UA 416/90 - Colombia: fear of "disappearance" / torture: Gabriel Alberto Ochoa Lopez
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/52/90
UA 416/90 Fear of "Disappearance"/Torture 15 October 1990
COLOMBIA : Gabriel Alberto OCHOA LOPEZ
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Gabriel Alberto Ochoa
López who last seen on 30 September 1990 in Cali, capital of Valle del Cauca
According to reports, Gabriel Alberto Ochoa López, a driver, was seized
from his home in La Floresta district of Cali on 30 September 1990 by several
armed men in plain clothes, one of whom was identified as a police intelligence
(F2) agent by Gabriel Ochoa's wife who was present. He was driven by car to
an unknown destination. Military and police authorities have denied Gabriel
Ochoa is in their custody.
Gabriel Ochoa had been involved in pressing for the release of his sister,
Mercedes Ochoa, a former political prisoner. Mercedes Ochoa was detained in
1988 on charges of Rebellion, (Rebelión), and was recently released after
Regional authorities, including the Procurator who has a human rights
monitoring role, have been informed of the case of Gabriel Ochoa.
In recent years Amnesty International has received an increasing number of
reports of human rights violations in Colombia, including "disappearances".
Local human rights groups estimate that over 1,500 people have "disappeared"
and remain unaccounted for since 1980. Principal targets have been people
associated with trade unions, civic and community movements and legal left-wing
parties, as well as alleged members of or sympathizers with armed opposition
groups. Amnesty International is not always in a position to establish
responsibility for each individual "disappearance", as perpetrators are often
not fully identified. However, on the basis of available evidence the
organization concludes that many such abuses are carried out by members of
the Colombia security forces or civilians working under their command. Cali
has been particularly affected by "disappearances" in recent months.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at the possible "disappearance" of Gabriel Ochoa;
- urging that there be an immediate investigation to establish his whereabouts;
- urging that if in detention, his legal situation be clarified and he be
immediately released unless charged with a recognizably criminal offence and
also allowed access to a lawyer and relatives;
- urging that he be humanely treated while in detention.
Presidente César Gaviria Trujillo
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño
Telegrams: Presidente Gaviria, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 286 7324
General Oscar Botero
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52
Telegrams: Ministro Defensa, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 42411 INPRE CO or 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes: +57 1 222 1874
Dr. Alfonso Gómez Méndez
Procurador General de la Nación
Edificio Banco Ganadero
Carrera 5, No. 15-80
Telegrams: Procurador General Gómez, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 41224 PRGEN CO or 41213 PGNDP CO
Dra Zylia Márquez
Calle 2, 38 D, 37
Valle del Cauca
and to diplomatic representatives of Colombia in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 26 November 1990.