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UA 82/94 - Colombia: possible extrajudicial execution / fear for safety: Evaristo Amaya Morales (killed); Josue Giraldo Cardona, Pedro Malagon, Nelson Viloria, Jamis Ricardo Barrera

, N° d'index: AMR 23/026/1994

Josue Giraldo Cardona, Pedro Malagon, Nelson Viloria and Jamis Ricardo Barrera are receiving death threats and their movements are being closely monitored by individuals believed to be working for the the State Security Service (DAS) and the police in the town of Villavicencio, Meta department. This follows the killing on 24 February of their colleague, Evaristo Amaya, who has held several public offices in Villavicencio. All are active members of the Union Patriotica (UP) party. On 16 July 1993 more then 10 UP workers, including the above named, presented an accion de tutela requesting official protection from harassment. This was approved by the regional court in Meta, but later revoked by the Supreme Court. Since then threats and harassment have increased.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/26/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 82/94 Possible Extrajudicial Execution/Fear for Safety 3 March 1994
COLOMBIA:Evaristo AMAYA MORALES, aged 34, ex-municipal ombudsman and mayoral
candidate - killed
Josué GIRALDO CARDONA, human rights lawyer
Pedro MALAGON, member of parliament
Nelson VILORIA, parliamentary candidate
Jamis Ricardo BARRERA, municipal councillor
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Josué Giraldo Cardona,
Pedro Malagón, Nelson Viloria and Jamis Ricardo Barrera who are receiving
death threats and whose movements are being closely monitored by individuals
believed to be working for the State Security Service (Departamento
Administrativo de Seguridad, DAS) and the National Police (Policía Nacional)
in the town of Villaviciencio, Meta department. Concern has increased following
the killing, on 24 February, of their colleague Evaristo Amaya in circumstances
suggesting he may have been the victim of extrajudicial execution.
Evaristo Amaya, who has held several public offices in Villavicencio, was killed
at 8 p.m. on 24 February in the Santa Josefa District of Villaviciencio. He
was travelling home in a taxi at about 5 pm when he was shot dead by unidentified
gunmen from a passing vehicle. The killing took place between two police posts,
although the police reportedly did not respond.
At 7 p.m. on 1 March 1994, Pedro Malagón was attacked on his way home by
unidentified armed assailants. Despite a number of shots he managed to escape
unhurt and reach his home, but concern for his safety has increased. Pedro
Malagón, Josué Giraldo, Nelson Viloria and Jamis Ricardo Barrera appear on
a list reportedly held by the DAS and armed civilians working for them (Evaristo
Amaya also appeared on this list). All are active members of the legal left
wing coalition party Unión Patriótica (UP), Patriotic Union, who claim that
more than 1,500 of its members have been the victims of politically motivated
killings since its creation in 1985.
On 16 July 1993 more than 10 UP workers in Villavicencio, including the
above-listed men, presented an acción de tutela. This procedure is intended
to protect the constitutional rights of individuals and the workers were
requesting official protection from harassment. This acción de tutela was
approved by the regional court in Meta and protection provided for the UP
activists, but was later revoked by the Supreme Court following an objection
by the regional Director of DAS. Since then, threats and harassment have
increased. Both the People's Defender, Defensor del Pueblo, and the
Presidential Advisor on Human Rights, Consejero Presidencial para la Defensa,
Protección y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, have been informed of the concern
for the safety of these men in particular and for all UP activists in
Villaviciencio.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In recent years widespread and systematic human rights violations have occurred
in Colombia, including extrajudicial executions, "disappearance", torture and
arbitrary arrest. President César Gaviria Trujillo has repeatedly pledged his
government's commitment to protect human rights. However, members of the
2
Colombian security forces continue to commit serious abuses with virtual
impunity. Civilians living in areas where guerrilla forces are active are often
perceived by the armed forces as potential guerrilla collaborators and have,
as a result, been subjected to extrajudicial execution and other abuses. Only
exceptionally are perpetrators brought to justice; the vast majority of members
of the security forces responsible for gross human rights violations remain
in active service.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the killing of Evaristo Amaya Morales on 24 February
1994 in circumstances suggesting he may have been the victim of extrajudicial
execution;
- urging that there be an immediate and thorough investigation into his death,
the results of which should be made public and those found responsible brought
to justice;
- urging that the threats and harassment of UP activists Josué Giraldo Cardona,
Pedro Malagón, Nelson Viloria and Jamis Ricardo Barrera be thoroughly
investigated, in particular the assault on Pedro Malagón which took place on
1 March 1994;
- urging that the government immediately take all possible measures to protect
the lives of these men and of all those working for opposition parties, that
they may carry out their legal activities without persecution.
APPEALS TO:
1) President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente César Gaviria Trujillo
Presidente de la República, Palacio de Nariño
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Gaviria, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 286 7434/287 7939
Salutation:Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President Gaviria
2) Procurator General:
Dr. Carlos Gustavo Arrieta Padilla
Procurador General de la Nación
Procuraduría General, Edificio Banco Ganadero
Carrera 5, No. 15-80, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Procurador General Arrieta, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 284 0472
Salutation:Sr. Procurador de la Nación/Dear Dr. Arrieta
3) Advocate for the People:
Dr. Jaime Córdoba Triviño
Defensor del Pueblo, Defensoría del Pueblo
Calle 35 No. 7-25 piso 5, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Defensor del Pueblo Trivino, Defensoria del Pueblo,
Bogota, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 288 6683
Salutation: Estimado Dr Triviño/Dear Dr. Triviño
4) Director of the Department of State Security:
Dr. Fernando Brito
Director
Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad
3
Carrera 28, No. 17A-00, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Director, Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad,
Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:43363 JEDAS
Salutation: Estimado Dr. Brito/Dear Dr. Brito
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights Lawyers' Association:
Corporación Colectivo de Abogados
AA 44456, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
ASCODAS
Carrera 10 No 16 - 67, Oficina 701
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
and to diplomatic representatives of Colombia accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 14 April 1994.

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