Document - Colombia: Human rights defender’s daughter targeted

URGENT ACTION

UA: 122/13 Index: AMR 23/020/2013 Colombia Date: 13 May 2013

URGENT ACTION

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER’S DAUGHTER TARGETED

The daughter of Ingrid Vergara, a prominent Colombian human rights defender, has received a text message telling her that her mother had been killed.

On 30 April Ingrid Vergara’s daughter received a text message that read: “Hello bitch, your mum was killed, hahaha” (hola perra mataron a tu mama jajajaja). Ingrid Vergara is the spokesperson of the Sucre branch of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado, MOVICE) in Sincelejo, northern Colombia.

Members of the Sucre branch of MOVICE have received repeated death threats over the years. Most recently on 12 February a threat was issued to kill several MOVICE members. MOVICE campaigns for the restitution of misappropriated lands in Colombia and works to denounce paramilitary groups operating within a culture of impunity. Ingrid Vergara's daughter has been targeted on several occasions in the past in an attempt to force her mother to stop her human rights work.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Urging the authorities to guarantee the safety of Ingrid Vergara, her family and other members of MOVICE Sucre, in strict accordance with their wishes;

Urging them to order full and impartial investigations into the death threats received by members of MOVICE, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;

Reminding them to fulfill their obligations regarding the protection of human rights defenders, as set out in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 21 JUNE 2013 TO:�

President

Presidente 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 Protection Unit

Sr. Andres Villamizar

Director de la Unidad Nacional de Protección del Ministerio del Interior

Carrera 58 No. 10-51

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 261 6287 (keep trying)

Salutation: Estimado Sr. Villamizar/ Dear Mr. Villamizar

And copies to:

NGO

Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado

Calle 38 No 28 A 30

Barrio Bogotá, Sincelejo

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

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER’S DAUGHTER TARGETED

ADditional Information

MOVICE is a broad coalition of civil society organizations campaigning for truth, justice and reparation for the victims of Colombia's long-running internal armed conflict. Its members have documented and exposed many cases of killings and enforced disappearance carried out by the security forces and paramilitary groups in Sucre Department. MOVICE Sucre and the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers' Collective (Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, CCAJAR) have been accompanying the victims in their search for justice, including in the cases commonly known as the falsos positivos (‘false positives’). The falsos positivos were the extrajudicial killings of mainly young men by the army, which later presented their bodies as guerrilla and even paramilitary fighters killed in combat. On 30 April, the same day as the threat against Ingrid Vergara’s daughter, Robinson Eustaquio Barbosa Almanza was found guilty of recruiting young men with false promises of work and delivering them to the army to be executed in this way. MOVICE Sucre had been collaborating on this particular case.

The members of the MOVICE Sucre branch have also been campaigning for land restitution and have been targeted for this work. On 23 March 2011, MOVICE member Eder Verbel Rocha was killed by paramilitaries. Another MOVICE member, Rogelio Martinez, who had been campaigning on the restitution of the La Alemania farm, was killed on 18 May 2010. Other members of MOVICE have received death threats and been attacked.

These latest threats come at a critical moment in the legal process to return lands to peasant farmers on the La Europa farm, a process that MOVICE Sucre has also collaborated on. On 9 May a pamphlet was received at the La Europa farm accusing Argemiro Lara Barreto, a leader in La Europa involved in the land restitution process, and Ingrid Vergara, of having links to the guerrilla.

This is not the first time Ingrid Vergara’s daughter has been targeted. See UA 301/09, AMR 23/027/2009, 09 November 2009 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR23/027/2009/en); UA 301/09, AMR 23/036/2010, 03 December 2010 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR23/036/2010/en); Further information on UA 301/09, AMR 23/008/2011, 31 March 2011 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR23/008/2011/en); Further information on UA 301/09, AMR 23/013/2011, 20 April 2011 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR23/013/2011/en).

Name: Ingrid Vergara (f) and her family, other members of MOVICE Sucre

Gender m/f: both

UA: 122/13 Index: AMR 23/020/2013 Issue Date: 13 May 2013

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