• Campaigns

UA 345/92 - Colombia: fear of torture / "disappearance": Gustavo Salgado Ramirez

, Index number: AMR 23/060/1992

Gustavo Salgado, a development and human rights worker, has not been seen since leaving his home in the Barrio Prado Veraniego of Santa Fe de Bogota on 4 November 1992. His family and friends have made enquiries at hospitals, morgues and police stations but his whereabouts remain unknown. A petition of habeas corpus has been submitted on his behalf. About two months ago, an anonymous caller reportedly threatened Gustavo Salgado with death because of his work. Other members of the human rights organization with whom he works, the International League of Women for Peace and Freedom (LIMPAL), have reported being followed and being observed by state security agents. AI is seriously concerned for the safety of Gustavo Salgado Ramirez.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/60/92
Distr: UA/SC
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
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Gustavo Salgado Ramírez and requesting a
full and thorough investigation to establish his whereabouts;
- expressing concern that his "disappearance" has occurred despite his having
reported being the victim of serious death threats and harassment to the authorities;
Page 2 of UA 345/92
- urging that if he is in detention, his legal situation be clarified and that he
be treated humanely and allowed full access to family and to lawyers;
- urging that if he is in detention, that he be released unless charged with a
recognizable criminal offence and brought before a competent court;
- urging that the government take all possible measures to protect the lives of
community and human rights works so that they can carry out their legal activities
without fear.
1) Director of the Department of State Security:
Dr. Fernando Brito Salutation: Estimado Dr. Brito/
Director Dear Dr. Brito
Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad
Carrera 28, No. 17A-00
Santa Fe de Bogotá
Telegrams:Director, Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:43363 JEDAS
2) 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 1 283 3066, + 57 1 286 7324, + 57 1 287 7937
3) Advocate for the People:
Dr. Jaime Córdoba Triviño Salutation: Estimado Dr Triviño/
Defensor del Pueblo Dear Dr. Triviño
Defensoría del Pueblo
Calle 34, Carrera 5
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Defensor del Pueblo Trivino, Defensoria del Pueblo, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:41224 PRGEN CO or 41213 PGNDP CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 284 0472
4) Attorney General:
Dr. Gustavo de Greiff Salutation: Estimado Dr. de Greiff/
Fiscal General Dear Dr. de Greiff
Fiscalia General
Hotel Orqidea Real
Carrera 7, No 32-16
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Fiscal General, Fiscalia General, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 287 7480
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
Human Rights and Educational
AA 25916
Santa Fe de Bogotá
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 21 December 1992.

Choose a language to view report