EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/04/95
UA 27/95 Fear for Safety 1 February 1995
COLOMBIA Jorge Enrique ILLERA DODINO, human rights activist
Oscar BECERRA, community leader
Jorge Enrique Illera Dodino, Oscar Becerra and about 10 other civic and community
leaders working in the municipalities of Convención and El Carmen, department
of Norte de Santander, are reported to be on a "death list".
The "death list" is alleged to have been drawn up by the Departamento
Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), Civilian Security Department, at its
regional headquarters in the city of Bucaramanga, department of Santander,
and then supplied to a paramilitary group operating in the region so that it
could carry out a series of killings in the municipalities of Convención and
Carmen. The DAS is an official state security body.
Jorge Enrique Illera Dodino is a member of the Equipo Regional para la defensa
de los Derechos Humanos de la Provincia de Ocaña y El Catatumbo, Regional Human
Rights Team for the Defense of Human Rights in the Province of Ocaña and El
Catatumbo and also works as a civic action promoter in the municipality of
El Carmen. Oscar Becerra is a well-known community leader in the village of
Guamalito in the municipality of El Carmen.
Between 1984 and 1985, Jorge Enrique Illera Dodino was detained on several
occasions by members of the armed forces and subjected to torture and threats.
He made several denunciations of the violations he had suffered to the
Personería de El Carmen, the Office of the Ombudsman of El Carmen and the
Procuraduría de Ocaña, Office of the Procurator-General of Ocaña.
Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of Jorge Enrique
Illera Dodino and Oscar Becerra and the other community leaders, given that
in the past individuals whose names have appeared on "death lists" have
subsequently become victims of human rights violations. This concern is
further heightened by the series of extrajudicial executions in recent months
carried out by paramilitary forces operating in the region. Those killed have
included peasant leaders, civic activists, human rights workers and peasant
farmers (for example see UA 386/94, AMR 23/82/94, 26 October 1994 and follow-up
to UA 204/94, AMR 23/84/94, 27 October 1994).
A denunciation of the "death list" has been presented to the Office of the
Ombudsman (Personería), the Office of the Procurator General (Procuraduría
General de la Nación) and the Office of the Attorney General (Fiscalía General
de la Nación).
Despite repeated government pledges to protect human rights, members of the
Colombian and security forces together with their paramilitary allies continue
to commit serious violations with virtually total impunity. Civilians,
including community leaders, human rights activists and political activists,
have frequently been the victim of violations. Many paramilitary forces have
been set up and trained by the armed forces, and continue to play a central
role in the Colombian army's counterinsurgency strategy, a strategy
characterized by the systematic violation of human rights. The commitments