UA: 296/12 Index: AMR 23/040/2012 Colombia Date: 11 October 2012
COLOMBIAN WOMAN THREATENED WITH GUN
On 10 October, a man aimed a gun at Alfamir Castillo, the mother of a young man killed by members of the Colombian armed forces in Palmira municipality, southern Colombia. The gunman threatened to kill her and her lawyers, days before a court hearing into the extrajudicial execution of her son and another man.
On 10 October, Alfamir Castillo was travelling on a bus to Santiago de Cali in Valle del Cauca Department, southern Colombia. When the bus stopped in Palmira municipality a man boarded the bus. He aimed a gun at her and said, “Tell the snitch of a lawyer that he will die and you too” (“Dígale al sapo del abogado que se va a morir y usted también”). Her lawyers, Jorge Molano and German Romero, have been representing her in the case of the extrajudicial execution of her son Darbey Mosquera Castillo, and Alex Hernando Ramírez Hurtado (who were killed in the same incident). Seven members of the Counter Guerrilla Battalion 57 Martires de Puerres of the VIII Brigade of the Colombian army have been sentenced to more than 40 years in prison for the extrajudicial executions.
The recent death threat comes just days before a court hearing in Manizales, Caldas Department, seeking to address command responsibility and link an army major, a captain and two colonels to the case. Alfamir Castillo and other relatives, as well as witnesses to the extrajudicial executions and the lawyers, have faced repeated threats, intimidation and harassment. On 13 January the same gunman followed Alfamir Castillo when she denounced threats at the local Office of the Attorney General.
The Colombian armed forces have been implicated in a “false positives” scandal, in which members of the armed forces unlawfully killed thousands of civilians, most of whom were presented as “guerrilla killed in combat”. Progress in criminal investigations into these killings has been slow.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Expressing concern for the safety of Alfamir Castillo, Jorge Molano and German Romero, and other relatives and witnesses, and calling on the authorities to ensure protection measures for them as agreed with them;
Urging the authorities to fully and impartially investigate the threats and prosecute those responsible;
Demanding commitment from the authorities to take decisive action to end extrajudicial executions, and guarantee the protection of those campaigning for justice in line with repeated United Nations human rights recommendations;
Reminding the authorities to fulfil their obligations to ensure human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear, as laid out in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 NOVEMBER 2012 TO:
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
Señor Juan Carlos Pinzón
Ministerio de Defensa
Carrera 54, no.26–29
Fax: +57 1 266 1003
Salutation: Dear Minister Pinzón/
Sr. Ministro Pinzón
Minister of Interior
Señor Fernando Carrillo
Ministro del Interior
Carrera 9a No 14–10, piso 8
Fax: +57 1 283 9876
Salutation: Dear Minister/
Estimado Sr. Ministro�
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
cOLOMBIan woman threatened with gun
During the long-running armed conflict in Colombia, extrajudicial executions have been carried out by the security forces in a widespread and systematic manner. They have been part of the terror tactics used by the security forces as part of their counter-insurgency strategy. The Attorney General's Office is investigating more than 2,000 cases of extrajudicial executions reportedly committed by the security forces. Those campaigning for justice in cases of extrajudicial executions have been repeatedly subjected to death threats, or have been killed by members of the security forces or paramilitaries working with them.
Name: Alfamir Castillo (f), Jorge Molano (m), German Romero (m)
Gender m/f: both
UA: 296/12 Index: AMR 23/040/2012 Issue Date: 11 October 2012