EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index:AMR 23/05/94
THIS IS A LIMITED ACTION: PLEASE LIMIT YOUR APPEALS TO 15 PER SECTION.
UA 08/94 Fear of Disappearance/Fear for safety 13 January 1994
COLOMBIA: Marisela CARDENAS BUSTAMENTE, aged 13.
Amnesty International has learned with concern of the "disappearance" of
Marisela Cardenas Bustamente on 4 January 1994 in Remedios, department of
According to reports, Marisela Cardenas Bustamente was last seen going to visit
a soldier friend stationed at the military base in the town. Since that time
her whereabouts remain unknown.
In attempts to locate Marisela Cardenas Bustamente, the town's human rights
ombudsman (personero) and two members of the local human rights committee
(Comité de Derechos Humanos), together with three of Marisela's relations,
went to the military base. They were received by the corporal in charge of
the military base who reportedly proceeded to attack the delegation verbally
and reprimand his subordinate on guard duty for not having opened fire on the
visitors. He denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of Marisela Cardenas
The ombudsman has also visited military bases in the vicinity of Remedios looking
for the Marisela Cardenas Bustamente, but to no avail. There is serious concern
for her safety.
In recent years widespread and systematic human rights violations have occurred
in Colombia, including torture, arbitrary arrest, "disappearance" and
extrajudicial execution. President César Gaviria Trujillo has repeatedly
pledged his government's commitment to protect human rights. However, members
of the Colombian armed and security forces continue to commit serious abuses
including extrajudicial executions and "disappearances" with virtual impunity.
Civic leaders, trade unionists and human rights activists are amongst the
groups frequently targeted by the security forces for arbitrary arrest and
other forms of human rights abuse.
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 Marisela Cardenas Bustamente who has
not been seen since 4 January 1994, when she went to visit a soldier friend
at the military base in Remedios, department of Antioquia;
- urging that she be immediately released if held by the security forces;
- urging that there be an immediate and thorough enquiry by the national
authorities to establish her whereabouts, in support of enquiries already
initiated by the town's ombudsman;
- urging that the investigators be given full access to the military base
concerned and that the reported threatening and intimidatory behaviour of the
army corporal be investigated;