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Colombia: Fear for safety / "disappearance" / extrajudicial execution

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 23/045/1998

Maria Esperanza Ayala, Wilson Golzalez, Gabriel Marriaga, Luis Mendoza, Juan Regyes, Jose Gonzalez, Ever Gonzalez, Casilda Sapia, Fidel Pernia, Alirio Sapia, Jesus Majore, Albeiro Jumi, Atencio Singui, Trina Carupia, Francia Carupia, Celia Pipicay, Reiniero Sapia, Gloria Domico, Carlos Dominico, Olga Domico, Emiro Domico, Evelio Baikarin, Belarmina Bailarin, Lina Domico, Emilio Bailarin and Gilma Domico. There is serious concern for the safety of the civilian population in the municipality of Murindo, Antioquia Department, particularly the 26 "disappeared" named above who have not been seen since paramilitray forces attacked their communities at the end of May 1998. According to reports., paramilitary forces were also reponsible for killing Aurelio Borja, Remberto Tovar, Yomar Morelo, Walter Mendoza and Otoniel Bailarin.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 23/45/98
UA 182/98 19 June 1998
Fear for safety/ "Disappearance"/ Extrajudicial execution
COLOMBIACivilian population of the municipality of Murindó, Antioquia Department,
including:
Residents of the El Bartolo hamlet: "Disappeared": María Esperanza Ayala, Wilson Golzález,
Gabriel Marriaga, Luis Mendoza, Juan Regyes, José González, Ever González. Killed: Aurelio
Borja, Remberto Tovar, Yomar Morelo, Walter Mendoza.
Residents of Indígenous Embera community of Gauguas: "Disappeared": Casilda Sapia, Fidel
Pernía, Alirio Sapia, Jesús Majoré, Albeiro Jumí, Atencio Sinigüí, Trina Carupia, Francia
Carupia, Celia Pipicay, Reiniero Sapia
Residents of Indigenous Embera community of La Isla: "Disappeared": Gloria Domicó, Carlos
Domicó, Olga Domicó, Emiro Domicó, Evelio Baikarín, Belarmina Bailarín, Lina Domicó,
Emilio Bailarín, Gilma Domicó. Killed: Otoniel Bailarín
There is serious concern for the safety of the civilian population in the municipality
of Murindó, Antioquia Department, particularly the 26 "disappeared" named above who have
not been seen since paramilitary forces attacked their communities at the end of May
1998. The whereabouts of all the "disappeared" remain unknown. According to reports,
paramilitary forces were also responsible for killing the five people named above.
On 28 May 1998 a paramilitary force attacked the black community of El Bartolo in Murindó
municipality in the northwestern region of Urabá, reportedly killing four residents.
The seven others named above have not been seen since the paramilitary incursion. This
attack was followed by eight days of intense fighting between paramilitary and guerrilla
forces in the area, forcing much of the local population to flee and seek safety in the
village of La Isla.
The fighting also forced 200 residents of the Embera indigenous community of the hamlet
of Guaguas to flee their homes and seek refuge in La Isla. In light of the paramilitary
operations in the area and the attack on El Bartolo, there is grave concern for the 10
members of the community named above whose whereabouts have remained unknown since the
they were forced to flee their homes. It is not clear if they were abducted by paramilitary
forces or if they fled into the forest to seek refuge.
The governor of La Isla, another Embera indigenous community, has reported that at least
300 people have sought refuge there. On 28 May Otoniel Bailarín, a resident of La Isla,
was reportedly killed by paramilitary forces when he passed through El Bartolo on his
way to Murindó. An independent commission made up of state officials and representatives
of human rights and indigenous non-governmental organizations, which travelled to the
area to confirm details of the situation, has also confirmed that the nine members of
La Isla community named above are still missing and are presumed "disappeared".
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Peasant communities, including black and indigenous communities, in disputed zones in
Colombia’s long running civil conflict have frequently suffered attacks. Neither the
left wing armed opposition groups nor the armed forces and their paramilitary allies
recognize the civilian population's neutrality in the conflict.
Members of the Colombian army and security forces and their paramilitary allies continue
to commit serious human rights violations with virtual impunity. Over the past five years
several thousand civilians have been killed by paramilitary groups throughout the country.
The Colombian Government suspended the constitutional legal base for the formation of
paramilitary organizations and issued directives to the armed forces to combat and disband
2
such groups in 1989, yet they continue to work with the support of the security forces
in many areas of the country. President Ernesto Samper Pizano has repeatedly promised
to improve the human rights situation and to dismantle paramilitary forces, but no steps
have been taken to control their actions and to hold members accountable for serious
and widespread human rights violations. The Attorney General recently stated that over
200 outstanding arrest warrants issued against alleged paramilitary members have still
not been acted upon by the security forces.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters in
SPANISH or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of 26 people who remain "disappeared" from the black
and indigenous communities of El Bartolo, Guaguas and La Isla;
- urging the authorities to take all appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of
the civilian population in Murindó;
- calling for full and impartial investigations into the reported killings of five people
and the "disappearance" of another 26 (name some of them), that the results be made public
and that those responsible be brought to justice;
- calling for a full and impartial investigation into links between the security forces
and paramilitary groups operating in the area and urging that those found responsible
for supporting and participating in such groups be brought to justice;
- urging that the authorities take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups,
in line with stated government 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 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
Attorney General, Dr.Alfonso Gómez Méndez
Fiscal General de la Nación,Fiscalia General de la Nación,
Diagonal 22B 5201,Apartado Aéreo 29855, Santafé de Bogotá,Colombia
Telegrams:Fiscal General, Fiscalia General, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 571 570 2000 (when ansaphone picks up dial 2017 for fax)
Salutation: Estimado Dr./Dear Dr.
Governor of the Department of Antioquia
Dr. Alberto Builes Ortega,Gobernador del Departamento de Antioquia
Gobernación de Antioquia,Calle 42B, # 52-106,Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Telegrams: Gobernador de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
Fax: + 574 381 1342
Salutation: Sr. Gobernador / Dear Governor
COPIES TO:
Human Rights Organization
Grupo de Apoyo a Organizaciones de Desplazados (GAD)
Calle 61# 13-54, piso 4, 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 1 August 1998.

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