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http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent/newslett.html to read this month's




Note: Please write on behalf of these people

even though you may not have

received the original UA when issued on

September 5, 2001. Thanks!


17 February 2003


Further Information on UA 221/01 issued 5

September 2001 and re-issued 2 November

2001, 25 February 2002 and 10 September

2002) - Fear for safety



Miguel Cifuentes (m), leader of the Asociación Campesina

del Valle del Río Cimitarra (ACVC), Peasant Association of

the Cimitarra River Valley, Magdalena Medio region,

department of Santander


Pablo Javier Arenales (m)

José Guillermo Larios (m)

-human rights defedners


Diana Marcela Gallego (f) and her family


Diana Garcia (f)

Other members of the non-governmental

human rights organization REINICIAR


Francisco Campo (m), human rights activist


Other members of the non-governmental

organization Corporación Regional para la Defensa de

Derechos Humanos (CREDHOS), Regional Human

Rights Corporation in Barrancabermeja, department of



New name:

Andrés Gil (m), member of the ACVC


Miguel Cifuentes and Andrés Gil, members of

the Asociación Campesina del Valle del Río

Cimitarra (ACVC), Peasant Association of the

Cimitarra River Valley, are among many human

rights activists in Santander department who

have reportedly received death threats from

army-backed paramilitaries in recent weeks.

While there is no new information about the

other individuals named above, Amnesty

International has renewed concerns for the

safety of all human rights defenders in the area.


During a meeting of army-backed paramilitaries

in the town of Yondó, Antioquia department,

one of the paramilitary leaders reportedly said:

"We are not going to tolerate more guerrilla

members of the Peasant Association that use the

excuse of human rights work to promote the

guerrilla, especially Andrés Gil, who is a

guerrilla and Miguel Cifuentes who is an

agronomist supporter of the guerrilla". ("No

vamos a tolerar más a los guerrilleros de la tal

Asociación de Campesinos, que con la excusa

del trabajo de Derechos Humanos le hacen

proselitismo a la Guerrilla, principalmente a ese

tal Andrés Gil que es un ideólogo de ellos y

Miguel Cifuentes que es un agrónomo vendido a

la Guerrilla").


At a separate meeting of army-backed

paramilitaries in the city of Barrancabermeja,

Santander department, another paramilitary

allegedly said: "Barrancabermeja is not free

from guerrilla members yet; they are still

infiltrated in trade unions and non-governmental

organizations [NGOs]. To guarantee that the

guerrilla does not retake Barrancabermeja they

should be annihilated" ("Barrancabermeja aun

no está libre de guerrilleros, todavía quedan

infiltrados en los sindicatos, ONGs y para

garantizar qye la Guerrilla no se retome

Barrancabermeja hay que aniquilarlos").


These reports of threats follow orders allegedly

given by the Bloque Central Bolívar, Central

Bolívar Bloc of the army-backed paramilitary

group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia

(AUC), United Self-Defence Forces of

Colombia to paramilitary commanders in Yondó

and Barrancabermeja to kill non-governmental

organization workers and people who have been

involved in grass-roots social organizations.



Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as


- expressing concern for the safety of members

of the Peasant Association of the Cimitarra

River Valley, workers and human rights

activists, trade unionists and popular activists in

the department of Santander following reports of

paramilitary threats against them;

- urging that all measures, deemed appropriate

by those under threat themselves, are taken to

guarantee their safety;

- urging that full and impartial investigations

into these threats are undertaken, that the results

are made public and that those responsible are

brought to justice;

- calling for full and impartial investigations into

links between the security forces and

paramilitary forces in Barrancabermeja and

surrounding areas, that the results are made

public and that those members of the security

forces responsible for operating in unison with

paramilitary forces or supporting them are

brought to justice;

- expressing concern at the continued large-scale

presence of AUC forces in Barrancabermeja

despite the heavy military presence in the city

and urging immediate decisive action to

confront and dismantle these groups in line with

repeated UN recommendations and

governmental commitments





President of the Republic:

Señor Presidente Álvaro Uribe Vélez

Presidente de la República

Palacio de Nariño

Carrera 8 No.7-26

Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia

Telegram: Presidente de la República,

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 342 0592

Salutation: Excmo. Sr. Presidente

Uribe/Dear President Uribe


Minister of the Interior and Justice:

Sr. Fernando Londoño Hoyos

Ministro del Interior y de Justicia

Ministerio del Interior

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

Santafé de Bogotá


Telegram: Ministro Interior, Bogota,


Fax: 011 57 1 566 4573

Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister


Governor of Santander Department:

Sr. Jorge Eliecer Gómez Villamizar

Gobernador del Departamento de Santander

Gobernación de Santander

Calle 37, No. 10-30

Bucaramanga, Santander


Telegram: Gobernador Santander,

Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 76 842843

Salutation: Dear Governor Gómez

Villamizar / Sr. Gobernador Gómez




'José Alvear Restrepo' Lawyers' Collective:

Corporación Colectivo de Abogados 'José

Alvear Restrepo',

AA 33035

Bogotá, 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 31, 2003.


Amnesty International is a

worldwide grassroots movement that

promotes and defends human rights.


This Urgent Action may be reposted

if kept intact, including contact

information and stop action date

(if applicable). 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