PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 23/72/00
15 September 2000
Further information on UA 275/00 (AMR 23/71/00, 8 September 2000) - Fear for
COLOMBIAForcibly displaced civilian communities sheltering in Buga and Tuluá,
department of Valle del Cauca
Displaced community leaders
More than half of the forcibly displaced people sheltering in Tuluá have returned
to their communities following paramilitary threats. They have been given no
protection and Amnesty International believes that they are now in even greater
The Tuluá municipality provided a bus for the displaced communities to return
to their land, but apparently no measures have been taken to guarantee their
safety, or to confront paramilitaries operating in the region.
Paramilitaries recently ordered forcibly displaced people seeking refuge in
Tuluá to return home immediately, or at the latest before 15 September in a
leaflet signed by the army-backed paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de
Colombia - Bloque Calima (AUC), United Self-Defence Groups of Colombia - Calima
Bloc. The leaflet said that military action would be taken against those not
The armed forces and their paramilitary allies often treat people from
internally displaced communities as guerrilla sympathizers or collaborators.
As a result, they frequently suffer serious human rights violations.
A number of army-backed paramilitary incursions have been reported in the
department of Valle del Cauca since July 1999. As a result, more than 200 people
have been killed and several thousand people have been forcibly displaced.
Despite repeated international condemnation and a strong security force
presence, no decisive action has been taken to confront and dismantle
paramilitary groups in the region.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of displaced communities remaining in Tuluá,
for those who have returned to their land, and for other displaced communities
in the department of Valle del Cauca;
- urging the authorities to take immediate and effective measures to guarantee
- calling for a full and impartial investigation into links between the security
forces and paramilitary groups operating in the department of Valle del Cauca,
urging that the results are made public, and that those responsible for
supporting and participating in such groups are brought to justice;
- urging the authorities to take immediate and decisive action to combat and
dismantle paramilitary groups, in line with repeated government commitments
and United Nations recommendations.
President of the Republic
Señor Presidente Andrés Pastrana Arango
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia