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UA 345/93 - Colombia: extrajudicial executions / fear for safety: Killed: Jesus Maria Valencia Zuleta, Omar Dario Mesa Torres, Carlos Guillermo Mesa Torres, Manuel Vicente Varelas, Alberto de Jesus Molina, Samuel Nicolas Jimenez Serna, Jhon Jairo Calle, J

, Index number: AMR 23/057/1993

There have been an alarming number of killings reported recently in the Municipio Yarumal, Antioquia department. It is believed that those responsible are members of a "death squad" carrying out an operacion de limipieza social (social clean-up operation) against local drug dealers and petty criminals. The victims have also included peasants involved in the recovery or occupation of land. It is alleged that a death list exists. Relatives of some of the victims have already left the area in fear.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/57/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 345/93 Extrajudicial Executions/Fear for Safety 30 September 1993
COLOMBIA:
Killed:
Jesús María VALENCIA ZULETA
Omar Dario MESA TORRES
Carlos Guillermo MESA TORRES
Manuel Vicente VARELAS
Alberto de Jesús MOLINA
Samuel Nicolás JIMENEZ SERNA
Jhon Jairo CALLE
Juan Carlos CUARTA TORRES
Jhon Jairo MEDINA GUTIERREZ
Fany N (pregnant)
Luís Armando HOLGUIN JURADO
Fabián VILLA GALLEGA
Martín de Jesús VERA MAZO
Joaquín Emilio N
Luís Alfonso MORALES
Threats: Román Dario ROLDAN and others
___________________________________________________________________________
Amnesty International has received information about an alarming number of killings in
recent months in the Municipio Yarumal, Antioquia Department. The organization believes
that those responsible are members of a "death squad" comprising contract killers (sicarios)
from the town of Medellín. The "death squad" is said to be carrying out an operación de
limpieza social (social clean-up operation) against local drug dealers and petty criminals
in the municipality. However the victims have also included peasants involved in the
recovery or occupation of land. A former soldier and local inhabitants are said to have
joined the "death squad" which operates with financial support from local tradesmen and
landowners. It is also believed to have links with the police.
The wave of violence, the nature of the operations, the victims and their injuries - almost
all bullet wounds to the head - suggest that the operations are the work of a "death squad".
It is alleged that a death list of future victims exists with the names of some of those
killed included on this list. Relatives of some of the victims have, through fear, already
left the area.
On 17 August 1993 Román Dario Roldan denounced the existence of a death list on which his
name appeared. This information has been confirmed by a witness who overheard two young
men discussing the death of Román Roldan. Names of others on the death list are not known
to Amnesty International at present.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In recent years widespread and systematic human rights violations have occurred in Colombia,
including torture,"disappearance" and extrajudicial execution. Amnesty International has
received an increasing number of reports of killings of so-called social undesirables
(desechables sociales) including vagrants and petty criminals. Murder operations against
such people are routinely termed social clean-up operations and are generally attributed
to shadowy "death squads". There is evidence that members of the National Police are members
of these "death squads".
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the killings in the municipality of Yarumal, allegedly by a "death
squad";
- urging that there be an immediate inquiry into the killings to identify those responsible
and bring them to justice; the findings of such inquiry to be made public;
- urging that the Colombian government take all possible measures to protect relatives
of those killed, witnesses to the killings and those whose names are included in the death
list which has allegedly been compiled by the "death squad".
APPEALS TO
1) President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente César Gaviria Trujillo
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Gaviria, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 286 7324/7434/287 7937
Salutation:Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President Gaviria
2) Procurator General:
Dr. Carlos Gustavo Arrieta Padilla
Procurador General de la Nación
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
Salutation: Sr. Procurador de la Nación/Dear Dr. Arrieta
3) Minister of Defence
Dr. Rafael Pardo Rueda
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
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
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
4) Governor of Antioquia
Sr. Juan Gómez Martínez
Gobernador del Departamento de Antioquia
Gobernación de Antioquia
Calle 42B no. 52-106
Medellín, ANTIOQUIA.
Telexes: 66808
Faxes: + 57 1 222 518539
Salutation: Estimado Sr.Gobernador/Dear Governor
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights and Educational Organization
Señores
CINEP
AA 25916
Santa Fe de Bogotá
Colombia
and to the diplomatic representative of Colombia accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat or your section
office if sending appeals after 11 November 1993.

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