EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/44/90
UA 372/90 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 6 February 2015
COLOMBIA: Henry DELGADO, peasant farmer
Luis Antonio MEZA "
Beatriz Elena MENDEZ "
Amnesty International has learned with concern of the killings of Henry Delgado,
Luis Antonio Meza and his wife Beatriz Elena Méndez in circumstances suggesting
they may have been victims of extrajudicial execution.
According to an eye-witness report, at 6.30 am on 4 September 1990, Henry Delgado
and Luis Antonio Meza were riding on a motorcycle towards the community of
Tienda Nueva, Yondo municipality, in the Magdalena Medio region of Santander
department. They passed by a military post near a bank, Fondo Ganadero, and
Luis Antonio Meza stopped the motorcycle about ten metres further on after
shots were fired. Both men were questioned by the military regarding their
past political activities and then Luis Antonio Meza was allowed to go. Henry
Delgado was led away by the military to a hill opposite the military post.
Luis Antonio Meza is believed to have been the only witness to the arrest of
Henry Delgado. According to the report, later that morning, at 11.55 am,
gunshots and grenade detonations were heard coming from the direction of the
hill. The body of Henry Delgado was later taken to the town of Barrancabermeja
by the military, who reportedly claimed that he had been killed in a
confrontation with the guerrillas. Witnesses say that his body showed signs
On 10 September 1990 at 11.00 am the bodies of Luis Antonio Meza and his wife
Beatriz Elena Méndez were reportedly left in the morgue in Barrancabermeja
by members of the armed forces. No further information is currently available
about the circumstances of their killing but Amnesty International is concerned
that they may have been the victims of extrajudicial execution.
The largely rural area of Magdalena Medio has been the 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
some progress having been made in peace talks between several guerrilla groups
and the government in 1989 and 1990, there has been a continuation of political
violence. Principal victims of violence in the Magdalena Medio have been
community leaders, trade unionists and members of legal left-wing political
organizations. In areas where guerrilla forces are active the local civilian
population is 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