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2 July 2003


UA 193/03 Fear for safety


Street traders in the municipality of

Pereira, department of Risaralda


Killed: Jhon Jairo (m)

 Yony Torres Henao (f)

 Jorge (m)


Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of street-

sellers in the municipality of Pereira, department of

Risaralda, after receiving reports of a number of threats,

killings and beatings of street traders in recent weeks.


On 17 June, municipal officials and police officers in

Pereira reportedly confiscated the merchandise of street

trader Jhon Alirio Carmona Bonilla and beat him. This was

allegedly the fourth time he had had his goods confiscated

this year. On 20 June, Jhon Jairo was reportedly beaten by

municipal officials. He was taken to hospital and died of

his injuries on 24 June. These incidents are the latest in a

series of beatings and killings of street traders. On 8 May,

municipal officials and police officers reportedly assaulted

female street traders Argenis Ramirez and Yolanda

Restrepo. On 10 May, two men, Jhovarry Ferney Catano

Gonzalez and Helmer Morales, were also allegedly beaten

by municipal officials and police.


On 5 May, street trader Yony Torres Henao was stabbed to

death by unknown assailants in an area of Pereira known as

La Carrilera. On the same day a street trader known as

Jorge was found dead in the La Balastera area. He had been

shot in the head.


These beatings and threats follow a ruling by the Mayor's

Office of the municipality of Pereira, issued in November

2002, to remove street traders from the centre of Pereira,

apparently as part of a municipal ''urban renewal plan''.


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to

arrive as quickly as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of street traders of the

municipality of Pereira, department of Risaralda, after at

least three street traders were killed and a number of other

street traders were reportedly beaten by municipal officials

and police officers;

- asking the authorities what measures, deemed appropriate

by those under threat themselves, they are going to take to

guarantee the safety of those at risk;

- calling for a full and impartial investigation into these

threats, killings and beatings and for the results to be made

public and those responsible brought to justice.







Mayor of Pereira Municipality:

Marta Elena Bedoya Redon

Alcaldia de Pereira

Carrera 7 18-55, Piso 4

Pereira, Risaralda,


Telegram: Alcaldesa de Pereira, Pereira, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 6 333 98 55

Salutation : Dear Madam / Estimada Sra. Alcaldesa


Director of the National Police:

Mayor General Teodoro Campo Gomez

Transversal 45 # 40 -11 Piso 5, CAN

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegram: Director de la Policia Nacional, Bogota,


Fax: 011 57 1 428 76 34

Salutation: Dear Sir/ Estimado Director de la Policia



President of the Republic:

Senor Presidente Alvaro Uribe Velez

Presidente de la Republica

Palacio de Narino

Carrera 8 No.7-26

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Telegram: Presidente de la Republica, Bogota,


Fax: 011 57 1 342 0592

Salutation: Dear President Uribe/ Excmo. Sr.

Presidente Uribe



Procurator General:

Dr. Edgardo Maya Villazon

Procuraduria General de la Nacion

Carrera 5, No. 15-80

Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 342 9723


Ambassador Luis Alberto Moreno

Embassy of Colombia

2118 Leroy Pl. NW

Washington DC 20008

Fax: 1 202 232 8643

Email: emwas@colombiaemb.org


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

August 13, 2003.


Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots

movement that promotes and defends human



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