Note: Please write on behalf of these people even though you may

not have received the original UA when issued on September 20,

2001. Thanks!


10 December 2001

Fear for Safety


Further information on UA 240/01 issued 20 September 2001 and

first re-issued 24 September 2001



Members of the National non-governmental human rights

organization Sembrar, including Nelson Urrego, Blanca Valencia,

Ludivia Giraldo, Sandra Herrera and Diana Herrera


Amnesty International is extremely concerned for the safety of the

individuals named above, who are listed in a written death threat

delivered to the offices of the national non-governmental human

rights organization Sembrar on 6 December.


The letter states: 'Sons-of -bitches: for being guerrilla informers and

collaborators of the ELN damned dogs 'Yolanda Ceron'. Next death

list Nelson Urrego (sic) Blanca Valencia Ludivia Giraldo Sandra

Herrera Diana Herrera for being sinners soon you will know more'


'Hijueputas no se van a burlar: por sapos y colavoradores (sic) del

E.L.N. perros - malditos ' yolanda Ceron' Lista muerte proxima Nelson

Urrego (sic) Blanca Valencia Ludivia Giraldo Sandra Herrera Diana

Herrera justos por pecadores muy pronto sabran (sic) mas (sic)'


Three days before the letter was delivered, Diana Herrera was kept

under constant surveillance by an unidentified man. At around 6:30 pm

he followed her along several streets in the centre of Bogota. Diana

Herrera found his behavior to be extremely threatening and even

attempted to make him leave her alone by going into a restaurant. The

man continued to intimidate her by staying at the entrance of the

restaurant for a while before finally leaving.



The letter refers to Yolanda Ceron, a human rights defender and

Director of the Catholic Church Organization Pastoral Social who was

killed on 19 September in Tumaco, Narino Department, by unidentified

gunmen thought to be army-backed paramilitaries (see UA 240/01

issued 20 September 2001 and follow-ups). Immediately after her

death, Sembrar workers received a telephoned death threat apparently

making reference to her murder.


The letter also refers to the armed opposition group Ejercito de

Liberacion Nacional, (ELN) the National Liberation Army. Human

rights defenders are frequently labelled guerrilla collaborators by

security forces and their paramilitary allies. Such accusations are

frequently followed by serious human rights violations such as

abductions, murders or torture.


FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive

as quickly as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of Nelson Urrego, Blanca Valencia,

Ludivia Giraldo, Sandra Herrera and Diana Herrera and other Sembrar

members in Bogota;

- urging the authorities to do everything deemed appropriate by those

under threat to guarantee their safety;

- calling for a full and impartial investigation into the killing of Yolanda

Ceron and the recent death threat against Sembrar, urging that the

results be made public and those responsible brought to justice;

- urging the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle

paramilitary groups, in line with stated government commitments and

United Nations recommendations.



President of the Republic:

Senor Presidente Andres Pastrana Arango

Presidente de la Republica

Palacio de Narino

Carrera 8 No.7-26

Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA

Telegram: President, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 566 2071 / 286 7434 / 286 6842 / 284 2186

Salutation: Dear President / Excmo. Sr. Presidente


Minister of Defense:

Dr. Gustavo Bell

Ministro de Defensa Nacional

Ministerio de Defensa Nacional

Centro Administrativeo Nacional

Avenida Eldorado - Carrera 52, OFI 217

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegram: Ministro de Defensa, Bogota, Colombia

Telex: 396 42411 INPRE CO; 396 44561 CFAC CO

Faxes: 011 57 1 222 0059

Salutation: Dear Minister / Sr. Ministro


Minister of Interior:

Sr. Armando Estrada Villa

Ministro del Interior

Ministerio del Interior

Palacio Echeverry

Carrera 8a, No.8-09, piso 2o.

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegrams: Ministro Interior, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 341 9583 / 334 3960/ 691 5455/251 5884

Salutation: Dear Sir / Sr. Ministro



Non-governmental human rights organization:


AA 22803



Ambassador Luis Alberto Moreno

Embassy of Colombia

2118 Leroy Pl. NW

Washington DC 20008

Fax: 1 202 232 8643


Please send appeals immediately. Check with the Colorado office

between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mountain Time, weekdays only, if

sending appeals after January 21, 2002.


Ensuring letter-writing actions are not disrupted by new security



In the light of current security concerns, including concerns about

anthrax being sent through the post to media and government

addresses, authorities in the US and elsewhere will be implementing

security procedures to ensure

the safety of mail. Letters to government officials will be carefully

scrutinized and this may mean a significant delay before they reach

the recipients.


This may have an impact on how we can best ensure that appeals on

UA cases and other actions are

delivered as quickly as possible.


Below are some simple suggestions for activists involved in sending

appeals to minimize potential disruption and to ensure that our

concerns reach the authorities as quickly as possible. Where possible

consider using fax, e-mail etc or postcards, rather than sealed

envelopes, to send appeal letters to authorities.


If letters are sent:

- put a return address on the envelope (the letter should be

sent from the same area)

- provide a complete address and title and write clearly

- don't put lots of enclosures in envelopes

- don't seal envelopes with tape


Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement

that promotes and defends human rights.


Please do not repost this appeal to any part of the Internet

without prior permission from Amnesty International. Thank you for

your help with this appeal.


Urgent Action Network

Amnesty International USA

PO Box 1270

Nederland CO 80466-1270


Phone: 303 258 1170

Fax: 303 258 7881