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Colombia: Further information on fear for safety / "disappearance" / extrajudicial execution

, N° d'index: AMR 23/041/1998

Edgar Durango, Luis Pineda, Moisés Quiroz Durán, Miguel Guerra Yánez and Henry Rodríguez were abducted and extrajudicially executed after an attack by paramilitaries on the community of El Pinal on 28 Apriil 1998. The whereabouts of Ruben Dario Sepulveda who was also abducted remains unknown. Further intimidatory acts against the community have led to renewed concerns for their safety amidst fears that this is a prelude to a new paramilitary incursion into the area.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 23/41/98
17 June 1998
Further information on UA 140/98 (AMR 23/25/98, 1 May 1998) - Fear for safety
/ "disappearance" / extrajudicial execution
COLOMBIA Rubén Dario Sepulveda, 15 }”disappeared”
Miguel Guerra Yánez }
Henry Rodríguez }
Edgar Durango } extrajudicially executed
Luis Pineda }
Moisés Quiroz Durán }
Residents of the community of El Pinal
Further intimidatory acts against the community of El Pinal by armed groups
have led to renewed concerns for their safety amidst fears that this is a prelude
to a new paramilitary incursion into the area.
On 7 June 1998, in an overt display of paramilitary power, the vehicle known
to have been used on 28 April in the abduction of those named above was seen
driving around the El Pinal neighbourhood carrying some 20 heavily armed men.
As with the attack in April no action was taken by soldiers at the nearby
military base or by police to apprehend the gunmen.
Later that day community members reported that a group of armed men had turned
up in El Pinal enquiring after a number of people at their homes. Not finding
them they had eventually left.
Members of the El Pinal community, including some of those abducted and killed
in April, have previously been accused by police of being guerrillas. Those
accused of being guerrillas or guerrilla sympathizers or auxiliaries by the
security forces or their paramilitary allies frequently become the victims
of harassment, death threats, "disappearance" or extrajudicial execution.
The bodies of five of the six people abducted by paramilitaries on 28 April
were recovered in the days following the attack. However, there is continued
concern for the safety of Rubén Dario Sepulveda, whose whereabouts remain
unknown.
Four hundred families, displaced by political violence in the region, are
occupying the land at El Pinal. On 28 April, soon after the departure of the
municipal authorities who had come to order their eviction, 20 armed
paramilitaries arrived who threatened to kill 40 residents if they refused
to collaborate with them. They then forced the above named men to leave with
them.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the residents of El Pinal, Bello municipality,
Antioquia Department and calling for the authorities to take immediate steps
to guarantee their safety;
- expressing continued concern for the safety of Rubén Dario Sepulveda who
"disappeared" after being abducted from El Pinal by a paramilitary group on
28 April 1998;
2
- calling for full and impartial investigations into the paramilitary attack
of 28 April 1998, the subsequent abduction and killing of Miguel Guerra Yánez,
Henry Rodríguez, Edgar Durango, Luis Pineda and Moisés Quiroz Durán and the
"disappearance" of Rubén Dario Sepulveda, for the results to be made public
and for those responsible to be brought to justice;
- calling for a full and impartial investigation into links between the security
forces and paramilitary groups operating in the region and for members of the
security forces responsible for supporting such groups to be brought to justice;
- urging the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary
groups, in line with stated governmental commitments.
APPEALS TO:
President of Colombia:
Señor Presidente Ernesto Samper Pizano, Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No. 7-26, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: President Samper Pizano, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 44281 PALP CO
Faxes: + 57 1 284 2186/289 3377/286 7434/
Salutation: Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente / Dear President Samper
Attorney General
Dr. Alfonso Gómez Méndez
Fiscal General de la Nación, Fiscalia General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B 5201, Apartado Aéreo 29855, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Fiscal General, Fiscalia General, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 571 570 2000 (when answer phone picks up dial 2017 for fax)
Salutation: Estimado Dr. / Dear Dr.
Minister of the Interior
Dr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo García,
Ministro del Interior, Ministerio del Interior
Carrera 8, No.8-09, Piso 2, Santafé de Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Telegrams: Ministro del Interior, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:45406 MINGO CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 281 5884/286 6524/286 0053/284 0214/286 0405
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
Minister of Defence
Dr. Gilberto Echeverri Mejía
Ministro de Defensa Nacional, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado CAN - Carrera 52, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Ministro de Defensa, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes: 42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Faxes: + 57 1 222 1874
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Human Rights Organization
Corporación Jurídica Libertad, AA 49027, Medellín, 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 29 July 1998.

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