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Further information on UA 22/93 (AMR 23/04/93, 29 January; and follow-ups AMR 23/05/93, 2 February; and AMR 23/13/93, 22 February) - Colombia: fear of "disappearance" / torture / possible extrajudicial executions: Ramon Villegas, Gustavo Coronel, Luis Alf

, Index number: AMR 23/035/1993

As a result of a request from Luis Ernesto Ascanio's family, officials from the Special Investigations Bureau of the Procurator General's office, in coordination with the Military Penal Court, oversaw on 21 and 22 May 1993 the exhumation of 15 bodies from the central cemetery in Ocana, Norte de Santander department. Relatives of 15-year-old Luis Ernesto Ascanio were able to positively identify his body. Another body was believed to be that of Ramon Villegas, not seen since 12 January 1993, when he was detained with three others Wilson Quintero, Gustavo Coronel and Luis Alfonso Ascanio, whose bodies were handed over to the Special Investigations Bureau by members of the Mobile Brigade no 2. Their detention had initially been denied by the military.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/35/93
Distr: UA/SC
1 June 1993
Further information on UA 22/93 (AMR 23/04/93) of 29 January 1993 and follow-ups
AMR 23/05/93 of 2 February 1993 and AMR 23/13/93 of 22 February 1993) - Fear of
"disappearance"/torture/possible extrajudicial executions
COLOMBIA:Ramón VILLEGAS
Gustavo CORONEL
Luís Alfonso ASCANIO
Wilson QUINTERO
Luís Ernesto ASCANIO, aged 15, and family
Amnesty International has learnt with concern that the body of Luís Ernesto Ascanio
has been found and identified and that a body believed to be that of Ramón Villegas
has also been found.
According to information received, as a result of a request from Luís Ernesto Ascanio's
family, officials from the Special Investigations Bureau of the Procurator General's
office, Oficina de Investigaciones Especiales de la Procuraduría General, in
coordination with the Military Penal Court, Juzgado Penal Militar, oversaw on 21
and 22 May 1993 the exhumation of 15 bodies from the central cemetery in Ocaña, Norte
de Santander department.
Relatives of 15 year-old Luís Ernesto Ascanio were able to positively identify his
body, which had been dressed in military fatigues. Another of the bodies exhumed
was believed to be that of Ramón Villegas, although as his relatives were not there
it was not positively identified.
Amnesty International had been seriously concerned for the safety of Luís Ernesto
Ascanio and Ramón Villegas. Ramón Villegas had not been seen since his detention
on 12 January 1993, together with Gustavo Coronel, Luís Alfonso Ascanio and Wilson
Quintero by members of the army's Mobile Brigade No. 2, Brigada Móvil No. 2. The
four men were taken from their homes in the community of San José del Tarra, Hacarí,
Norte de Santander department, but their detention was later denied by military
authorities.
The Mobile Brigade No. 2 then handed over a number of bodies to the local magistrate's
office, Unidad Regional de Fiscalía, of men they claimed were "killed in combat".
The armed forces frequently claim that victims of extrajudicial execution by members
of the armed forces are "guerrillas killed in combat". A unit from the Special
Investigations Bureau of the Procurator General's office was reportedly able to
identify three of the bodies handed over as those of Gustavo Coronel, Luís Alfonso
Ascanio and Wilson Quintero.
Luís Ernesto Ascanio had not been seen since 26 January 1993, when he reportedly
left his place of work to return home after becoming concerned about the safety of
his family, who were being held hostage by the Mobile Brigade No. 2. At the time,
the area in which these "disappearances" took place was heavily militarized, but
his detention was denied. According to local press reports, he was then reported
by the army as "killed in combat" on 29 January 1993.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters in Spanish, English or your own language:
- expressing concern that Luís Ernesto Ascanio was killed in circumstances suggesting
that he was extrajudicially executed;
- urging that there be an immediate and thorough inquiry into his killing, the results
of which should be made public and those responsible brought to justice;
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- urging that further steps be taken to identify the body believed to be that of
Ramón Villegas;
- urging that in the case of positive identification that there be an immediate and
thorough inquiry into his killing, the results of which should be made public and
those responsible brought to justice;
- urging that all possible measures be taken to protect the lives of civilians in
areas where counter-guerrilla operations are being carried out by the armed forces.
APPEALS TO:
1) Procurator General:
Dr. Carlos Gustavo Arrieta Padilla Salutation: Sr Procurador de la Nación/
Procurador General de la Nación Dear Dr. Arrieta
Procuraduría General
Edificio Banco Ganadero
Carrera 5, No. 15-80
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Procurador General Arrieta, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 284 0472
2) Minister of Defence:
Dr. Rafael Pardo Rueda Salutation: Sr. Ministro /
Ministro de Defensa Nacional Dear Minister
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Ministro de Defensa Pardo Rueda, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 222 1874
3) Commander of 2nd Mobile Brigade:
Brigadier General Agustín Ardila Uribe Salutation: Estimado Comandante/
Comandante Brigada Móvil No. 2 Dear Sir
Ministerio de Defensa
Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52
Santa fé de Bogotá
Colombia
Telegrams: Comandnante Brigada Móvil No 2, Ministerio Defensa, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes: + 57 1 222 1874
4) President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente César Gaviria Trujillo Salutation:Excelentísimo Sr.
Presidente de la República Presidente /
Palacio de Nariño Dear President Gaviria
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Gaviria, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 286 7324, + 57 1 287 7937
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Association for Relatives of the "Disappeared":
Señores
ASFADDES
AA 011446
Santa Fe de 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 13 July 1993.

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