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Colombia: "Disappearance"/ fear for safety: Luis Ismael Tarazona Ortiz and his family

, Index number: AMR 23/065/1995

Luiz Ismael Tarazona Ortiz, a civic leader, has not been seen since he was abducted on 23 October 1995 by armed men in Barrio de Popa, Ocana, Norte de Santander department. The men threatened and insulted his family and ransacked the house before leaving. Witnesses believe that Luis Tarazona may have been abducted by one of the paramilitary groups operating in the province, which are thought to be acting with the support of the security services. AI is seriously concerned for Luiz Tarazona and his family.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 23/65/95
UA 243/95 "Disappearance" / Fear for safety 24 October 1995
COLOMBIALuis Ismael Tarazona Ortiz, civic leader
and his family
Luis Ismael Tarazona Ortiz has not been seen since he was abducted on 23 October
1995 by armed men in Barrio de Popa, Ocaña, Norte de Santander department.
On 23 October, eight heavily armed men, in plain clothes and with their faces
covered, came to Luis Tarazona's house. The men identified themselves as being
from the Fiscalía, Attorney General's Office, but when the family did not open
the door to them, they broke it down. The armed group threatened and insulted
the family, including threatening to shoot one of the children. The men ransacked
the house before leaving on a motorcycle and in a white Toyota car, taking
Luis Tarazona with them.
Witnesses point to Luis Tarazona having been abducted by one of the paramilitary
groups operating in the province of Ocaña, which are thought to be acting in
the region with the support of the security forces. Amnesty International
is seriously concerned for Luis Tarazona's safety and that of his family.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Despite President Ernesto Samper Pizano's repeated pledges to protect human
rights and to tackle impunity, members of the armed and security forces, together
with their paramilitary allies, continue to commit serious abuses with virtual
impunity. Trade unionists, popular leaders, civic activists and human rights
workers are amongst those frequently targeted. Only exceptionally are
perpetrators brought to justice; the vast majority of members of the armed
forces responsible for gross human rights violations remain in active service.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Spanish or your own language:
- expressing serious concern for the safety of Luis Ismael Tarazona Ortiz,
abducted by armed paramilitaries on 23 October 1995;
- calling for an immediate investigation to establish his whereabouts, for
the findings to be made public, and for those responsible for his abduction
to be brought to justice;
- urging that, if in detention, he be treated humanely and allowed access to
lawyers and relatives, and either charged with a recognizable criminal offence
or immediately released;
- urging that all the necessary measures be taken to protect the safety of
his family.
APPEALS TO:
1) President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente Ernesto Samper Pizano
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Samper Pizano, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 289 3377/286 7434
Salutation:Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President Samper
2
2) Minister of Defence
Dr. Juan Carlos Esguerra Portocarrero
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado CAN - Carrera 52
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Ministro de Defensa , Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 222 1874
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
3) Minister of the Interior
Dr. Horacio Serpa Uribe
Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Carrera 8a, No.8-09, Piso 7
Santafé de Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Telegrams: Ministro del Interior Serpa, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:45406 MINGO CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 286 65 24/ 286 00 53/ 286 04 85
Salutation:Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
4) Procurator General:
Dr. Orlando Vásquez Velásquez
Procurador General de la Nación
Procuraduría General
Edificio Banco Ganadero
Carrera 5, No. 15-80
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Procurador General Vásquez, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 342 9723/281 7531
Salutation:Sr. Procurador de la Nación/Dear Dr. Vásquez
COPIES TO:
Alternative Legal Association
MINGA
AA 40303
Santafé 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 12 December 1995.

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