EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/21/92
12 May 1992
Further information on UA 458/91 (AMR 23/73/91, 23 December 1991) - Fear of
COLOMBIA: Robinson LUSITANTE MENDUA
Amnesty International has learned that Robinson Lusitante has been released.
Robinson Lusitante was detained by members of the Colombian armed forces on
14 December 1991 in the municipality of Valle del Guamuez, Putumayo department.
He was reportedly seized by the military to be used as a guide in an area where
the army has been involved in counter-guerrilla activity.
Amnesty International has received several reports of members of rural
communities being seized by the army in order to employ them as "guides" in
areas of high guerrilla activity. The "guides" are often required to carry
heavy equipment for troops and lead the military patrol in their march to
suspected guerrilla zones. They are sometimes killed in ensuing armed
confrontations or by the soldiers if they are suspected of being "guerrilla
According to the information received, the whereabouts of Robinson Lusitante
were established following a request by the Procurator General' s office,
Procuraduría General de la Nación to the Regional Procurator's office of
Putumayo, Procuraduría Departamental to do whatever they could to find Robinson
Lusitante. In a letter to Amnesty International, a lawyer's association
connected with the case stated,
"We believe that the international urgent action was responsible for Robinson
Lusitante's reappearing alive ... we would like to thank Amnesty
International for all its work on this case".
"Creemos que la acción urgente internacional sirvió en este caso para que
Robinson Lusitante apareciera con vida ... queremos agradecerle todos
los esfuerzos de Amnistía sobre este caso".
Many thanks to all those who sent appeals on behalf of Robinson Lusitante.