EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/24/95
UA 137/95 Death threats / Fear for safety 15 June 1995
COLOMBIA Carlos Emilio Ramirez Montoya, radiologist
Carlos Emilio Ramírez Montoya has been subjected to telephoned death threats,
following recent press articles in which he is accused of being a member of
the guerrilla group, the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), National
Liberation Army. There are serious fears for his safety as such accusations
are often followed by "disappearance" or extrajudicial execution.
Carlos Emilio Ramírez, a radiologist working in Cucutá, department of Norte
de Santander, denounced the threats to the Defensoría del Pueblo, the Office
of the People's Advocate, on 2 May 1995. According to his denunciation, the
press articles appeared in two national magazines published on 20 March and
on 28 March. The first claims that he was in charge of coordinating terrorist
activities in Venezuela on behalf of the ELN, while the second article, which
appeared in a different magazine, claims that he was a guerrilla collaborator.
Carlos Emilio Ramírez stated that he has learned that the intelligence services
have accused him of collaborating with guerrilla forces, treating wounded and
sick guerrillas, being a guerrilla ideologue, and managing guerrilla funds
abroad. He is reportedly now being kept under constant surveillance by security
force agents, some of whom have identified themselves as members of the
Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), Civilian Security Department.
Between September 1988 until October 1990 Carlos Emilio Ramírez took part in
regional peace talks between guerrilla forces and the governor of the department
of Norte of Santander.
Human rights organizations are to petition President Ernesto Samper Pizano,
urging that measures be taken to guarantee Carlos Emilio Ramírez's safety.
President Ernesto Samper Pizano, who assumed office on 7 August 1994, has made
repeated promises, both during his election campaign and since taking office,
to improve the human rights situation in Colombia.
Despite these pledges, members of the Colombian and security forces, together
with their paramilitary allies, continue to commit serious human rights
violations, including extrajudicial executions, "disappearances" and torture
with virtual impunity. Political and civic activists are often labelled
guerrilla sympathizers, an accusation frequently followed them becoming the
victims of human rights violations.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern at intimidation and death threats against Carlos Emilio
- urging that there be an immediate and thorough investigation into these
threats, the results of which should be made public and those responsible be
brought to justice;
- urging the authorities to take all the necessary steps, deemed appropriate
by Carlos Emilio Ramírez, to ensure his safety.