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24 July 2002

UA 233/02 Fear for safety


COLOMBIA Peasant community from 'La Galleta' farm in

Montebello municipality , Department of Antioquia


Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of the

peasant community of 'La Galleta' farm worked by members of the

political party Corriente de Renovacion Socialista (CRS), Socialist

Renovation Movement in Montebello Municipality, Antioquia

Department, following an increasing number of attacks by army-

backed paramilitaries. These attacks have resulted in the killing of 11

peasants from the community in recent months.


On 1 March, an army-backed paramilitary group reportedly raided

houses close to 'La Galleta' and abducted five peasants from the

community. Two days later, the bodies of the five peasants were

found. Marks on their bodies indicated that they had been tortured.

On 17 March, another peasant from the community was reportedly



During July, there were further attacks against the community. On 15

July four peasants were reportedly massacred. The most recent

victim, Hector de Jesus Ayala, whose family has been displaced from

'La Galleta' because of death threats against them, was reportedly

taken from his home on 16 July and the following day his body was

found, showing signs of torture. Previous requests for protection

measures for Hector de Jesus Ayala had reportedly been ignored,

despite the fact that he was an important witness in legal proceedings

involving members the of the armed forces.



'La Galleta' farm was given to families of the CRS, a breakaway

faction of the armed opposition group Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional

(ELN), Army of National Liberation. The CRS became a legal

movement after signing a peace agreement with the government in

1994. The security forces and their paramilitary allies have frequently

accused former guerrillas, such as CRS members, of being guerrilla

collaborators or sympathizers; accusations which have often led to

'disappearances', killings and other serious human rights violations.

In January 2000 paramilitaries abducted two CRS members in ' La

Galleta' farm, who subsequently 'disappeared'. ( UA 18/00 issued 25

January 2000 and re-issued 2 February 2000)


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly

as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of all CRS members on La Galleta

farm and urging that all measures deemed appropriate by them be

taken to guarantee their safety;

- calling on the authorities to immediately launch a comprehensive

and impartial investigation into the deaths of the 11 peasants, to

make public its results, and bring those responsible to justice;

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

armed forces and illegal paramilitary groups in the department of

Antioquia, for the results to be made public and for those responsible

for supporting and participating in such groups to be brought to


- 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




President of Colombia

Sr. Presidente Andres Pastrana

Presidente de la Republica

Palacio de Narino, Carrera 8 No. 7-26

Santafe de Bogota


Telegram: President Pastrana, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 566 2071

Salutation: Dear President Pastrana / Excelentisimo Sr.

Presidente Pastrana




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


Telegram: Fiscal General, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 570 2022/2003 (if someone answers say

'me da tono de fax por favor')

Salutation: Dear Dr. Osorio / Estimado Dr. Osorio


Governor of Antioquia Department:

Sr. Eugenio Preto Soto (e)

Governador del Department de Antioquia

Gobernacion de Antioquia

Calle 42B, # 52-106,

Medellin, Antioquia


Telegram: Governador de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 4 381 1111

Salutation: Dear Governor / Sr. Governador



Human Rights Organization:

Corporacion Colectivo de Abogados 'Jose Alvear Restrepo'

Apartado Aereo 33035,

Santafe de Bogota



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 September 4, 2002.


Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement

that promotes and defends human rights.


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