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28 January 2002

Further information on UA 04/02 issued 4 January 2002 and re-

issued 16 January 2002 - Fear for Safety/Possible Disappearance


COLOMBIA The civilian population of the Catatumbo

region, including Luis Alberto Cano (m), aged 18


  New names: Daniel Pallares (m)

  Eliceo Canonigo Contreras (m), aged 20

  Jose Noe Ballena (m), aged 18

  Two other young men

  11 inhabitants of 77 hamlet, El Tarra



  Killed: Johonny Gutierrez (m), Jose Noe Gutierrez (m),

David Quintero (m) and his sons Hugo, Daniel and Dairo Quintero



Army-backed paramilitary groups have reportedly abducted 16

people and killed at least six others in the Catatumbo region. The

army have taken no decisive action, and the civilian population

remain in grave danger.


Daniel Pallares was reportedly abducted on 16 January by a

paramilitary group based in the rural area near the town of

Convencion, while driving a truck towards the hamlet of Trinidad y

Guasiles in the Convencion municipality.


On 20 January another paramilitary group reportedly abducted Eliceo

Canonigo Contreras, Jose Noe Ballena and two other young men in

the Campana hamlet, El Tarra municipality. Their whereabouts

remain unknown.


That day paramilitaries abducted a further 11 people from another

hamlet in El Tarra, called '77', who are still in their hands. They were

able to do this unhindered although there is an army base only 8km

away in Filo del Gringo.


Johonny Gutierrez and Jose Noe Gutierrez were reportedly killed by

paramilitary groups operating in Teorama on 12 January. On 20

January David Quintero and his sons Hugo, Daniel and Dairo were

reportedly killed in the Trinidad hamlet, Convencion municipality.


Civilians forced to flee their homes in the municipalities of Teorama,

Convencion and El Tarra are still arriving in Ocana and Convencion

town centres. According to a number of witnesses in the region, an

army lieutenant based in the Convencion municipality has been seen

together with paramilitaries.


Amnesty International is concerned that although the army have a

heavy presence in the region, and have been alerted repeatedly to

paramilitary incursions, they have taken no decisive action to prevent

paramilitaries from attacking civilians and consolidating their position

in the area.


FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to

arrive as quickly as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of the civilian population in El

Tarra, Teorama and Convencion, Norte de Santander Department,

and the rest of the Catatumbo region, and asking what the

government and armed forces will do to protect them;

- expressing concern for the safety of Daniel Pallares, Eliceo

Canonigo Contreras, Jose Noe Ballena and two other young men

reportedly abducted by paramilitary groups;

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

Johonny Gutierrez, Jose Noe Gutierrez, David, Hugo, Daniel and

Dairo Quintero and for those responsible to be brought to justice;

- expressing concern for the safety of the 11 people reportedly

abducted by paramilitaries and used as human shields in El Tarra

municipality on 20 January, calling for a full and impartial

investigation and for those responsible to be brought to justice;

- expressing concern that the government and armed forces have

failed to protect the civilian population of the department of Norte de

Santander and the Catatumbo region and to combat paramilitary

groups in the area, despite repeated warnings of impending

paramilitary attacks;

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

security forces and paramilitary groups in the department of Norte de

Santander, for the results to be made public and for those

responsible for supporting and participating in such groups to be

brought to justice;

- urging the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle

paramilitary groups, in line with stated government commitments and

recommendations made by the UN and other intergovernmental






Commander of the V Brigade:

General Martin Orlando Carreno Sandoval

Comandante de la V Brigada

Calle 14, Carrera 33, Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

Telegram: Comandante de la V Brigada, Bucaramanga,

Santander, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 76 455051 / 351493 / 359189 / 334390

Salutation: Dear Commander Carreno Sandoval / Sr. General

Carreno Sandoval


Attorney General:

Dr. Luis Camilo Osorio

Fiscal General de la Nacion

Fiscalia General de la Nacion

Apartado Aereo 29855, Diagonal 22B 52-01 (Ciudad Salite),

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegram: Fiscal General, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 570 2000

Salutation: Dear Dr. Osorio / Estimado Dr. Osorio


National Advocate for the People:

Sr. Eduardo Cifuentes Munoz

Defensor del Pueblo, Defensoria del Pueblo,

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

Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA

Telegram: National Advocate, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 640 0491

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



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: Dear President Pastrana / Excelentisimo Sr.

Presidente Pastrana



Non-governmental human rights organization:


AA 40303,

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia


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 11, 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

Email: uan@aiusa.org


Phone: 303 258 1170

Fax: 303 258 7881