Document - Colombia: Paramilitaries announce killings

URGENT ACTION

UA: 149/13 Index: AMR 23/025/2013 Colombia Date: 6 June 2013

URGENT ACTION

PARAMILITARIES ANNOUNCE KILLINGS

Paramilitaries in the north of Colombia are intending to kill members of an organization that represents victims of the country's internal armed conflict.

Several human rights defenders were copied into a 3 June anonymous email, telling Sucre Department's police commander they were intending to kill Juan David Díaz, his wife and "another person close to the family" (a otra persona cercana de la familia). Juan David Díaz is a member of the Sucre branch of the National Movement of Victims of Victims of State Crimes (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado, MOVICE) His father, Eudaldo Díaz, mayor of the Sucre town of El Roble, was killed by paramilitaries on 10 April 2003. According to the email those planning to kill Juan David Díaz were in prison in the Atlántico Department city of Baranquilla, where paramilitaries convicted of the killing of Eudaldo Díaz are held. Juan David Díaz has filed several complaints against them, alleging that they have organized crimes from inside prison.

On 28 May six men, at least two of them armed, came looking for Julia Torres Cancio in Sucre's San Onofre Municipality; fortunately they did not find her. She is the legal representative of the peasant farmers living on the La Alemania farm; her husband, Rogelio Martinez, was killed by paramilitaries on 18 May 2010. MOVICE Sucre has been supporting peasant farmers, who want to return to the La Alemania farm, from where they were forcibly displaced by paramilitaries. Soldiers, who had been carrying out regular patrols around the farm perimeter since the killing of Rogelio Martinez, had left the area on 23 May without giving any warning to the community or the NGOs working with them.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Urging the authorities to ensure that members of MOVICE Sucre, including Julia Torres Cancio and other peasant farmers from La Alemania and Juan David Díaz and his family are safe, in strict accordance with their wishes;

Urging them to order full and impartial investigations into the death threats received by members of MOVICE, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;

Reminding them to fulfill their obligations regarding the protection of human rights defenders, as set out in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 JULY 2013 TO:

President

Presidente Juan Manuel Santos

Presidente de la República, Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 596 0631

Salutation: Dear President Santos/ Excmo Sr. Presidente Santos

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Francisco Estupiñán Heredia

Ministerio de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, Avenida Jiménez No 7-65, Piso 3

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 286 2649

Salutation: Dear Minister/

Estimado Sr. Ministro

And copies to:

NGO

Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado

Calle 38 No 28 A 30

Barrio Bogotá, Sincelejo

Colombia

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

PARAMILITARIES ANNOUNCE KILLINGS

ADditional Information

MOVICE is a broad coalition of civil society organizations campaigning for truth, justice and reparation for the victims of Colombia's long-running internal armed conflict. Its members have documented and exposed many cases of killings and enforced disappearance carried out by the security forces and paramilitary groups in Sucre Department. The members of the MOVICE Sucre branch have also been campaigning for land restitution and have been targeted for this work. On 23 March 2011, MOVICE member Eder Verbel Rocha was killed by paramilitaries. Another MOVICE member, Rogelio Martinez, who had been campaigning on the restitution of the La Alemania farm, was killed on 18 May 2010.

The La Alemania farm was occupied by paramilitaries in 2000, when a group of approximately 70 army-backed paramilitaries of the Heroes of the María Mountains Bloc (Bloque Héroes de los Montes de María) of the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC), entered the farm and killed community members Vidal Martínez, Oscar Martínez and Orlando Fernández. The paramilitaries set up a base on the farm, which the AUC used as an operations centre. In the course of the paramilitary attack many peasant farmers were killed. No one has been brought to justice for these killings.

Rogelio Martínez and his family returned to La Alemania on 16 February 2006. Many other families began their return in 2007, when the paramilitaries abandoned the farm. Since then, Rogelio Martínez, as their representative, had campaigned for justice in cases of human rights violations and the return of their stolen lands.

Juan David Díaz Chamorro is the son of the mayor of Roble, Eudaldo Díaz, who was killed on 10 April 2003 after he took part in a meeting on 1 February 2003 overseen by then-President Álvaro Uribe, where regional political leaders were present. Eudaldo Díaz had complained of links between paramilitaries, local politicians and the armed forces. Juan David Díaz Chamorro was threatened by paramilitaries on the day that his father was killed. He survived several further apparent attempts on his life.

Names: Juan David Díaz Chamorro and his family, Julia Torres Cancio and her family, peasant farmers of La Alemania, members of MOVICE Sucre

Gender m/f: both

UA: 149/13 Index: AMR 23/025/2013 Issue Date: 6 June 2013

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