Colombia Solidarity Campaign
PO Box 8446,
London N17 6NZ
Tel 07743 743041

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Abuses against Human Rights Defenders in Arauca Continue

Luz Perly Cordoba, President of the Arauca Campesino Association, who accompanied members of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign on a human rights mission to Arauca in February 2003, has been detained by state forces. The organisation’s office has been raided by police, leading to further detentions.

The "Joel Sierra Regional Human Rights Committee" denounce the following facts that constitute a continuation of the grave violation of human rights that is taking place in Arauca.

1. On the 18 February, LUZ PERLY CORDOBA, President of the Arauca Campesino Association (ACA) was arrested in Bogotá. At the same time, the office of this organisation in the municipality of Arauquita in Arauca department, was raided by personnel from the SJIN, CTI, DAS and the police. Unable to gain access to the building, the "security forces" went to the house of NUBIA VEGA, also a leader of the Arauca Campesino Association" raiding her house, photographing everyone they found there, and arresting VICTOR ENRIQUE AMARILLO, the organisation’s body guard. They then returned to the office, where a secretary was forced to let them in, and confiscated computer equipment and discs, telephone bills, photographs and other information.

2. The Arauca Campesino Association is a legitimate social organisation that is legally constituted. Through their human rights department, they have developed an arduous defence of the campesino sector, and are known for their defence of Life, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

3. According to information received from ACA, two of the bodyguards assigned to Luz Perly by the Ministry of the Interior protection programme have been disappeared.

4. We urgently call on all national and international human rights organisations and on the office of the UNHCHR in Colombia to carry out an urgent evaluation and investigation into the Human Rights situation and the infringements of International Humanitarian Law in the region. We also call on the Colombian government immediately to release Luz Perly from custody, and to stop all further attacks against the social movement in Arauca.

We call on all individuals and organisations to express their deep dismay and disgust at the continued persecution of the social movement in Arauca, and call on the Colombian state to release Luz Perly Cordoba from detention immediately.

Department of Arauca, 19 February 2004.

Please send letters to/Enviar mensajes a :

Presidente de la República de Colombia:
Dr. Alvaro Uribe Velez Palacio de Nariño Carrera 8 No.7-26
Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA  Fax: 00 57 1 286 74 34/286, 68 42/284 21 86
[Salutation: Excelentisimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President ]
E-mail: to send e-mail to Uribe login tohttp://www.presidencia.gov.co and click on ESCRIBALE AL PRESIDENTE at the bottom of the page
Para enviar correo al Sr Presidente, dirmjase a la pagina Web:
http://www.presidencia.gov.co y haga clic en ESCRIBALE AL PRESIDENTE ubicado en la parte inferior, al final de la pagina.]

Vicepresidente de la Republica de Colombia Francisco Santos
Consejeria Presidential de Derechos Humanos Calle 7, No 654, Piso 3 Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA
Fax: 00 57 1 337 1351   E-mail: fsantos@presidencia.gov.co

Presidential Human Rights Programme
Programa Derechos Humanos Presidencia de la Republica ppdh@presidencia.gov.co

Ministro del Interior y Justicia, Sabas Pretelt de la Vega
Ministerio del Interior y Justicia, Palacio Echeverri, Carrera 8a, No 8-09, piso 2o  Santafe de Bogota, Colombia
e-mail: ministro@minjusticia.gov.co
E-mail: ministro@minjusticia.gov.co; minisint@col1.telecom.com.co;

Fiscal General de la Nacion/Public Prosecutor Dr Luis Camilo Osorio
E-mail:contacto@fiscalia.gov.co; denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co; webmaster@fiscalia.gov.co
 
Procurador General de la Nacion/Attorney General
Dr Edgardo Josi Maya Villazon Carrera 5 N0 15-80 F, Santafe de Bogota, Colombia 
Fax: 3429723 E-mail:anticorrupcion@presidencia.gov.co
 
Defensor del Pueblo / Public Defender Dr Luis Eduardo Cifuentes E-mail:secretaria_privada@hotmail.com; defensoria@defensoria.org.co
 

And, in the UK, to

Colombian Embassy (UK):mail@colombianembassy.co.uk
Bill Rammell MP Under Secretary of State Foreign Officejames.morrison@fco.gov.uk
With a copy to the Colombia Solidarity Campaign atcolombia_sc@hotmail.com