Rojas Castañeda and her family have been threatened and physically attacked in reprisal for her human rights work, and she is receiving government protection. Her case features in the recent regional Amnesty International report Transforming Pain into Hope: Human Rights Defenders in the Americas, http://www.amnesty.org/en/campaigns/human-rights-defenders-americas (AI Index: AMR 01/006/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR01/006/2012/en). Jackeline Rojas was awarded the National Prize for the Defence of Human Rights in Colombia (Premio Nacional a la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Colombia) in 2012 for her more than 25 years of human rights work.

Carolina Rubio Sguerra is the secretary general of CSPP. The CSPP was founded in 1973 and works on human rights issues in several regions of the Colombia. CSPP members have been repeatedly threatened. Carolina Rubio was arrested on 16 November 2010, while more than eight months pregnant, on charges of having links with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) guerrilla movement. The evidence against her appeared to have come from anonymous informants. She was released shortly afterwards. Criminal proceedings against human rights defenders in Colombia have often been based on spurious evidence, often from paid informants, rather than on evidence gathered in the course of impartial criminal investigations by the civilian investigative authorities.

Namea: Jackeline Rojas Castañeda, Ana Teresa Rueda Lozada, Doris Flores, Carolina Rubio Sguerra

Gender m/f: f

UA: 42/13 Index: AMR 23/008/2013 Issue Date: 18 February 2013

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