EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/43/95
UA 186/95 "Disappearance"/Fear for Safety 28 July 1995
COLOMBIA John Ricardo Ubate Monroy
Gloria Bogotá (f)
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of John Ricardo Ubate Monroy
and Gloria Bogotá, whose whereabouts have been unknown since they were abducted
on 19 May 1995 in Cali, Valle department.
According to reports a number of passers-by witnessed John Ricardo Ubate and
Gloria Bogotá being forced into a car by six heavily armed men. Both young
people struggled with the armed men for 10 minutes and shouted out to witnesses
to call the police. A woman called the Cali Metropolitan Police and informed
them of the situation.
According to police information, between 20 and 25 members of the Cali
Metropolitan Police force pursued the abductor's car until it was located.
When the police had almost caught up with the gunmen, they received from a
Metropolitan Police official of high rank a radio order to halt their pursuit.
According to information received by relatives of the victims, the judicial
and administrative authorities of Cali are reluctant to investigate the case,
giving the impression that they do not want to confront the officer who gave
the order, thereby protecting those responsible for the abduction and
"disappearance" of John Ricardo Ubate Monroy and Gloria Bogotá.
In recent years widespread and systematic human rights violations have occurred
in Colombia, including extrajudicial executions, "disappearance", torture and
arbitrary arrest. President Ernesto Samper Pizano, who assumed office on
7 August 1994, has publicly stated that tackling the human rights situation
will be a priority for his government. His promises include a commitment to
dismantle paramilitary forces. However, members of the Colombian armed and
security forces together with their paramilitary allies continue to commit
serious abuses with virtual impunity. Only exceptionally are perpetrators
brought to justice; the vast majority of members of the armed forces responsible
for gross human rights violations remain in active service.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of John Ricardo Ubate Monroy and Gloria
Bogotá, who have not been seen since they were abducted by six armed men on
19 May 1995;
- urging that there be an immediate and thorough investigation into their
whereabouts, the results of which should be made public and those found
responsible for their abduction brought to justice;
- urging that, if they are in detention, that they be humanely treated, allowed
access to lawyers and to their family and that they be released unless charged
with a recognized criminal offence;
- asking for an investigation to establish the responsibility of the officers
of the Metropolitan Police of Cali who ordered a halt to the pursuit of the