EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 23/96/94
20 December 1994
Further information on UA 387/94 (AMR 23/83/94, 27 October 1994) and follow-up
(AMR 23/86/94, 11 November) - Fear for Safety
COLOMBIA Luis Guillermo PÉREZ, human rights lawyer
Katia Karina NIÑO VANEGAS, his wife
Luis Guillermo Pérez and his wife Katia Karina Niño Vanegas continue to be
intimidated and their movements monitored by individuals they believe to be
working for the security forces. Fears for their safety have been greatly
heightened by the cancellation on 14 December of an escort which had been
provided by the State Security Department, Departamento Administrativo de
Seguridad (DAS) after previous similar incidents.
DAS reportedly stated that they had cancelled the escort because they had found
no evidence of anything strange ("No se había detectado nada extraño").
However, Luis Guillermo Pérez claimed that harassment and surveillance had
actually increased since the escort was provided. He also said that on several
occasions he had given DAS the license numbers of vehicles and motorbikes which
he believed were following him, but that DAS had apparently not taken any steps
to identify their owners. Luis Guillermo Pérez reports that during the week
of 12-16 December, he was followed by a blue Renault 9 (license plate BBP-776)
and a red Yamaha motorbike (license plate KJA-09).
On 15 December, the day after the DAS escort was cancelled, Luis Guillermo
Pérez reports that he and his wife were kept under surveillance throughout
the day by individuals in vehicles and on motorbikes.
Luis Guillermo Pérez Casas works for the Lawyer's Collective "Corporación
Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CCA)". The CCA is working on numerous
important cases of human rights violations in Colombia in which members of
the police and army are implicated and its lawyers have in the past been subjected
to death threats and harassment because of their work.
On 9 September 1994 President Ernesto Samper Pizano, who took office on 7 August,
declared in a speech that his government "would seek to have constructive
relations with human rights organizations with the aim of suppressing human
rights violations and would do everything necessary to protect the lives and
integrity of human rights workers." ("Buscará sostener con los organismos de
derechos humanos relaciones constructivas en procura de suprimir las
violaciones de tales derechos y pondrá de su parte cuanto sea necesario para
proteger la vida y la integridad de sus miembros"). Amnesty International
calls upon President Samper to stand by his commitment and ensure that the
members of the Lawyer's Collective and all other human rights workers can carry
out their lawful activities without fear for their or their family's lives.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
- expressing concern at the reports of increased harassment and surveillance
of Luis Guillermo Pérez and his wife Katia Karina Niño Vanegas and urging that
all possible measures be taken to protect their lives in line with the Colombian
Government's commitment to ensuring the security of human rights workers;
- urging that reports of harassment and intimidation against Luis Guillermo
Pérez and Katia Karina Niño Vanegas be investigated, the results made public