EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/20/95
UA 117/95 "Disappearance" 25 May 1995
COLOMBIA Jaime Enrique Quintero Cano
Jaime Enrique Quintero Cano has not been seen since 4 March 1995 when he was
arrested and taken to a military prison cell by members of the armed forces.
There is serious concern for his safety.
According to reports, on 1 March, Jaime Enrique Quintero reported to the army's
IV Brigade headquarters in Medellín, department of Antioquia, for compulsory
military service. On 2 March he phoned his family to inform them that he was
going to the Urabá region, where he was to present himself to the Batallón
Voltígeros, Voltígeros Batallion.
On 4 March, Jaime Enrique Quintero's sister tried to telephone him at the
barracks of the Voltígeros Batallion, but the commander there told her that
her brother was not on his list of recruits. The next day Jaime Enrique Quintero's
family sent a letter with a soldier to the commander. The commander told the
soldier that he had ordered that the "muchacho tan grosero" ("very rude boy")
be sent back to Medellín by plane, after he had attacked him with a broken
bottle and torn his uniform.
An intelligence officer belonging to the B2 military intelligence unit attached
to the IV Brigade told the family that he was instructed by the Voltígeros
Batallion to exchange Jaime Enrique Quintero for another soldier, and to send
Jaime Enrique Quintero back to Medellín by bus. The intelligence officer
declared that he had put him on a bus on the afternoon of 4 March.
However, soldiers belonging to the Voltígeros Batallion informed members of
Jaime Enrique Quintero's family that he had arrived at the Voltígeros Batallion
in a very depressed state of mind and that the commander treated him very badly.
On 4 March he reacted to this treatment by attacking the commander. He was
arrested and soldiers told the family that they saw Jaime Enrique Quintero
being very badly beaten as he was taken to the military prison cell. Soldiers
also told the family that they saw Jaime Enrique Quintero being driven away
in a car on the same day.
In recent years widespread and systematic human rights violations have occurred
in Colombia, including torture, arbitrary arrest, "disappearance" and
extrajudicial execution. President Ernesto Samper Pizano, who assumed office
on 7 August 1994, made several promises, both during his election campaign
and subsequently, to improve the human rights situation. However, members of
the Colombian armed and security forces, together with their paramilitary
allies, continue to commit serious human rights violations with virtually total
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Jaime Enrique Quintero Cano;
- calling for a full and impartial investigations into his whereabouts, the
results of which should be made public;
- urging that, in the event of the inquiry concluding that Jaime Enrique Quintero
was "disappeared", those responsible be brought to justice;