16 January 2002

Further information on UA 04/02 issued 4 January 2002 - Fear for


COLOMBIA: The civilian population of the Catatumbo region,

including Luis Alberto Cano (m), aged 18


Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of the

civilian population of the Catatumbo region as incursions by the army-

backed paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC),

United Self-Defence Force of Colombia, continue to take place in

various hamlets of El Tarra and Teorama municipalities, Norte de

Santander Department.


More than 1,000 people have reportedly been displaced to the town

centres of the Convencion and El Tarra municipalities. These people

are also under threat, as the area around them has been taken over

by paramilitary forces.


According to reports, paramilitary bases have been established in

Bella Vista, El Paso and Acerrio - villages in the Catatumbo region -

abandoned by the civilian population in fear of further paramilitary

killings. Paramilitary groups have also reportedly looted abandoned

homes and businesses.


Amnesty International is concerned that despite the heavy military

presence in the region and despite repeated alerts to the security

forces of the paramilitary incursions in the region, no decisive action

has been taken to prevent the incursions and paramilitary

consolidation of the area.


We have no further information as to the whereabouts of Luis Alberto



FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to

arrive as quickly as possible:

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

Tarra, and Convencion, Norte de Santander Department, and the rest

of the Catatumbo region after continued paramilitary incursions;

- asking what the government and armed forces will do to protect the

civilian population;

- 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 February 27, 2002.


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