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

not have received the original UA when issued on April 19, 2001.


15 February 2002


Further information on UA 102/01 issued 19 April 2001 and re-issued 8 August 2001, 26 November 2001 and 28 January 2002

Fear for Safety


COLOMBIA - Civilian inhabitants of rural communities of the Alto and Bajo Naya regions and communities on the Yurumangui River, Valle del Cauca and Cauca Departments



Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of the

Afro-Colombian, indigenous and peasant farmer communities of the

Naya River that borders the departments of Valle del Cauca and

Cauca and the Yurumangui River, following reports that a large

number of army-backed paramilitaries are amassing in the region to

in order to launch attacks in the area.


According to information received on 14 February, paramilitaries

based in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Department, are preparing

to attack guerrillas in the area. In the past, civilian communities in

conflict zones have frequently been labelled guerrilla collaborators by

the security forces and their paramilitary allies. Following these

accusations paramilitary forces have committed serious human rights

violations such as extrajudicial executions, 'disappearances' and

death threats. In April 2001, over 30 people were killed by

paramilitary forces along the river Naya. The paramilitaries had

managed to enter the region en masse despite repeated international

alerts of an imminent incursion and despite the heavy military

presence around the access points to the Alto Naya where the

paramilitary incursion had started.


Since 8 February, an increased paramilitary presence has been

reported along the river Anchicaya to the north of the Yurumangui

River. Paramilitaries have reportedly set up illegal checkpoints in the

communities of Zabaletas, Llano Bajo and San Marcos, raising

concerns for the safety of the civilian population in this area as well.


FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to

arrive as quickly as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of the peasant farmer, indigenous

and Afro-Colombian communities living along the Naya River,

Yurumangui River and Anchicaya River in Valle del Cauca and

Cauca departments;

- expressing concern about the increasing army-backed paramilitary

presence in the region and urging the authorities to take action to

protect the civilian population;

- reminding the authorities that if they fail protect the civilian

population, it will seem that the paramilitaries are operating with the

complicity of the security forces;

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

security forces and paramilitary groups operating in Valle del Cauca

and Cauca departments, urging that the results are made public and

those found responsible for supporting and participating in such

groups are 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: Presidente, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 566 2071 / 562 8930

Salutation: Dear President Pastrana / Excmo. Sr. Presidente



Minister of Defense:

Dr. Gustavo Bell

Ministro de Defensa Nacional

Ministerio de Defensa Nacional

Avenida Eldorado CAN - Carrera 52

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegram: Ministro de Defensa, Bogota, Colombia

Telex: 396 42411 INPRE CO; 396 44561 CFAC CO

Fax: 011 57 1 222 00 59 / 221 3653

Salutation: Dear Minister Bell / Sr. Ministro Bell


Commander of the III Brigade of the Colombian Army (in charge of

Alto Naya region):

Comandante III Brigada del Ejercito Nacional

General Francisco Rene Pedraza

Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Telegrams: Comandante, III Brigada Ejercito, Cali

Fax: 011 57 2 330 7161 (Say 'Me da el tono de fax, por


Salutation: Dear Commander Pedraza / Sr. Comandante



Human Rights Ombudsman:

Sr. Eduardo Cifuentes Munoz,

Defensor del Pueblo, Defensoria del Pueblo,

Calle 55, No. 10-32/46 office 301,

Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA

Telegrams: National Advocate, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 640 0491

Salutation: Dear Mr. Cifuentes Munoz / Estimado Sr. Cifuentes



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 March 29, 2002.


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