21 May 2002

COLOMBIA Daniel Prado (m), lawyer for the Asociacion de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos, Association of Relatives of the Detained Disappeared (ASFADDES) Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Daniel Prado, a lawyer for the Asociacion de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos (ASFADDES), Association of Relatives of the Detained Disappeared, who has received threatening phone calls and been kept under surveillance in the capital Bogota.

On 26 March, Daniel Prado reportedly received a phone call at his home in Bogota, allegedly from his bank. The caller asked him to confirm his new address, as customer information was being updated. Upon inquiry, his bank subsequently denied that they made such a phone call.

Daniel Prado has also reported the presence of a parked taxi containing an unknown individual, outside his home on 24 and 25 March. On the morning of 25 March, he made eye contact with the individual inside the car who began to take notes as he watched Daniel Prado leave his home. The taxi was still there in the afternoon when Daniel Prado's partner left home.

On the same day, Daniel Prado reported the incident to the Civilian Intelligence Service, Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS) who sent a police patrol to the house. When the police arrived, the taxi drove away.

Amnesty International is seriously concerned because despite repeated international alerts and denunciations, no decisive measures have been taken to guarantee the safety of human rights defenders or other activists.


ASFADDES is a non-governmental organization made up of relatives of people who 'disappeared' during the conflict between the armed forces, their paramilitary allies and the armed opposition groups who control a large part of the country. It aims to discover what has happened to the 'disappeared' and also to bring those responsible to justice. Many ASFADDES members, other human rights defenders and witnesses of human rights violations, have 'disappeared', been killed or threatened with death by the security forces and their paramilitary allies in order to protect their impunity (see UA 140/01, AMR 23/059/01, 5 June 2001). Two members of the Medellin branch of ASFADDES, Angel Quintero and Claudia Monsalve, 'disappeared' in October 2000 and their whereabouts remain unknown. (UA 259/00 >issued 9 October 2000).

As a lawyer for ASFADDES, Daniel Prado has taken part in cases which have investigated the participation of state security forces in forced disappearances. Members of the state security forces have >reportedly been found guilty of human rights violations as a result.

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

- urging the Colombian authorities to take immediate and effective action to protect Daniel Prado;

- calling for a full and impartial investigation into the threats against Daniel Prado, for the results to be made public and for those responsible brought to justice;

- asking them also to take immediate and effective action to ensure that other members of ASFADDES can carry out their legitimate and important work for the defence of human rights in safety;

- reminding the authorities of their obligations to human rights defenders, as laid out in the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Organization of American States Human Rights Defenders in the Americas resolution and in repeated recommendations made to them by the UN;

- urging the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups, in line with stated government commitments and UN recommendations.

APPEALS TO: >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
Telex: 396 44281 PALP CO
Fax: 011 57 1 566 2071
Salutation: Dear President Pastrana / Excelentisimo Sr. Presidente Pastrana

Minister of the Interior:
Dr. Armando Estrada Villa,
Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Palacio Echeverry
Carrera 8a, No.8-09, piso 2o.
Santafe de Bogota
Telegram: Ministro Interior, Bogota, Colombia
Fax: 011 57 1 562 5298/ 562 9890 (these numbers may be difficult to get through to, but please keep trying) Salutation: Dear Minister Estrada Villa / Sr. Ministro Estrada Villa

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

Association for Relatives of the 'Disappeared':
ASFADDES - Nacional
AA 011446
Santafe de Bogota

Ambassador Luis Alberto Moreno
Embassy of Colombia
2118 Leroy Pl. NW
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 232 8643