Document - Colombia: Indigenous leader threatened in Colombia


UA: 314/11 Index: AMR 23/030/2011 Colombia Date: 25 October 2011 Date: 25 July 2011


Indigenous leader threatened IN COLOMBIA

William Carupia Cuñapa, President of the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia (OIA) in north-western Colombia, is believed to be at risk following a death threat.

William Carupia Cuñapa is President of the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia, (Organización Indígena de Antioquia (OIA) an organization representing Indigenous communities in the north-western department of Antioquia. On 18 October 2011 he received a telephone call at his home. The anonymous caller threatened the Indigenous leader telling him: “Don't be stupid, messing around with that nonsense about reclaiming land for Indigenous people, you are going to die and find yourself underground” (“no fuera bobo, que por estar jodiendo con el cuento de reclamación de tierras para los indígenas se iba a morir e iba estar bajo tierra”).

Currently the leader of OIA does not have protection measures. Given this lack of protection, this threat raises serious concern for the safety of the Indigenous leader. Over the last year there have been numerous threats and killings of human rights defenders who have attempted to secure the return of lands stolen often as a result of human rights abuses and violations committed by the security forces and their paramilitary allies.

Please write imm ediately in Spanish or your own language:

Call on the authorities to launch a full and impartial investigation into the death threat against William Carupia Cuñapa, to publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;

Express concern for the safety of William Carupia Cuñapa and other members of the OIA and call for protection measures to guarantee their safety, in line with their wishes;

Remind the Colombian authorities to fulfil their obligations to protect human rights defenders as specified in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.



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

Minister of Interior

Germán Vargas Lleras

Ministerio Del Interior

Carrera 9a. No. 14-10,

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 599 8961

Salutation: Dear Minister Vargas/ Estimado Sr. Ministro Vargas

And copies to:


Organización Indígena de Antioquia

Carrera 49 N° 63-57



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

Over many years of internal armed conflict, many Indigenous people have been forced to flee their lands or seen the lands they claim occupied. It is estimated that between 1980 and July 2010 over 6 million hectares were illegally appropriated or abandoned. Indigenous people have been subject to numerous human rights abuses and violations in the course of their efforts to claim rights over land. Guerrilla forces have also been responsible for many killings and threats of members of Indigenous communities they accuse of siding with their enemies and in the context of protecting their rights to land.

Name: William Carupia Cuñapa Gender m/f: male

UA: 314/11 Index: AMR 23/030/2011 Issue Date: 25 October 2011

How you can help