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Further information on UA 191/92 (AMR 23/32/92, 8 June) - Colombia: fear of extrajudicial execution: William Ocampo Castano, Maria Mercedes Mendez, Rosa Pena Rodriguez, Ernesto Zarralda, Pedro Agudelo and new name: Jose Rodrigo Garcia Orozco

, N° d'index: AMR 23/070/1992

Jose Rodrigo Garcia Orozco, vice-president of the departmental assembly for the left-wing Union Patriotica (UP), was reportedly shot dead on 26 November 1992. His wife, former mayoress of El Castillo, Meta, was killed along with four other UP members on 3 June 1992, when the car in which they were travelling was attacked by men in military uniform. They leave three young daughters. On 24 November an official bodyguard, assigned to Jose Rodrigo Garcia because of death threats, was withdrawn for unknown reasons.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/70/92
Distr: UA/SC
30 November 1992
Further information on UA 191/92 (AMR 23/32/92, 8 June 1992) - Fear of Extrajudicial
Execution
COLOMBIA:William OCAMPO CASTAÑO, mayor
María Mercedes MENDEZ (female), former mayoress
Rosa PEÑA RODRIGUEZ (female), municipal treasurer
Ernesto ZARRALDA, regional political leader
Pedro AGUDELO, driver
new name: José Rodrigo GARCÍA OROZCO, aged 35, political activist,
departmental politician
Amnesty International has learned with concern that José Rodrigo García Orozco was
killed on 26 November 1992 in Villavicencio, Meta department, in circumstances
suggesting he may have been the victim of extrajudicial execution.
According to reports, José Rodrigo García was shot dead at 6.45 pm close to his home
in Villavicencio by two gunmen on a motorbike. An official bodyguard assigned to
him as a result of the threats he had been receiving was reportedly suspended on
24 November for unknown reasons. He was the vice-president of the departmental
Assembly, Asamblea departamental, for the left-wing coalition party Unión Patriótica
(UP), Patriotic Union. He leaves three young daughters.
On 3 June 1992 his wife María Mercedes Méndez, outgoing mayoress of El Castillo,
Meta, was killed together with four other members of the UP when the vehicle in which
they were travelling was attacked with hand grenades and sub-machine guns by a group
of men in military uniforms. Only days before, María Mercedes Méndez had reported
to local police and military authorities the presence of paramilitary groups in the
area and requested, without success, protection (see AMR 23/32/92, dated 8 June 1992).
After their deaths, José Rodrigo García left the country for a while as a result
of the serious threats against his own life.
The UP was created in 1985 as a result of a peace process between guerrilla groups
and the government. Since that peace process was aborted in 1985, the leaders and
members of the UP have been subjected to a systematic campaign of intimidation and
physical elimination: the UP claims that over 1,500 of its members have been victims
of politically motivated killings. A report produced in October 1992 by the Defensor
del Pueblo, the People's Advocate (a government body) documents 717 killings of UP
members between January 1985 and September 1992. In only ten cases have investigations
reached a conclusion: in six cases those implicated were acquitted and in four cases
convicted. The Defensor del Pueblo concluded that:
"Innumerable deaths, complete lack of guarantees prior to the events - in spite of
being "pre-announced" in many cases - and irregularities in the investigations are
factors of impunity in these cases"
"Saldos inumerables de personas muertas, ausencia de garantías previas a los hechos,
a pesar de que en muchas ocasiones fueron "hechos anunciados" e irregularidades en
las investigaciones adelantadas son factores de impunidad en estos casos"
Page 2 of FU 191/92
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters
- expressing concern at the killing of José Rodrigo García Orozco on 26 November
1992 in circumstances suggesting he may have been a victim of extrajudicial execution;
- requesting an immediate and thorough investigation into the killing, the results
of which should be made public;
- urging that those responsible for the killings of all those named above be brought
to justice;
- urging that the authorities take all possible measures to protect members of legal
political parties so that they can carry out their work without fear for their lives.
APPEALS TO:
1) Minister of Defence:
Dr. Rafael Pardo Rueda Salutation: Sr. Ministro/
Ministro de Defensa Nacional Dear Minister
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Ministro de Defensa Pardo Rueda, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:42411 INPRE CO; 44561 CFAC CO
Fax:+ 57 1 222 1874
2) Commander of the Army:
Mayor General Hernán José Guzmán Rodríguez Salutation:Sr. Comandante/
Comandante del Ejército Dear Commander
Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Comandante del Ejercito, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:43401 COEJC
3) Minister of Justice:
Andrés González Salutation: Sr. Ministro/
Ministro de Justicia Dear Minister
Ministerio de Justicia
Carrera 15, No 9-63
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams: Ministro Justicia, Bogotá, Colombia
Faxes:+ 57 1 284 0472
4) Advocate for the People:
Dr. Jaime Córdoba Triviño Salutation: Estimado Dr Triviño/
Defensor del Pueblo Dear Dr. Triviño
Defensoría del Pueblo
Calle 34, Carrera 5
Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia
Telegrams:Defensor del Pueblo Trivino, Defensoria del Pueblo, Bogota, Colombia
Telexes:41213 PGNDP CO
Faxes:+ 57 1 284 0472
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights and Educational Organization:
Señores
CINEP
AA 25916
Santa Fe 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 11 January 1993.

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