EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/60/92
UA 345/92 Fear of torture/"disappearance" 9 November 1992
COLOMBIA: Gustavo SALGADO RAMIREZ, aged 45, development and human rights worker
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Gustavo Salgado Ramirez who
has not been seen since leaving his home in the Barrio Prado Veraniego of Santa Fe
de Bogotá on 4 November 1992.
Gustavo Salgado is a development and human rights worker. He is a consultant on
community projects supported by the European Non Government Organization "Terre des
Hommes" in Santa Fe de Bogotá and as a human rights worker collaborates with the
organization Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad (LIMPAL),
International League of Women for Peace and Freedom.
According to reports, Gustavo Salgado left his home at 8am and called his office
to say that he would be in later as he was planning to visit communities where he
has been acting as adviser, but he did not arrive. Despite enquiries made by friends
and family at hospitals, medical centres, morgues and police stations, as well as
to the judicial police, Dirección de Policía Judicial e Investigación (DIJIN), and
the Department of State Security, Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS),
the whereabouts of Gustavo Salgado remain unknown and there is serious concern for
his safety. A petition of habeas corpus has been presented on his behalf.
Approximately two months ago an anonymous caller reportedly threatened Gustavo Salgado
with death as a result of his work, saying that he would be killed "if he carried
on with what he was doing" (si continuaba en lo que estaba haciendo). Other members
of the organization LIMPAL report that they have been followed between the offices
and their homes and have been aware of the presence of state security agents close
to the offices. As a result of these events, LIMPAL wrote to the DAS and to the Defensor
del Pueblo, the People's Advocate, in order to clarify the nature of LIMPAL's work.
On 3 November, two DAS agents came to the offices as a result of this letter and
stated that they were investigating the reports of threats and harassment.
In recent years widespread and systematic human rights violations have occurred in
Colombia, including torture, "disappearance" and extrajudicial execution. Community
and human rights workers, trade unionists and members of legal left-wing parties
have been particular targets. The majority of such abuses have been attributed by
the Colombian authorities to civilian "death squads", which it claims it is unable
to control. However independent investigations have concluded that many such groups
operate under the command or with the support of the Colombian armed and security