EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 23/27/96
20 May 1996
Further information on UA 241/95 (AMR 23/63/95, 19 October 1995) and follow-ups
(AMR 23/21/96, 24 April 1996 and AMR 23/23/96, 26 April 1996) - Fear for safety
/ Apparent extrajudicial executions / Possible "disappearance"
COLOMBIACivilian population of Segovia and Remedios, Antioquia
Elkin Sergio ZAPATA, aged 23, driver
Yacir William SILVA CURE, aged 15
new names: Emilsen PALACIO (f)
Walter SERNA PALACIO, aged 22, her son
Serious concern for the safety of members of the civilian population of the
municipalities Remedios and Segovia, department of Antioquia, remain, following
the abduction of Walter Serna Palacio and his mother, Emilsen Palacio, on 7
May 1996 by a group of hooded men, from the El Chorro de Lágrimas Ranch, in
the municipality of Remedios.
According to information received, approximately 20 hooded men believed to
be members of a paramilitary group operating in the area, arrived at the El
Chorro de Lágrimas ranch at 5am. The group forcibly abducted Walter Serna
Palacio, a farm worker, and Emilsen Palacio, and reportedly left the area in
the direction of Puerto Berrío, department of Antioquia. Since their abduction
the whereabouts of Walter Serna Palacio and Emilsen Palacio has remained unknown
and there are serious concerns for their safety.
There is no further news of Elkin Sergio Zapata or Yacir William Silva Cure.
Appeals on their behalf may continue as outlined in previous update.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Walter Serna Palacio and Emilsen Palacio
who have not been seen since 7 May 1996 when they were reportedly abducted
by members of a paramilitary group in the municipality of Remedios;
- calling for a full and impartial investigation into their "disappearance",
for the results to be made public and for the perpetrators to be brought to
- urging that if they are in detention they be treated humanely, granted access
to lawyers and relatives, and charged immediately with a recognizable offence
if possible also:
- urge that there be full and impartial investigations into links between the
security forces and paramilitary groups operating in the municipalities of
Remedios and Segovia and that those members of the security forces responsible
for supporting such groups be brought to justice;
- urge that the authorities take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary
groups in line with stated government commitments.
1) President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente Ernesto Samper Pizano
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia