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Colombia: Further information on fear for safety / possible extrajudicial executions / "disappearance": Peasant farmer families living on, and forcibly displaced from, the Bellacruz Ranch, department of Cesar

, N° d'index: AMR 23/069/1996

Belen Torres, Adelmo Segundo Rodriguez, Cesar Quintero, Brigadier Ropero, Isai Canizares, Ciro Botello; and new names: Ariel Toscano; Killed: Jesus Toscano, Diosenel Toscano, Dinael Toscano, Jose del Carmen Toscano: According to reports, members of a paramilitary group killed Diosenel, Dinael and Jose del Carmen Toscano on 5 December in Valledupar, department of Cesar. All three brothers were peasant farmers. Their other brother, Jesus Toscano, had been killed on 30 November in Pelaya. The paramilitaries are reportedly looking for Ariel Toscano who is now in hiding.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 23/69/96
11 December 1996
Further information on UA 74/96 (AMR 23/17/96, 19 March 1996) and follow-ups
(AMR 23/26/96, 9 May; AMR 23/43/96, 23 July; AMR 23/45/96, 15 August; AMR
23/50/96, 1 October; AMR 26/63/96, 22 November) - Fear for Safety / Possible
extrajudicial executions / "Disappearance"
COLOMBIAPeasant farmer families living on, and forcibly displaced from, the
Bellacruz Ranch, department of Cesar
New names: Ariel Toscano, peasant farmer leader
Members of the Toscano family
Jesús Toscano (killed)
Diosenel Toscano, peasant farmer leader (killed)
Dinael Toscano (killed)
José del Carmen Toscano (killed)
News of the killing last week of four more peasant farmers from the Bellacruz
Ranch, department of Cesar, have again raised fears for the safety of all the
displaced families and peasant farmer leaders.
According to reports received, on 5 December members of a paramilitary group
entered the house in Valledupar, department of Cesar, where brothers Diosenel,
Dinael and José del Carmen Toscano were hiding and killed them in front of
their young children. All three brothers were peasant farmers; Diosenel was
also a peasant farmer leader working with the Asociación Nacional de Usuarios
Campesinos - Unidad y Reconstrucción (ANUC-UR), National Association of Peasant
Farm Workers - Unity and Reconstruction. Their brother, Jesús Toscano, had
been killed on 30 November in Pelaya, department of Cesar, after returning
to his house to collect some things he had left there. The paramilitary members
responsible for killing Jesús reportedly swore they would kill the whole Toscano
The Toscano brothers had gone into hiding after paramilitary leaders entered
the land they occupied in the hamlet of La Reforma, municipality of Pelaya,
about a month and a half ago, looking for Ariel Toscano, who they failed to
find. Ariel later left for Bogotá, while his wife and other members of the
family went to Valledupar. Reportedly, paramilitary members have been looking
for Ariel Toscano for several months to kill him.
These latest killings raise to at least 30 the number of people killed or
"disappeared" by paramilitary groups in relation to the Bellacruz case.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing deep concern at the deaths of the Toscano brothers on 30 November
and 5 December, and at the continuation of paramilitary violence against the
displaced peasant farmers from Bellacruz and those trying to assist them;
- calling for immediate measures to protect the lives of Ariel Toscano, other
members of the Toscano family, and the rest of the displaced peasant farmers
and their representatives, who remain under threat because of their links with
the Bellacruz case;
- pressuring the authorities to explain why, despite repeated calls by national
and international human rights organizations, no practical steps have yet been
taken to guarantee the safety of the Bellacruz families, put an end to
paramilitary violence against them, dismantle the paramilitary groups, and
implement the 28 arrest warrants issued against paramilitary members;
- calling for full and impartial investigations, for the results to be made
public and those responsible to be brought to justice;
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
Fax: + 57 1 289 3377 / 286 7434
Salutation:Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President Samper
Attorney General
Dr. Alfonso Valdivieso Sarmiento
Fiscal General de la Nación
Fiscalía General de la Nación
Calle 35 No. 4-31
Apartado Aéreo 29855
Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Fiscal General Valdivieso, Fiscalía General, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 287 0939 or 288 2828
Salutation: Estimado Dr. Valdivieso/Dear Dr. Valdivieso
Minister of the Interior
Dr. Horacio Serpa Uribe
Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Carrera 8, No.8-09, Piso 2
Santafé de Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Telegrams: Ministro del Interior Serpa, Bogotá, Colombia
Telexes:45406 MINGO CO
Fax:+ 57 1 281 5884/286 0053/286 6524/
Salutation:Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
Minister of Defence
Dr. Juan Carlos Esguerra Portocarrero
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
Alternative Legal Association - MINGA
Apartado aéreo 40303, Santafé de Bogotá
Asociación Nacional de Usuarios Campesinos - Unidad y Reconstrucción (ANUC-UR)
Apartado aéreo 18534, Santafé de Bogotá
and to diplomatic representatives of Colombia accredited to your country.
ALSO: Human rights violations against families forcibly displaced from the
Bellacruz Ranch has been brought to the attention of several governments. It
would be useful to express your concern at the events related above, to your
own government, urging it to use its good offices to urge in turn that the
Colombian authorities take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the
displaced families, to ensure that immediate action is taken to dismantle
paramilitary groups operating in the region, and to bring those responsible
for human rights violations to justice.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 January 1997.

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