EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/86/94
11 November 1994
Further information on UA 387/94 (AMR 23/83/94, 27 October 1994) - Fear for
COLOMBIA Luis Guillermo PÉREZ CASAS, human rights lawyer
Katia Karina NIÑO VANEGAS, his wife
Human rights lawyer Luis Guillermo Pérez and his family have again been subjected
to intimidation. Amnesty International reiterates its concern for their safety.
On 27 October 1994, Amnesty International expressed concern for Luis Guillermo
Pérez and human rights lawyer Pedro Mahecha following a series of intimidatory
incidents. Luis Guillermo Pérez reported that he and his family were being
followed by unidentified individuals on an unmarked motorcycle.
Both men are members of the Lawyers' Collective, "La Corporación Colectivo
de Abogados" (CCA), which is working on numerous high-profile cases of human
rights violations in which members of the security forces are implicated.
In the course of his work, Luis Guillermo Pérez has singled out members of
the security forces responsible for human rights violations and has represented
political prisoners. He is currently representing several prisoners accused
of being guerrilla leaders. The CCA states that they have met many times with
government authorities to discuss concerns about their own safety and have
presented practical suggestions for measures which would offer them more
Following the expression of international concern, Luis Guillermo Pérez was
provided with an escort, escolta, by the state security service "Departamento
Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS)", whose responsibilities were limited to
escorting Luis Guillermo Pérez to work in the morning and his wife and son
to his son's school. None of the requested measures for the protection of the
other members of the CCA were provided.
On 8 November, Luis Guillermo Pérez's escort did not arrive. That morning,
he and his wife were followed to his office by two men on a black motorcycle
with the license plate YNI-33. When their tail realized that they had been
noticed, they increased the intimidation, drawing up alongside the vehicle
and staring through the passenger window at Katia Karina Niño Vanegas. After
dropping off Luis Guillermo Pérez, another motorcycle with license plate number
OD-168 followed Katia Karina Niño Vanegas to her son's school. She was also
followed later in the day by unknown individuals on unmarked motorcycles.
Since last year, Luis Guillermo Pérez has denounced on numerous occasions the
surveillance and harassment he has suffered at the hands of the security forces
and the fact that his telephone has been tapped.
The intensification of harassment suffered by Luis Guillermo Pérez and his
family, coincidental with the failure of the DAS escort to arrive, strongly
suggests that the security forces are indeed responsible for the harassment
and surveillance to which Luis Guillermo Pérez and his family have been subject.
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