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Colombia: Further information on possible "Disappearance" / fear for safety: Diana Salamanca Martínez

, Index number: AMR 23/082/1999

Human rights worker Diana Salamanca Martínez was released on 13 November 1999, three days after she was abducted by paramilitaries. However, it is now known that three peasant farmers were abducted with her. Their whereabouts remain unknown, and Amnesty International is seriously concerned for their safety.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 23/82/99
15 November 1999
Further information on EXTRA 158/99 (AMR 23/79/99, 11 November 1999) - Fear
for Safety/Possible “Disappearance”
COLOMBIA Diana SALAMANCA MARTÍNEZ, worker with a non-governmental
human rights organization
New names: Luz DARY TORRES and two other peasant farmers
Human rights worker Diana Salamanca Martínez was released on 13 November 1999,
three days after she was abducted by paramilitaries. However, it is now known
that three peasant farmers were abducted with her. Their whereabouts remain
unknown, and Amnesty International is seriously concerned for their safety.
Diana Salamanca, Luz Dary Torres and two other farmers were reportedly abducted
by paramilitaries on 10 November, in an area known as Alto Bonito, municipality
of Dabeiba, department of Antioquia. They were taken in a truck to the
municipality of Necoclí, where there is reported to be a large paramilitary
base. The truck was apparently allowed to pass unhindered through police and
army checkpoints. On 13 November Diana Salamanca was handed over to a
representative of the Catholic Church’s Diocese of Apartadó in the Necoclí
area.
These abductions have heightened concerns for the safety of human rights workers
working with displaced communities in the Antioquia region, and the displaced
communities themselves.
Diana Salamanca works with the non-governmental human rights organization
Comisión Intercongregacional de Justicia y Paz (Intercongregational Commission
for Justice and Peace). The organization issued a statement thanking
international non-governmental organizations and others for their support in
securing her release.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- welcoming the release of Diana Salamanca Martínez, but expressing concern
at the possible “disappearance” of Luz Dary Torres and two other peasant farmers
who were forcibly abducted with her;
- expressing concern for the safety of others working with the Comisión
Intercongregacional de Justicia y Paz;
- expressing concern for the safety of the displaced community of La Balsita
and other displaced communities in the department of Antioquia;
- calling on the authorities to take all measures deemed appropriate by the
those at risk to guarantee their safety;
- calling for an immediate and comprehensive investigation into the
“disappearance” of the three peasant farmers in order to establish their
whereabouts and to bring those responsible to justice;
- urging that the results of the investigation be made public;
- urging the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary
groups, in line with stated government commitments and UN recommendations.
APPEALS TO:
President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente Andrés Pastrana, Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No. 7-26, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Pastrana, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 337 1351 / 286 7434 / 284 2186
Salutation: Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente / Dear President Pastrana
Minister of the Interior
2
Dr. Néstor Humberto Martínez, Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior, Carrera 8, No.8-09, Piso 2
Santafé de Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Telegrams: Ministerio Interior, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 45406 MINGO CO
Faxes: + 57 1 342 3201 / 286 8025 / 281 5884
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
Commander of XVII Brigade of Colombian Army
Coronel Gutiérr