EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/35/93
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
Luís Alfonso ASCANIO
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
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