Document - Colombia: Paramilitaries threaten son of defender: David Rabelo Gutiérrez


UA: 90/12 Index: AMR 23/015/2012 Colombia Date: 21 March 2012



David Rabelo Guti érrez, the son of a human rights defender who is on trial , has received an email , signed by paramilitaries, that declares him a military target.

David Rabelo Gutiérrez received an email on 8 March, signed by the paramilitary organization United Self-Defence Groups of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC) declaring him a military target and giving him 24 hours to leave: “Mr Rabelo Crespo David [sic], as it has been impossible to get justice in Colombia and legal proceedings have been delayed, you guerrilla son-of-a-bitch, you have been declared a military target. You have a maximum 24 hours to leave the nest in which you, your two children and your spouse are, as well as Mr Rabelo David senior, who has been locked up. And those not already on trial for insurrection will be killed, starting from today."

His father, David Rabelo Crespo (also sometimes spelled Ravelo), is a member of the Regional Human Rights Corporation (Corporación Regional para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos , CREDHOS), which campaigns for justice for victims of human rights violations committed by the security forces, sometimes in collusion with paramitaries. He has been in custody since September 2010, charged with having links with guerrilla groups. The final stage of his trial started on 20 March. Human rights organizations have expressed concern that the prosecution of David Rabelo is part of an effort to discredit and silence him and his work.

Please write imm ediately in Spanish or your own language:

Expressing concern that David Rabelo Gutiérrez has received an email signed by a paramilitary group threatening to kill him and his family, and calling on the authorities to protect them, in line with their wishes;

Urging the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the death threats against David Rabelo Gutiérrez; publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;

Reminding them to fulfil their obligations regarding the situation of human rights defenders, as laid out in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

Urging them to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups and break their links with the security forces, in line with stated government commitments and recommendations made by the UN and other intergovernmental organizations



Señor Juan Manuel Santos

Presidente de la República,

Palacio de Nariño,

Carrera 8 No.7-26,

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 596 0631

Salutation: Dear President Santos/

Excmo. Sr. Presidente Santos

Director of the National Protection Unit of the Ministry of Interior

Sr. Andrés Villamizar

Unidad Nacional de Protección

Ministerio del Interior

Carrera 9a. No. 14-10,

Bogotá, Colombia


Salutation: Dear Mr Villamizar/ Estimado Sr. Villamizar

Minister of Foreign Affairs

María Angela Holguín

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores

Palacio San Carlos

Calle 10 No. 5-51

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 381 4742

Salutation: Dear M inister /

Sr a . Ministra

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country

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



ADditional Information

During the armed conflict in Colombia, which has lasted over four decades, the security forces and paramilitary groups have frequently labelled human rights organizations and trade unions as guerrilla collaborators or supporters, and have gone on to threaten, abduct or kill them. Guerrilla groups have also threatened or killed human rights defenders and trade unionists they consider to be siding with their enemies.

Colombia's paramilitary groups supposedly demobilized in a government-sponsored process that began in 2003, but it is clear from the continuing threats against human rights defenders and other vulnerable groups in different parts of the country, that they are still operating.

Name: David Rabelo Gutiérrez

Gender m/f: male

UA: 90/12 Index: AMR 23/015/2012 Issue Date: 21 March 2012

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