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Further information on UA 367/93 (AMR 23/63/93, 14 October) - Colombia: extrajudicial executions: Miguel Ladino, Miguel Antonio Ladino, Julio Cesar Ladino, Maria Zeneida Ladino, Carmen Emilia Ladino, Lucelly Colorado de Ladino, Dora Estela Gaviria Ladino,

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 23/003/1994

At the end of December 1993, the Special Investigations Unit of Procurator General's Office recommended that disciplinary charges be brought against military officers involved in the killing of the 13 people named above on 5 October 1993. However, the charges refer only to false statements and attempts to conceal the massacre, despite strong evidence of direct military involvement. AI is concerned also about the dismissal of the military judge assigned to investigate the case: the judge was informed of his dismissal at a meeting attended by one of the officers implicated in the massacre.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/03/94
Distr: UA/SC
11 January 1994
Further information on UA 367/93 (AMR 23/63/93, 14 October 1993) - EXTRAJUDICIAL
EXECUTIONS
COLOMBIA:Miguel LADINO, aged 75, peasant farmer
Miguel Antonio LADINO, aged 47
Julio César LADINO, aged 28
María Zeneida LADINO (f), aged 33
Carmen Emilia LADINO (f), aged 29
Lucelly COLORADA DE LADINO (f), aged 16
Dora Estela GAVIRIA LADINO (f), aged 15
Mario MOLINA, aged 50, peasant farmer
Rita Edilia SUAZA DE MOLINA (f), aged 47
Ricardo MOLINA, aged 19
John Fredy MOLINA, aged 16
Luz Edelsi TUSARMA (f), aged 16
Hugo CEDEÑO LOZANO, aged 35.
Amnesty International has received further information on the extrajudicial
execution of 13 people (named above) in Riofrío, Valle de Cauca Department,
by soldiers of the Palacé Battalion of the Colombian army on 5 October 1993.
The 13 had been dragged from their homes tortured and shot. Five of the women
were raped.
In a press statement, the commander of the Palacé Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel
Luis Felipe Becerra, claimed responsibility for the military operation which
he described as a victory over Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) combatants,
(National Liberation Army). However, judicial and independent investigators
quickly established that the victims were peasant farmers.
The massacre has left two babies and several other children orphaned and has
had a serious impact on the community. At least 18 of the 22 resident families
fled the community in the wake of the massacre and their homes have been
ransacked. At present they are too afraid to return.
Following the international outcry created by the massacre, the government
announced that Lieutenant-Colonel Becerra had been given an honourable
discharge. This carries no sanction and seems designed to placate national
and international concern.
At the end of December the Unidad de Investigaciones Especiales de la
Procuradoría General de la Nación (Special Investigations Unit of the Procurator
General's office), recommended that disciplinary charges be brought against
2
the commander of the Third Army Brigade, General Rafael Hernández López,
Lieutenant-Colonel Becerra, Major Eduardo Delgado, Lieutenant Luis Alfonso
Vega, two corporals Leopoldo Moreno and Alexander Canizales and police sergeant
Amando Aguilera, in relation to the Riofrío massacre.
Despite strong evidence of the direct participation of army personnel in the
massacre, the recommended disciplinary charges against the officers only refer
to false statements and attempts to conceal the massacre. General Rafael
Hernández is accused of having falsified documents in order to support the
claim that the victims were guerrillas killed in a battle with an army unit.
According to the Procurator-General's office Lieutenant-Colonel Becerra came
to know of the massacre subsequently, at which point he sent an army unit into
the area which dressed the bodies in guerrilla uniforms, placed weapons in
their hands and reported that the victims had been killed in a confrontation
with the army.
The Procurator General's office concluded, however, that the victims had been
killed by unknown attackers. This interpretation appears to ignore the fact
that military authorities immediately and publicly claimed the deaths were
a result of a confrontation between the army and guerrilla forces - a version
they have repeated on numerous occasions.
The area in which the massacre took place is one in which drug-traffickers
are influential and are pressurizing peasant farmers to sell them their land
so as to create large estates. Strong evidence exists of a close relationship
between drug-traffickers, the police and army in the region.
The Procurator-General's office findings were made known shortly after the
dismissal of the military judge Juan de Dios Hincapié Gutiérrez by
Brigadier-General Hernández who had assigned him to investigate the case. The
judge was reportedly convened to a meeting by the Brigadier-General at which
he was informed of his dismissal from the case. Lieutenant-Colonel Becerra
also attended the meeting. The presence of Lieutenant-Colonel Becerra
determining the involvement of a judge in a case in which he is directly
implicated suggests a manipulation of the judicial process in order to ensure
impunity for the officers involved.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters in Spanish, English or your own language:
- expressing concern that despite the strong evidence against them, neither
Lieutenant-Colonel Becerra nor General Rafael Hernández are being investigated
for direct involvement in the massacre at Riofrío;
- urging that the investigations already started by the Procurator-General
be thorough and immediate in order to identify those responsible for ordering
and carrying out the massacre, and that the results be made public;
- urging that those found responsible for the killings be brought to justice
and that their case should be heard by the civilian courts to prevent further
impunity.
APPEALS TO
1)President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente César Gaviria Trujillo
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Gaviria, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
3
Faxes: + 57 1 286 7324/7434; 287 7937
Salutation:Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President Gaviria
2)Procurator General:
Dr. Carlos Gustavo Arrieta Padilla
Procurador General de la Nación
Procuraduría General
Edificio Banco Ganadero
Carrera 5, No. 15-80, Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Procurador General Arrieta, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 284 0472
Salutation:Sr. Procurador de la Nación/Dear Dr. Arrieta
3)Minister of Defence
Dr. Rafael Pardo Rueda
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52, Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Ministro de Defensa Pardo Rueda, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 222 1874
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
4)Attorney General
Dr. Gustavo de Greiff
Fiscal General de la Nación
Fiscalia General de la Nación
Apartado Aéreo 29855, Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Fiscal General, Fiscalia General, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 287 0939
Salutation: Estimado Dr. de Greiff/Dear Dr. de Greiff
COPIES OF APPEALS TO:
Human Rights and Educational Organization
1) Señores, CINEP, AA 25916, Bogotá, Colombia
and to diplomatic representatives of Colombia accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 22 February 1994.

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