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UA 418/91 - Colombia: possible extrajudicial execution: Marlene de Jesus Giraldo

, Index number: AMR 23/067/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/67/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 418/91 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 29 November 1991
COLOMBIA: Marlene de Jesús GIRALDO
Amnesty International has learned with concern of the killing of Marlene de
Jesús Giraldo in Campo Vijao community, Yondó muncipality, department of
Antioquia, in circumstances suggesting she may have been the victim of
extrajudicial execution.
According to a sworn declaration made by a witness to the killing before
the local ombudsman, personero, of Yondó, members of the Colombian armed forces
arrived in Campo Vijao early in the morning of 24 November 1991. At
approximately 5.30am the witness, who was in bed, reports that he heard gunfire
and soldiers shouting "Bastard guerrillas, come out of your houses" "Salganse
guerrilleros hijos de puta de las casas". On leaving his house with his family
he was directed to a hut where they separated men from women and forced them
to lie on the floor face-down with others from the community. The soldiers
accused them of being guerrillas and verbally threatened them. One man asked
if he could go and look for Marlene de Jesús Giraldo, who had left the house
before the start of the military operation to urinate and not returned. Two
soldiers were also sent to look for her. The civilian returned to say that
Marlene de Jesús Giraldo had been killed. Those in the hut reportedly protested
at the news of the killing, whilst the soldiers claimed that the civilians
could not prove military responsibility for her death.
The soldiers would not initially allow Marlene de Jesús Giraldo's body
to be moved. When they did allow it to be taken to her house, her husband claimed
that in the meantime the body had been moved and jewellery had been taken from
it. One of the soldiers, who claimed to be a member of the Judicial Police,
Policia Judicial, assisted with the removal of the body.
When asked about the killing, the soldiers allegedly responded that "this
was one of the problems of war and that it wasn't their fault, that soldiers
were killed too and we had to realise that war caused these tragedies", "que
esos eran problemas de la guerra y que ellos no tenian la culpa, que a ellos
también les mataban soldados y que entonces nosotros teníamos que ser concientes
que la guerra dejaba esas tragedías."
The largely rural area of the Magdalena Media, which covers parts of the
departments of Magdalena, Bolivar, César, Boyacá, Santander and Antioquia,
has been a focus of political violence for several years following the emergence
of guerrilla groups in the 1960s and subsequent militarization of the region
during the 1980s. Despite progress that has been made through peace talks between
several of the guerrilla groups and the government, there has been a continuation
of political violence. In areas where guerrilla forces are active, the local
population are often perceived by the armed forces as potential guerrilla
collaborators and has, as a result, been subjected to arbitrary arrest, torture,
"disappearance" and extrajudicial execution by army personnel and paramilitary
page 2 of UA 418/91
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at the killing of Marlene de Jesús Giraldo in
circumstances suggesting official responsibility;
- urging that there be an immediate and thorough inquiry into her death,
the results of which should be made public and those responsible brought
to justice.
President of the Republic:
Señor Presidente César Gaviria Trujillo Excelentísimo Señor Presidente/
Presidente de la República Dear President
Palacio de Nariño
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Presidente Gaviria, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 283 3066
+ 57 1 286 7324
+ 57 1 287 7937
Procurator General:
Dr. Carlos Gustavo Arrieta Padilla Señor Procurador General de la
Procurador General de la Nación Nación/Dear Procurator General
Procuraduría General
Edificio Banco Ganadero
Carrera 5, No. 15-80
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Procurador General Arrieta, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes: 41224 PRGEN CO or 41213 PGNDP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 284 0472
Minister of Defence:
Dr. Rafael Pardo Rueda Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Ministro Defensa, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes: 42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes: +57 1 222 1874
Comisión Andina de Juristas Señores
AA 58533 CINEP
Bogota, Colombia AA 25916
(Andean Commission of Jurists) Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
(Human Rights and Educational Organization)
and to diplomatic representatives of Colombia in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 10 January 1992.

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