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18 February 2003


Further Information on UA 180/02 issued 14

June 2002 and re-issued 2 December 2002 - Fear for safety



Diana Milena Murcia (f)

Javier Alejandro Acevedo (m)


and other members of the non-governmental human rights organization Corporación Colectivo de Abogados 'José Alvear Restrepo', 'José Alvear Restrepo' Lawyers' Collective


new name: Soraya Gutiérrez (f) human rights defender


On 13 February 2003, a group of unidentified gunmen armed with sub-machine guns

reportedly opened fire on the vehicle in which human rights defender, Soraya Gutiérrez was travelling in Bogotá. She managed to escape unhurt.


Soraya Gutiérrez is a human rights defender with the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados

'José Alvear Restrepo', 'José Alvear Restrepo' Lawyers' Collective. At the time of the attack she was driving an armoured car assigned to the Lawyer's Collective as part of the government's protection program for human rights defenders. Prior to the attack Soraya Gutiérrez had reportedly received several anonymous telephone calls.


The attack against Soraya Gutiérrez follows a reported death threat against a member of the Lawyer's Collective by army-backed paramilitaries and increased surveillance of

members of the Lawyer's Collective by unidentified individuals in recent months.



Lawyers from the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados 'José Alvear Restrepo' are involved

in bringing cases to trial which implicate army officials, who have taken part by action or

omission in serious human rights violations. Many human rights lawyers have been killed in Colombia, and others have been forced into exile in fear of their lives.


Members of the organization have also received death threats on several occasions in the past (UA 88/01 issued 6 April 2001 and UA 80/02 issued 15 March 2002).


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of Soraya Gutiérrez and other members of the

Corporación Colectivo de Abogados 'José Alvear Restrepo' 'José Alvear Restrepo'

Lawyers' Collective;

- calling for full and impartial investigations into the apparent attempt on her life, the results to be made public and those responsible brought to justice;

- urging the Colombian authorities to take effective action to protect members of the

organization in line with measures requested by those at risk, thus allowing them to safely continue their legitimate and important work on the defence of human rights;

- calling for the government to investigate all cases of threats against human rights defenders and to bring to justice those responsible;

- urging the government to fully implement the principles of the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect

Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted the UN

General Assembly on 9 December 1998; - calling on the government to initiate a

meaningful dialogue with human rights defenders to address issues of their protection

and the prevention of attacks against them.




President of the Republic:

Dr. 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


Vice-President of the Republic:

Dr. Francisco Santos Calderón

Vicepresidente de la República


Carrera 8A No 5-57

Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia

Telegram: Vicepresidente de la

República, Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 334 11 38

Salutation: Excmo. Sr. Vicepresidente /

Dear Vice-President


Minister of Defense:

Martha Lucía Ramírez de Rincon

Ministra de Defensa Nacional

Ministerio de Defensa Nacional

Avenida El Dorado - Carrera 52 OFI. 217

Centro Administrativo Nacional (CAN)

Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia

Telegram: Ministra de Defensa Nacional,

Bogotá, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 266 0193

Salutation: Sra. Ministra / Dear Madam



'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 April 1, 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