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7 October 2002

UA 302/02 Fear for safety



Martha Lucia Renteria, (f), Human Rights Defender in Valle del Cauca



Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of Martha

Lucia Renteria a human rights defender in the municipality of Jamundi,

Valle del Cauca Department, after recent threats against her.


On 26 September 2002 at 1:00 pm two unidentified men entered the

office of the Regional Human Rights Ombudsman, Defensoria del

Pueblo Regional, in Valle del Cauca, and insisted on knowing the

whereabouts of Martha Lucia Renteria. When they did not receive an

answer from people in reception, they went to the desk of one of the

employees and said in a threatening tone:'Don't worry, we will find

where she is today' ('no se preocupen que nosotros la encontraremos

donde este en el dia de hoy').


Martha Lucia Renteria is a member of the regional office of the non-

governmental human rights organization Sembrar. As part of her work

she usually accompanies displaced people to the Regional Human

Rights Ombudsman Office in Valle del Cauca to report their situation.


As a human rights defender Martha Lucia Renteria has publicly

denounced important cases of killings, 'disappearances' and

displacement. Because of her public declarations an attempt against

Martha Lucia Renteria's life was made on 29 September 2000 when

she was shot at after attending a meeting.


The seriousness of these threats has forced Sembrar to consider

asking the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights for the same

protection measures for the members of its regional office as those of

the national office in Bogota.



The displaced communities and organizations that work with them are

regularly victims of intimidation, abduction and murder, generally by

army-backed paramilitary groups, but also by soldiers or the armed

opposition group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia

(FARC), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.


Sembrar is a non-governmental human rights organization that has

specialized in defending the legal rights of victims of human rights

violations in various regions of Colombia documenting human rights

violations in the regions, and supporting national and international

solidarity initiatives with local communities.


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly

as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of Martha Lucia Renteria and urging

the Colombian authorities to take immediate and effective action to

guarantee her safety, in accordance with her wishes;

- asking them also to take immediate and effective action to ensure that

Martha Lucia Renteria, other members of Sembrar and other human

rights defenders in the Valle del Cauca Department 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 United Nations 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 Human Rights Defenders in the Americas

resolution of the Organization of American States and in repeated

recommendations made to them by the United Nations;

- urging the government to issue a public statement recognizing the

legitimacy of work for respect of the human rights of the civilian

population affected by the armed conflict;

- urging the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle

paramilitary groups, in line with repeated United Nations




President of Colombia:

Senor Presidente Alvaro Uribe Velez

Presidente de la Republica

Palacio de Narino

Carrera 8 No. 7-26

Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA

Telegrams: President Uribe, Bogota, Colombia

Telex: 44281 PALP CO

Fax: 011 57 1 566 20 71/ 576 20 78

Salutation: Excelentisimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President


Minister of the Interior and Justice:

Sr. Fernando Londono Hoyos

Ministro del Interior y de Justicia

Ministerio del Interior

Palacio Echeverry

Carrera 8a, No.8-09, piso 2o.

Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA

Telegram: Ministro Interior, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 566 4573

Salutation: Dear Sir / Sr. Ministro


Attorney General:

Dr. Luis Camilo Osorio

Fiscal General de la Nacion, Fiscalia General de la Nacion

Diagonal 22B 52-01 (Ciudad Salite)

Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA

Telegram: Fiscal General, Bogota, Colombia

Fax: 011 57 1 570 2022 / 2017 (if someone answers say

'me da tono de fax por favor')

Salutation: Dear Dr. Osorio / Estimado Dr. Osorio




Non-governmental Human Rights Organization

Apartado Aereo 18621

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 17 November 2002.


Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement

that promotes and defends human rights.


Please do not repost this appeal to any part of the Internet

without prior permission from Amnesty International. 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