PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 23/059/2001
UA 140/01 Fear for Safety 5 June 2001
COLOMBIAAstrid MANRIQUE CARVAJAL (f), human rights defender
Other members of the Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos
(ASFADDES) in Popayán
Human rights defender Astrid Manrique Carvajal, her family and members of the
organization she works for are being threatened and harassed. Amnesty
International is concerned for their safety.
On 3 June two men reportedly smashed all the windows at Astrid Manrique
Carvajal’s house. She and her family have been threatened repeatedly in the
last few weeks. On 25 May she and her 14-year-old daughter, Tatiana, were
followed by approximately six unidentified men on their way to a nearby dentist.
At the end of April, unknown men came to the home of Astrid Manrique’s sister,
Sandra, and asked for her sister "the pretty girl who works with kidnap victims
or the "disappeared" or something to do with human rights" ("la muchacha monita
que trabaja con Secuestrados o Desaparecidos o algo que tiene que ver con
Derechos Humanos"). Sandra told them that she was an only child and moved house.
Despite this, on 1 May Sandra saw various unidentified men keeping her new
home under surveillance. Astrid was previously threatened in May 2000, when
a man with a police identity card said he would kill her and her daughter (see
UA 117/00, AMR 23/032/00, 12 May 2000).
The ongoing threats appear to be directly connected with Astrid Manrique’s
work for the Popayán branch of the Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos
Desaparecidos (ASFADDES), Association of Relatives of the Detained Disappeared,
a non-governmental organization working to bring to justice those responsible
for “disappearances” during the ongoing conflict in Colombia. ASFADDES has
received numerous threats and is supposed to receive emergency protection
from the police. However, ASFADDES received no immediate help on 1 June when
they called the police to report that an unknown man was acting suspiciously
at an ASFADDES event organized to mark raise awareness of the “disappeared”.
The police officer responsible for the security of ASFADDES had apparently
turned off the emergency phone and was therefore unable to send a police car
to the scene until the unknown man had gone.
ASFADDES is a non-governmental organization made up of relatives of people
who have “disappeared” during the ongoing conflict in Colombia. It aims to
discover what has happened to the “disappeared” and bring those responsible
to justice. ASFADDES members, together with other human rights defenders and
witnesses of human rights violations, have endured death threats, killings
and disappearances at the hands of the security forces and their paramilitary
allies. In October 2000, Angel Quintero and Claudia Monsalve of the Medellin
branch of ASFADDES "disappeared" (see UA 259/00, AMR 23/081/00, 9 October 2000).
Their whereabouts remain unknown.
Astrid Manrique has been an active member of the ASFADDES branch in Popayán,
Cauca department, since the "disappearance" of her partner. She is now on the
organization’s executive council (Consejo Directivo).
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