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28 January 2002


Further information on UA 22/01 originally issued 29 January 2001

and re-issued 8 March 26 March; 8 June; 7 September; 12

November; 20 November; 19 December - Fear for safety



Patricia Ramirez (f), member of the Organizacion Femenina Popular

(OFP), Popular Women's Organization in Barrancabermeja,

Santander department



Army-backed paramilitaries abducted OFP member Patricia Ramirez

on 19 January in Barrancabermeja. They released her a few hours

later when the security forces began to search for her, but Amnesty

International remains gravely concerned for her safety.


A group of men who said they were members of the Autodefensas

Unidas de Colombia (AUC), United Self-Defense Force of Colombia,

reportedly entered Patricia Ramirez's mother's house at 7pm, and

abducted both women. They were reportedly brought to the

commander of the AUC's suroriental (south-eastern branch), who

operate in the area.


Her colleagues at the Organizacion Femenina Popular (OFP),

Popular Women's Organization, and other human rights

organizations, reported what had happened, and the Civilian

Intelligence Service, Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad

(DAS), reportedly began a search of the area where the women were

being held. The AUC reportedly set the women free when they heard

that the DAS were in the area.


Patricia Ramirez and other OFP members face continuous threats,

harassment and attack from paramilitary groups, because of their

refusal to give up their work in defence of human rights despite the

paramilitaries' attempts to take control of the region.


Many thanks to all who have sent appeals. Amnesty International will

continue to campaign on behalf of the OFP, and will issue further

Urgent Actions when necessary. Please send a final round of appeals

to arrive as quickly as possible:

- urging the authorities to take appropriate action to protect Patricia

Ramirez and other members of the Organizacion Femenina Popular,

so they can continue their legitimate work for the defence and

promotion of human rights without fear of attack or intimidation;

- calling for an immediate, impartial and full investigation into the

abduction of Patricia Ramirez and her mother on 19 January, and for

those responsible to be brought to justice;

- urging the government to adhere to its obligations regarding human

rights defenders, as laid out in United Nation and Organization of

American States declarations, and in line with the UN's repeated

recommendations that they should take measures to guarantee the

safety of human rights defenders;

- expressing concern that the government has taken no effective

action against paramilitary groups in the Barrancabermeja area,

despite their own commitments and UN recommendations to combat

and dismantle these groups;

- calling for a full and impartial investigation into links between the

security forces and paramilitary groups operating in the department of

Santander, urging that the results are made public, and that those

responsible for supporting and participating in such groups are

brought to justice.







Minister of the Interior:

Dr. Armando Estrada Villa,

Ministro del Interior, Ministerio del Interior,

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

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegram: Ministro Interior, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 562 5298/ 562 9890

Salutation: Dear Minister Estrada Villa/Sr. Ministro Estrada Villa


Minister of Defense:

Dr. Gustavo Bell

Ministro de Defensa Nacional, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional

Avenida Eldorado CAN - Carrera 52,Oficina 217, Santafe de Bogota,


Telegram: Ministro de Defensa, Bogota, Colombia

Telex: 396 42411 INPRE CO; 396 44561 CFAC CO

Fax: 011 57 1 222 1874

Salutation: Dear Minister Bell/Sr. Ministro Bell


Governor of Santander Department:

Sr. Jorge Eliecer Gomez Villamizar

Gobernador del Departamento de Santander

Gobernacion de Santander

Calle 37, No. 10-30

Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

Telegram: Gobernador Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 76 339889

Salutation: Dear Governor Gomez Villamizar/Sr. Gobernador Gomez



President of Colombia:

Senor Presidente Andres Pastrana

Presidente de la Republica

Palacio de Narino

Carrera 8 No. 7-26

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegrams: President Pastrana, Bogota, Colombia

Telex: 396 44281 PALP CO

Fax: 011 57 1 566 20 71

Salutation: Excelentisimo Sr. Presidente Pastrana/Dear

President Pastrana



Women's grassroots organization:

Organizacion Femenina Popular

Cra 22 No 52B - 36


Santander, Colombia


Ambassador Luis Alberto Moreno

Embassy of Colombia

2118 Leroy Pl. NW

Washington DC 20008

Fax: 1 202 232 8643


Check with the Colorado office between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm,

Mountain Time, weekdays only, if sending appeals after March 11,



Urgent Action Network

Amnesty International USA

PO Box 1270

Nederland CO 80466-1270

Email: uan@aiusa.org


Phone: 303 258 1170

Fax: 303 258 7881