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Colombia: Fear for safety / possible extrajudicial executions

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 23/005/1998

Carlos Vera Correa, Marleny Taborba (f), Arcadyo Ferney Bolivar and all other inhabitants of municipal capital of Carmen de Atrato, department of Choco; Ruben Dario Maya, Jhon Fredy Alvarez Valderrama, Jaime Ramirez Palacio and Gildardo Taborda, all killed: The last four above-named men were killed by paramilitary gunmen during December 1997 and the first days of January 1998. Inhabitants of the town of Carmen de Atrato have been threatened by paramilitary groups with a "cleansing operation". Carlos Vera Correa, Marleny Taborba and Arcadyo Ferney Bolivar, who are believed to have witnessed the killings, have reportedly received death threats from these groups.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 23/05/98
UA 23/98 Fear for safety / Possible extrajudicial
executions 23 January 1998
COLOMBIACarlos Vera Correa
Marleny Taborba (f)
Arcadyo Ferney Bolivar
All other Inhabitants of municipal capital of Carmen de
Atrato, department of Chocó
Killed: Ruben Dario Maya, 35, miner
Jhon Fredy Alvarez Valderrama, 17
Jaime Ramírez Palacio, 27
Gildardo Taborda
According to reports received by Amnesty International, four men from the town
of Carmen de Atrato, department of Chocó, were killed by paramilitary gunmen
during December 1997 and the first days of January 1998. Inhabitants of the
town have been warned by paramilitary groups active in the area that up to
70 new graves need to be prepared in the local cemetery as there is going to
be a “cleansing” operation in the area. There have also been reports that many
young people have been warned by paramilitary gunmen that they will be killed
if they do not leave the town.
Paramilitary gunmen were reportedly responsible for killing Ruben Dario Maya
on 5 December 1997 and Jhon Fredy Alvarez Valderrama on 30 December. The
following day they reportedly attacked and injured Jaime Ramírez Palacio, whom
they later killed while he was being treated in hospital. They are also believed
to be responsible for killing Gildardo Taborda on 3 January 1998, who was shot
dead in front of his family at his home.
Carlos Vera Correa, Marleny Taborba and Arcadyo Ferney Bolivar, who are believed
to have witnessed the killings, have reportedly received death threats from
the paramilitary groups responsible.
In July 1997, Jaime Ramírez Palacio’s name appeared on a list of people condemned
to death by the paramilitary group, Autodefensas Campesinas de Córdoba y Urabá
(ACCU), Peasant Self-Defence Force of Córdoba and Urabá.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Amnesty International has issued a number of Urgent Actions on behalf of
communities in the municipality of Carmen de Atrato [see UA 146/96, AMR 23/34/96,
17 June 1996 and follow up AMR 23/09/97, 18 February 1997 as well as UA 322/97,
AMR 23/72/97, 14 October 1997]. The civilian population in the area has been
systematically targeted for extrajudicial executions by paramilitary groups
working in alliance with the armed forces.
Despite international appeals calling on the Colombian authorities to dismantle
paramilitary organizations operating in the department of Chocó, and bring
those members responsible for human rights violations to justice, no effective
action has been taken to stem paramilitary violence in the region. Failure
to take decisive action against paramilitary groups will lead to further human
rights violations in the region.
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In December 1997 President Samper announced action against paramilitary groups
responsible for widespread human rights violations in many areas of the country.
However, little action has been taken.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Spanish or your own language:
- calling for all necessary measures to be taken to guarantee the safety of
all inhabitants of the town of Carmen de Atrato, particularly Carlos Vera Correa,
Marleny Taborba and Arcadyo Ferney Bolivar, and calling for the threats made
against them to be investigated and for those responsible to be brought to
justice;
- calling for thorough investigations into the killings of Ruben Dario Maya,
Jhon Fredy Alvarez Valderrama, Jaime Ramírez Palacio and Gildardo
Taborda, for the results to be made public and those responsible to be brought
to justice;
- calling for full and impartial investigations into links between the security
forces and paramilitary groups operating in the department of Chocó, and for
members of the security forces responsible for supporting such groups to be
brought to justice;
- urging the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary
groups, in line with stated governmental commitments.
APPEALS TO:
President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente Ernesto Samper Pizano
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño
Carrera 8 No. 7-26
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Samper Pizano, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 284 2186/289 3377/286 7434
Salutation: Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente / Dear President Samper
Minister of the Interior
Dr. Alonso López Caballero
Mnistro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Carrera 8, No.8-09, Piso 2
Santafé de Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Telegrams: Ministro del Interior, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes: 45406 MINGO CO
Faxes: + 57 1 286 65 24/281 5884/286 0405
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
Minister of Defence
Dr.Gilberto Echeverri Mejía
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado CAN - Carrera 52
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Ministro de Defensa, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes: + 57 1 222 1874
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
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COPIES TO:
Human Rights Organization:
Corporación Juridica Libertad
AA 47, Medellín, 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 8 March 1998.

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