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Carta a instituciones y medios de comunicación para agilizar la búsqueda de Miguel Pabón

13 de noviembre, 2012

Ya pasaron más de 10 días desde la desaparición del Líder Miguel Pabón, afectado por la construcción de Hidrosogamoso. diversas organizaciones y comunidades en Santander continúan la búsqueda de Miguel por la zona y se intensificaran las actividades de búsqueda.

La policía ha manifestado que hay serios indicios de que Miguel se encuentra vivo en algún lugar de Santander por lo que rogamos a todos ustedes seguir difundiendo y publicando sus fotos. En el lugar donde te encuentres publica en un lugar visible las fotografías de Miguel y el comunicado de su desaparición, esto ayudará a preservar su integridad, esto lo puedes descargar de Desaparecido Miguel Pabón.

Les pedimos que envíen una carta a las autoridades para solicitar que aceleren las investigaciones y estrategias para dar con el paradero de Miguel pabón; Lo pueden hacer de manera automática POR MEDIO DEL SIGUIENTE ENLACE: http://www.censat.org/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=busquedamiguelpabon

para más información sobre de desaparición de Miguel Pabón, véase:

http://www.censat.org/articulos/10027-denuncia/10599-desaparecido-lider-del-movimiento-social-en-defensa-del-rio-sogamoso

o la pagina del Movimiento Colombiano Rios Vivios:

https://defensaterritorios.wordpress.com/

Adapted from Amnesty International UA: 325/12 Index: AMR 23/042/2012 Colombia Date: 8 November 2012

Trade unionists receive death threats

Five trade unionists received death threats from the Urabeños - a paramilitary group - in Bugalagrande Municipality, south-western Colombia on 4 November.

On 4 November, Mauricio Valencia Tamayo, the President of the Bugalagrande branch of the National Union of Food Industry Workers (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria de Alimentos, SINALTRAINAL) received a death threat via text message. The text message said, “Guerrilla son of a bitch disguised as trade unionist, company wrecker, either you stop bugging us and heating up the protest or we will fill you with lead. Go away son of a bitch. The Urabeños” (“Guerrillero hijueputa disfrazado de sindicalista, acaba empresa o dejas de joder y estar calentando la plaza o te rellenamos a plomo, abrite perro hijueputa. Los urabe.os [sic]”). The same text message was also received by Wilson Alberto Riaño, Omar Rengifo, Edwin Mejía and Julio López, also members of SINALTRAINAL.

Four of the trade unionists work for Nestle; Julio López is a former employee. Members of SINALTRAINAL have been protesting since 22 October in front of Nestlé in Bugalagrande, Valle del Cauca Department and Bogotá, demanding that various agreements made with the company are respected. Employees of other companies, who are also members of SINALTRAINAL, have also received repeated death threats.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

1 Calling on the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the death threats against Mauricio Valencia Tamayo, Wilson Alberto Riaño, Omar Rengifo, Edwin Mejía and Julio López, and to publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;

2 Demanding that they provide protection for those threatened, as agreed with those in danger;

3 Urging them to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups, in line with stated government commitments and recommendations made by the UN and other intergovernmental organizations.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 20 DECEMBER 2012 TO:

President

Señor Juan Manuel Santos

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

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 596 0631 (keep trying)

Salutation: Dear President Santos/Excmo. Sr. Presidente Santos

Labour Minister

Rafael Pardo Rueda

Ministerio de Trabajo

Carrera 14, No.99-33

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 489 3900 ext 2320

Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Ministro

And copies to:

SINALTRAINAL

Carrera 15 # 35-18

Bogotá, Colombia

Adapted from Amnesty International Urgent Action 190/12 AMR 23/024/2012 Colombia Date: 6 July 2012

The paramilitary organization Anti Land Restitution Army (Ejercito Anti Restitución de Tierras) sent an email on 3 July which named 13 people it described as "military targets", which included human rights defenders and politicians. The email included photographs of the 13, naming them in a list headed “targets”. The death threat read, “13 guerrillas disguised as human rights defenders, 13 military targets.” It continued, “Our army has clear instructions to kill these bastards who want to take away the land from the well-to-do citizens to give it to guerrillas like them. You are warned and informed since we have you fully identified, as well as your [protection] schemes and those without …”

Many of those named in the death threat work in areas where people have supported claims for the return of their lands, under the Victims and Land Restitution Law that came into force at the beginning of this year. There will be a public hearing in Congress on 18 July about the policy on land restitution and return, in which leaders of groups around the country seeking land restitution are planning to take part. Over 20 such leaders have been killed since Congress approved the law in mid-2011.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

• Expressing concern for the safety of the 13 (naming them) and urging the authorities to protect them, in strict accordance with their wishes;

• Calling on the authorities to order full and impartial investigations into the death threat, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;

• Reminding them to fulfill their obligation to protect human rights defenders, as set out in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;

• Urging them to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups and break their links with the security forces, in line with stated government commitments and recommendations made by the UN and other intergovernmental organizations.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO:

President:

Señor Juan Manuel Santos

Presidente de la República

Palacio de Nariño

Carrera 8 No.7-26, Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 596 0631

Director of the National Protection Unit of the Ministry of Interior:

Sr. Andrés Villamizar

Unidad Nacional de Protección

Ministerio del Interior

Carrera 9a. No. 14-10, Bogotá, Colombia

Office of the Attorney General:

Dr. Eduardo Montealegre

Fiscal General de la Nación

Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 (Ciudad Salitre)

Bloque C Piso 4 Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: +57 1 570 2000 ext. 2020 or 2023

US Ambassador to Colombia:

Mr. P. Michael McKinley

Carrera 45 No. 24B-27

Bogotá, D.C. Colombia

Fax: (+57) (1) 275-4568

Take a Stand: Defend the Defenders

October 2009

If you could turn back time would you take action to save Martin Luther King’s life? Would you try to prevent Nelson Mandela from spending 27 years in jail? Would you do anything possible to save Ghandi’s life? Today in Colombia brave men and women just like these are risking their lives to defend others – and you can make a difference today. Killings, violent attacks, threats, systematic stigmatization, sexual violence, unfounded criminal proceedings and illegal and constant surveillance: Being a human rights defender in Colombia is a deadly job, and it’s only getting worse.

Help us defend the defenders. Join the National and International Campaign for the Right to Defend Human Rights - Colombia: Human Rights Defenders Under Threat, and ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to make the protection of Colombia’s human rights defenders a top priority.

More info…

In response to a surge of killings, violent attacks, and threats against human rights defenders, the vast majority of which remain in impunity, as well as the revelation of the existence of a massive illegal espionage operation carried out by Colombia’s Presidential intelligence agency against defenders, USOC joined forces with a number of organizations in Colombia, Europe and the United States to create an international campaign to protect defenders.

The National and International Campaign for the Right to Defend Human Rights - Colombia: Human Rights Defenders Under Threat was launched on September 9, 2009 by the United Nations Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders and today over 200 organizations from 23 countries have signed on to the campaign and its recommendations for strategic policy change to ensure lasting solutions to protect defenders.

We need your help to call on the U.S. Government to support the campaign and to make the protection of human rights defenders a clear priority for the U.S. policy towards Colombia and for senior U.S. politicians to publicly support defenders.

Urgent Action from the Network for Advocacy in Solidarity with Grassroots Afro-Colombian Communities (NASGACC)

September 2009

This week was reported that Benjamin Gomez, an Afro Colombian inhabitant of the Caño Manso Humanitarian Zone in Curvarado, Choco Department, was assassinated. His body, bearing signs of violence, was found on August 28, 2009. In the days leading to his death, members of the community were repeatedly threatened with death and displacement. Mr Gomez was a beneficiary of provisional measures of protection of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. His assasination takes place in the context of the population’s attempt to return to the collective and ancestral Afro-Colombian territories from which they were forcibly displaced from 1997 onwards. We kindly suggest that you contact members of Congress and the Department of State to express concern for Mr Gomez´ death.

For the Complete letter please click here .

More than 10 people Killed in New Awa Massacre

August 2009

The US Office on Colombia is deeply sadden by the massacre of 12 Awá indigenous peoples, including four children on August 26, 2009 in the indigenous reserve Gran Rosario in Tumaco, Nariño. We call on the Colombian Government to immediately investigate this situation, prosecute those responsible and institute an effective protection program for the remaining members of this highly vulnerable community.

Of all the indigenous groups in Colombia, the Awá have been the most affected by the conflict this year, accounting for 38 of the 77 indigenous peoples killed so far in 2009.The National Organization of Indigenous Persons (ONIC) announced last year that 32 indigenous ethnic groups are at risk of dissaperaing, with 18 smaller groups at risk of becoming physically and culturally extinct in the near future.

Please Take Action!!!! Sign on to our automated letter to the Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos, and ask him to inmediately protect the remaining members of the Awa community.

Take Action!!!! At Least 1500 Families to be Evicted from La Toma, Cauca.

August 2009

Today August 6, 2009 the Colombian Government will evict 1502 families from the Community Council of La Toma, in the north of the Cauca Department. The traditional miner families who had inhabited those lands since 1636 and live primarily from gold mining since then, have been declared "owners of bad faith" (poseedores de mala fe) for mining in an area that was given in concession by the government to foreigners, without previous consultation to the communties, and in violation of the law 70 of 1993, the ILO Convention 169 and the Auto 005 fro the Colombian Constitutional Court.

The Community Council of La Toma is comprised of five villages: Yolombo, Gelima, Dos Aguas, El Ato and La Toma. 6500 of its 7000 hectareas have been asked in concession by the foreign mining company Anglo Gold Ashanti. As the Community Council of La Toma faces displacement, other communities in the municipalities of Suarez, Buenos Aires and Santander de Quilichao will follow, since the Ashanti (as people in the are know it) and Consigo Resort, another mining company, are looking for permanent license to exploit the gold in the region, leaving hundreds of traditional miner families with no source of living.

The Colombian government in its usual fashion has disregarded national and international laws, avoiding consult with the communities previous to any concession over their lands and resources. The Black Communities Process-PCN is asking for inmediate advocacy action to prevent expulsion and further internal displacement of the traditional miners.

We ask you to please sign on to a letter to the Colombian Government asking them to urgently address this issue and to guarantee Afro-Colombian's Human and Socio Economic Rights.

Take Action !!! Recent Attacks against Family Members of Victims of Extrajudicial Executions.

June 2009

On May 5, 2009 a trial began against army officers from the Third High Mountain “Rodrigo Lloreda Caicedo” Battalion charged with the death of Mr. Jose Orlando Giraldo. Only five days later on May 10, Mr. Jose Wilson Giraldo, Mr. Orlado’s brother and a key witness in the trial, was shot in the head by unidentified men while leaving his house in the company of his wife. Mr. Giraldo survived the attack but remains in hospital.

In another similar case, Mayerli Alejandra Legarda the 12-years-old daughter of Edwin Legarda, who was killed by the army last year, was threatened by armed gunmen, while she was in front of her house located near the Municipality of Popayán in the Department of Cauca. Mayerli ran inside the house and the armed men fled the area after they noticed that the indigenous guard was present in the house.

The US Office on Colombia encourages you to help us address this pressing issue by writing to US Ambassador in Colombia William R. Brownfield. Please click here to view and send the letter.

Take Action !!! Surge of Attacks and Threats against Human Rights Defenders

June 2009

The US Office on Colombia (USOC) is deeply troubled by a surge of attacks and threats against human rights defenders in recent months. Afro-Colombian and Indigenous leaders, as well as leaders of the internally displaced population and women’s groups have been particularly targeted.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has publicly expressed its concern for human rights defenders in Colombia after these recent attacks and death threats. Its communiqué cited “threats against human-rights workers and social activists, including displaced leaders working to defend their communities’ rights”. It also included indigenous, Afro-Colombian and social group leaders as having been targeted, with acts of intimidation against all of them increasing in recent months. Some have been killed and others forced to flee for safety, with many victims’ friends and families remaining silent for fear of reprisal attacks.

We ask you to please sign on to a letter to the Colombian Government asking them to urgently address this issue and to guarantee the safety of all those who are under threat.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SEND AN AUTOMATED LETTER TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE PRESIDENTIAL PROGRAM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN COLOMBIA, CARLOS FRANCO .

TAKE ACTION: Minga Humanitaria must be supported & accorded due protection

April 2009

The US Office on Colombia urges all armed actors to refrain from carrying out any military action in the area in which the Awá indigenous tribe is conducting a humanitarian mission in various villages on their territory in the department of Nariño.

Two brutal massacres of Awá indigenous peoples on February 4, 2009 and February 10, 2009 in Nariño left a reported 17 civilians dead. The FARC issued a statement claiming responsibility for this attack, alleging that those killed had collaborated with the army. Following these massacres, Colombian indigenous authorities called for a humanitarian mission (“Minga Humanitaria por la Dignidad y la Vida del Pueblo Awá) to go into this dangerous and highly militarized territory to recollect the bodies of their brethren. The goal of the mission is not only to retrieve the bodies, but also to draw attention the situation of displacement, confinement, lack of protection by the state, and malnutrition that the Awá have been suffering for years.

Thus far, the mission has found at least one mass grave with the bodies of three Awá men – a father and his two sons. Due to the militarization of the area, however, this humanitarian mission has encountered various serious problems. Much of the land has been planted with landmines, making the mission protracted and perilous. The landmines have also confined much of the survivors of the massacres to their homes and have prevented them from gathering and hunting adequate food. Medicine and basic clothes are also urgently needed.

As a result of these conditions, we stand with the Awá community and:

  • Express our solidarity with the Minga Humanitaria and support the indigenous authorities of Colombia – especially of the Awá people – in their humanitarian and civilian mission to enter their territory and rescue the bodies of their dead
  • Urge all legal and illegal armed actors to not carry out any type of military operation in the territory while the Minga Humanitaria is underway
  • Call on the Procuraduría General de la Nación to assign a technical commission to enter into the zone as soon as possible
  • Ask the national government, the Ministry of Defense, and the National Army deliver whatever humanitarian aid there may be to members of the Minga via unmarked helicopters not bearing any military seals so as not to compromise their safety further

Unfortunately, the plight of the Awá community is mirrored by the dire realities faced by the majority of Colombia’s indigenous people. We insist that the all the armed actors in the country – legal and illegal – respect the rights of Colombia’s indigenous community. In addition we urge the Colombian government to design effective protection programs that would prevent future displacements and massacres incorporating the legal norms put forth by the Constitutional Court through Auto 004 of 2009. Only through truly respecting the rights of Colombia’s diverse indigenous communities, recognizing their rich traditions, extending them the same rights accorded to all other Colombians, and offering them all required protections will the Colombian state be able to construct a truly inclusive and vibrant democracy.

TAKE ACTION: Paramilitaries Warn of Social Cleansing throughout Colombia.

A wave of threats has been received across Colombia warning of imminent ‘social cleansing’ and already several people have been killed.Unidentified illegal armed groups thought to be paramilitaries by the recipients of these threats have distributed pamphlets in approximately 20 cities across the country in recent weeks announcing their intentions to eliminate individuals considered ‘undesirable’ and a danger to society. Amongst those targeted are; sex workers, youths, delinquents, drug users and dealers and the homeless. Some of the cities where these pamphlets have been distributed include; Buenaventura, Bogotá, Quibdó, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Sincelejo, Riseralda, Barrancabermeja, Villavicencio, San José del Guaviare, Neiva and La Dorada. The Diocese of Quibdó has warned that at least three people have been assassinated this week and several other youth were shot at after disobeying orders in the pamphlets to stay in after 10pm. Furthermore, seven fishermen have been killed in the San Juan region of Chocó.

The US Office on Colombia (USOC) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) sent a letter to Ambassador Brownfield asking him to urge the Colombian authorities to take immediate action. Please click here to read the letter.

Take Action! USOC and WOLA ask you to also write to the US Ambassador to Colombia, William Brownfield, to ask him to urge the Colombian government to take action to protect citizens at risk and investigate these threats. Please take a moment to send an automated letter.

TAKE ACTION: Urge President Uribe to retract his statements!

Last week, President Uribe accused members of Colombia's peace movement of belonging to "an intellectual bloc of the FARC," and claimed that the "FARC's international bloc defends the FARC simply by talking about peace." These comments, which came just after the release of the six hostages, are unfounded and put in danger the lives of those promoting a peaceful resolution to Colombia's armed conflict. Furthermore, they strike a serious blow against the positive work carried out to win the release of hostages that are still being held by the FARC. For more information, please read our blog article: President Uribe accuses members of the peace movement of having ties to the FARC.

Take action! Take action against these slanderous and dangerous remarks by sending an automated letter to President Uribe urging him to immediately retract the remarks, and to make the liberation of the remaining FARC hostages a key priority for his government.

Attack on Kankuamo indigenous community.

On December 31, 2008, there was a serious attack on the Kankuamo indigenous community in Atánquez, Valledupar (Cesar). A grenade exploded during a New Year celebration, killing five members of the Kankuamo indigenous group – a group that has already suffered a great deal due to the ongoing internal armed conflict. An additional 81 individuals were injured, many of whom are in a critical condition. What is even more troubling is that the attack took place in the vicinity of three police installations: one police station is located just 15 meters from the site, another is 50 meters away, and a third 70 meters. As of yet, the perpetrators are unknown. The municipal government of Valledupar has given authorities 40 days to inform the Kankuamo people who was responsible for this attack. Still, there is growing speculation and evidence that the new paramilitary groups might be to blame for this horrific crime.

Take action! Please take a moment of your time to send an automated letter – set up by Lutheran World Relief – to your Senators and Representative asking them to act now to stop the extermination of Colombia’s indigenous people. Please click here to view and send the letter. English

Act now to urge Obama to initiate a new policy towards Colombia.

Barack Obama's transition team has set up an interactive "Citizen's Briefing Book" where you can send your ideas for America's future to the president-elect. We'd like you to visit this website today to show your support for a new, positive direction in US policy towards Colombia that focus on human rights, the rule of law and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Take action! To "vote" for a new Colombia policy, you must first register at www.change.gov (we promise it's easy). Once you're registered, search for the idea titled, “Set U.S. Policy towards Colombia in a New, Positive Direction” and click "vote up." We encourage you to add your own vision for a new Colombia policy to the ideas' comments section. The ideas that receive the most votes will receive a public response from the transition team, so don't pass up this opportunity to make your voice heard! (Thanks to the Latin America Working Group for initiating this campaign).

Displacement in Buenaventura

Buenaventura is experiencing the largest intra-urban displacement in Colombia's history with 722 families - 4,600 individuals - being displaced in recent weeks. The exodus began on October 20 when 200 families had to flee the Lleras neighborhood due to fighting between the militia that traditionally controlled the area and incoming paramilitary groups. Displacement is also increasing in other parts of the city, including the neighborhoods of San Francisco and Viento Libre. Moreover, there are reports alleging that the army and police are not taking adequate measures to protect civilians and are instead allowing the FARC and the paramilitaries to fight it out on their own. Humanitarian assistance remains scarce as more and more families continue to be displaced in the city.

Take action! Please take a moment of your time to sign a petition which will be sent to the Colombian national government and to the local government of Buenaventura. View and sign the petition here

Threats against the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado

Residents of San José reported on October 31, 2008 that they fear an attack is imminent on the community. Several incidents have given raise to the community's concerns, including reports of increased activity by paramilitaries in the area. On October 30, paramilitaries detained three people - one from Playa Larga and two from la Esperanza - and told them to convey a message to the Peace Community: the residents of la Esperanza had to leave their homes if they didn't want to be killed and that they had a list of 6 people in the community that they were going to assassinate. The paramilitaries then let the three men go. On November 1, 2008, two paramilitaries tried to abduct Jesús Emilio Tuberqua - the Peace Community's legal representative - at gunpoint from an internet café. Although they did not succeed in seizing him, Mr. Tuberqua has been the victim of many past threats from paramilitary groups and his safety is at risk. On November 7, 50 paramilitaries - carrying weapons and dressed in full uniform with AUC logos - detained Jairo Berrio Arango from la Esperanza. They made him strip his clothes and put a gun to his head, intending to kill him. Just then, his father arrived and begged them not to kill Jairo. The paramilitaries agreed but said to convey the message to all residents of the Peace Community that they intend to kill 6 people and it would be best if everyone leaves to avoid being killed. They then allowed Jairo to get dressed and let him and his father go. This incident has already caused five families to flee from the la Esperanza, and poses a great risk to the rest of the community. Due to events like these and others over the past few weeks, the community is fearful that the paramilitaries' plan is to generate terror and to ultimately assassinate them. The Peace Community of San José asks for international solidarity to confront these grave threats.

Take action! Please take a second to sign a petition that will be sent to the Colombian government and US Ambassador Brownfield. View and sign the petition here