In its quest for Truth, Justice and Integrated Reparation MOVICE itself has suffered continued political persecution. In a joint effort between a number of organizations and individuals we have begun the task of putting together a monthly bulletin containing information about the security situation of the movement and its members.
Trial against Carmelo Agámez
On the 15th of November 2008, Carmelo Agamez, technical secretary of the regional Chapter of MOVICE in Sucre, was imprisoned by the regional attorney on charges of conspiracy to realize crimes with paramilitaries. In July 2009, the Attorney General of Colombia ordered a criminal investigation against the second specialized prosecutor of Sincelejo, Rodolfo Martínez Mendoza, for alleged corruption in connection with his baseless accusation of Caramel Agamez. Nevertheless, on the 6th of November 2009, the Attorney 28 of the National Counterterrorism Unit of Bogotá issued an accusatory resolution which formally decides to take the formal investigation against Carmelo Agámez to trial.1
Contravía dedicated its programm to the sitation of Carmelo Agámez.
See link (3 parts): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xuz2wsXQB6Y&feature=related
Prison Transfer for Winston Gallego
The human rights defender Winston Gallego, member of MOVICE and the Fundación Sumapaz, has been detained for over four months in the Bellavista prison for his appearance in a judicial process in which appear almost all human rights organizations of Antioquia and in which Winston Gallego is charged of the crime of rebellion. On November 6th, Winston Gallego was transferred to another prison, without any grounds, on the contrary the human rights defender has been a political prisoner who has helped to visiblize the situation in prisons in Medellin through public complaints highlighting the concerning human rights situation in the Bellavista prison and the cruel and inhuman treatment to which detainees are subjected by the INPEC. It is assumed that these complaints by inmates of the 8th cellblock and by several Political Prisoners has led to the decision to transfer Wilson. On November 6th Caracol Radio justified the transfer from the Bellavista prison, as a decision by the prison authorities to respond to the request of the Commander of the Metropolitan Police, who stated that heads of criminal gangs still commit crimes although they are detained. Such statements are extremely worrying since Winston Gallego is a Human Rights Defender.2
Threats to human rights organizations in Nariño
On November 3rd several emails were received by public institutions and human rights organizations in Nariño from the mailaddress rastrojosnariño@yahoo.com with the subject "Public Warning statement”. The mail states that "After an exhaustive and lengthy process that included follow-up intelligence and infiltration, among other activities, of several organizations in Nariño that supposedly are defending human rights, the Urban Commandos of The Rastrojos have reached the following conclusions :
1. We are calling on all these organizations to put aside the archaic subversive discourse in favor of the rights and ideologies of the narco-terrorists of FARC and ELN and all their accomplices in the past and present, otherwise we will go beyond threats.
2. Declaring the following organizations military targets : CREAR, ARCOIRIS, COMITE DEPARTAMENTAL DE DERECHOS HUMANOS (CPDH), FUNDEPAZ, MOVICE, PNUD, ESCUELA DE LOS PASTOS, PASTORAL DE TUMACO, UNIPA and CAMAWARI.
3.These organizations should immediately suspend the brainwashing campaign in which they are involved in Nariño, corrupting the minds with ideologies that disturb public order achieved after a long struggle. We are not responsible for what may happen to the leaders of these organizations if they appear in our territories.”3
Paramilitary threats against the Juridical Corporation Yira Castro
On the 29th of October, an email reached the Mesa de Interlocución y Gestión de Soacha (MIGDH) and the Mesa Nacional de Fortalecimiento a Organizaciones de Población with the title "Fifth Newsletter of the Black Eagles." In this mail, several leaders from the MIGDH and the Mesa Nacional de Fortalecimiento a Organizaciones de Población are threatened with death and declared military objectives of the paramilitary structure, while at the same time announcing a plan of extermination of leaders of displaced people and organizations who oppose to government policies, as well as members of non-governmental human rights organization, including the Juridical Corporation Yira Castro, FEDES, FIDAP and ECOMUJER.4
Harassments of a workshop by the Juridical Corporación Yira Castro and Cahucopana
On the 24th and the 25th of November, members of the Juridical Corporation Yira Castro and Cahucopana with the accompaniment of the Christian Action Team for Peace (ECAP), were present in the village of Cañaveral, municipality of Remedios (Antioquía), in order to conduct a workshop on "Human Rights: Right to Land" with members of the rural communities of the village and neighboring villages. This activity was reported prior to its realization to the Regional Delegate of the vicepresidential programm on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in order to avoid any obstacles during the workshop by the public forces. However, days before the workshops troops of the National Army, Battalion No. 8, were camped in the school and health post in the community. The workshop was harassed several times by members of the National Army who were present at the meeting place and when required by the international monitors of the ECAP not to interfere in the event the soldiers stated that "these human rights activities are advocacy for the guerrillas. " Subsequently, during a cultural event which was part of the workshop, members of the army took photographs of the participants.5
Paramilitary control in the former demilitarized area in Caquetá and Meta
The 76 communities and over 1,200 representatives in the border region between the towns of San Vicente del Caguan (Caquetá) and La Macarena (Meta) gathered on the 12th of November 2009, in the inspection of San Juan de Losada, to denounce the grave humanitarian crisis that they have to face in their region. On the 5th of November in various farms of members of these communities, men with handguns presented themselves as members of the AUC from the Llano, demanding payments for the goods that each peasant family owns and stating that their actions are coordinated with the security forces present in the region. It is noteworthy that in this region there is a constant presence of all four mobile brigades that form part of the Joint Task Force Omega. In these same communities the oilcompany Emerald Energy has started a process of exploration in this last year.6
Serious agression against a Claretian missionary in the village Medellin of the Ariari (Meta)
On November 23rd four gunmen who were riding on two motorcycles and who identified themselves as paramilitaries approached on the trail that leads from Granada to El Castillo, a vehicle used as public transport, in which Father Enrique Aponte Annear, a Claretian Missionary, along with a missionary and 13 passengers was being transported. Father Enrique was pointed at with a gun by one of the paramilitaries, stripped of his belongings and threatened verbally and physically, "If someone moves we will kill him.” Father Enrique Aponte and the missionary, were returning after having participated in an Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of Granada and had withdrawn money at the bank branch BANCOLOMBIA in the same city. It is important to notice that this violent and intimidating action happens just 20 minutes from the town, in which both the 21 battalion of the National Army Pantano de Vargas and a police station are present. In the urban area of El Castillo and the town of Medellin of the Ariari there is a permanent police presence and in the rural parts in the region there is a constant presence of Army troops, as part of the policy of "Democratic Security" with its"Consolidation Plan”. However, in recent months there has been an increase of violent deaths.7
31 trade unionists have been killed so far in 2009
On the 29th of October Ramiro Israel Montes Palencia, teacher and member of the Teachers' Association of Córdoba – ADEMACOR, who worked at the Educational Institution Antonio Ricaurte, located in the village of San Jeronimo in the Municipality of Montelibano was killed. He was allegedly shot by two men who had approached him and questioned his identity while Mr. Montes Palencia was traveling to the village of Pica Pica in the municipality of Montelibano (Cordoba).8
Killings in Suarez (Cauca)
On the 22nd of October 2009, a threat was sent to the offices of the CUT Valle section and NOMADESC. In this threat five organizations are named including the Indigenous Reserve “Cerro Tijeras” and six people with their proper name that form part of the Minga of Social and Community Resistance, the threat being signed by a group calling itself "Black Eagles New Generation". This threat has materialized as follows:
1. On the 29th of October Marly Carolina Huila Guamanga, was killed in the village Damian of the indigenous Reserve “Cerro Tijeras”, municipality of Suarez.
2. On November 11th, Reinaldo Bomba was killed in the village Bella Vista of the indigenous Reserve “Cerro Tijeras”, municipality of Suarez.
3. On November 13th Nilson Campo was killed and Egidio Ovado Huila seriously injured , in the place called The Tank located in the Damian Mountain in the indigenous Reserve “Cerro Tijeras”, municipality of Suarez.9
It is important to note that these events have taken place late at night or at dawn, the authors being apparently paramilitary groups, which carry out their operations dressed in camouflage clothing and wearing black bracelets.
Eviction in Guaimaro (Magdalena) by the National Police and local authorities
On the 27th of November, at least two contingents of the Police – ESMAD and army personnel belonging to the battalion Cordoba, Second Brigade, arrived at the farm Villa Denis, where over 300 displaced families have been camped during several months. The community reported that while trying to establish a dialogue with the commanders of the security forces, the ESMAD proceeded to throw tear gas with severe consequences for the population, including children, women and men, present in this property. Twenty people were injured, 4 with head injuries, one in the arm and 10 people with bruises, as as a result of the eviction of the displaced population in the district of Guaimaro.10
First Meeting of the Spain Chapter of the MOVICE
On the 28th and 29th of November in Madrid, Spain, the First Meeting of the Spain Chapter of the MOVICE was celebrated, with Colombians who have been persecuted for political reasons and today are exiled in this country and other countries in the UE. One serious concern during the meeting was how Colombia's diplomatic service abroad is linked to individuals engaged in Human Rights violations. The meeting is the antecedent of the third international audience of the Ethical Commission for Truth to be held in Spain. In the first week of December the second hearing of the Ethical Commission will be held in Sweden as a continuation of the one which was conducted in October 2008 in Paris.11
Read the full statement of the meeting on http://www.justiciaypazcolombia.com/Declaracion-final-encuentro-MOVICE
Presentation in Colombia of the German campaign "Give us back our land Mr. President"
On November 12th the campaign for the communities of Jiguamiandó and Curvaradó was publicly presented. Despite the High Court ruling 0073 ordering oilpalm and largescale cattle companies in the Choco to suspend their illegal activities within the collective territory, these continue with the extraction of palm fruits and their processing, while accompanied by the 15th Military Brigade and former and active paramilitaries. The presentation was organized by Misereor, Kolko.eV, Association of Humanitarian Zones and Biodiversity Zones of Jiguamiandó and Curvaradó and the Commission Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz.12
24 years of Commemoration in which we ask ourselves, "Where are the disappeared of the Palace of Justice?”
On November 6th at the Bolivar Square in Bogota a memory space had been erected during the day, where the disappeared of the Palace of Justice are present through objects, photos and writings, located in front from the place where they left the Palace of Justice alive on the 6th and 7th of November 1985. The commemoration is organised by family members of the dissappeared of the Palace of Justice.
Watch the video of the commemoration: http://www.justiciaypazcolombia.com/Video-conmemoracion-24-anos-de-los
VII visit of the Ethical Commission for Truth
During this visit the Ethical Comission made a visit to the military basis of Palanquero performing an act of indignation with respect to the government's military agreement between Colombia and the United States. After this public disaproval the Comission made a visit to the communities that have decided to return and reclaim abandoned lands such as the communities in Guaimaro – Magdalena, Sucre, Algeria – Cauca and La Balsita and Algeria – Dabeiba (Antioquia). Participants: Mirta Acuña de Baravalle, Founding Line of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina), Raul Hernan Contreras Román of the Ethics Committee against Torture in Chile; Rainer Huhle, Human Rights Center, Nuremberg (Germany) Enrique Santiago, Institute of Political Studies Policy for Latin America and Africa (IEPALA), (Spain) and the U.S. citizens Bernardine Dohrn, from the Justice Center for Children and Family and the Northwestern University, Elizabeth Deligio, from the observatory of the School of the Americas (SOA Watch), Katherine Varatta, Campaign of the poor for human and economic rights, Stephen Haymes, DePaul University and Scott Wright of EPICA (Ecumenical Program for Central America and the Caribbean) and SICSAL (International Christian Service of Solidarity with Latin America "Oscar Romero").
Read Release: http://www.justiciaypazcolombia.com/Comunicado-7o-Visita-de-la
Colombian state abandons hearing convened before the Inter American Comission on Human Rights (IACHR)
Citing an alleged procedural error, which seemed more an excuse without foundation which had the intention to evade answers and responsibilities, the Colombian delegation that includes the current director of Das, refused on the morning of November 9th to participate in the hearing convened before the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights in Washington. The hearing was convoked to examine the case of persecution by the State and paramilitary groups against members and employees of the Lawyer's Collective “José Alvear Restrepo”, as well as intelligence operations by the DAS against this organization and especially against Alirio Uribe Muñoz.13
You can listen to the hearing at: http://www.justiciaypazcolombia.com/Audiencia-Colectivo-de-Agogados
General Uscategui sentenced for the massacre of Mapiripán
After nearly two years that Oscar Gustavo Jaimes Villamizar, from the 9th specialized Court in Bogota, absolved in first instance General Jaime Humberto Uscategui, commander of the seventh brigade, from the charges of homicide and aggravated kidnapping during the massacre of Mapiripan, the criminal chamber of the Superior Court of Bogota, ordered to reverse this decision, establishing his coresponsability and sentenced General Uscategui for these crimes to 40 years in prison and a fine of 10 million pesos. The ruling came as a result of the appeal made by the Attorney General's Office, the Public Ministry and the representative of the civil party, headed by the Lawyer's Collective "José Alvear Restrepo". The sentence proves once again the intimate relationship between the military and paramilitary, so often proven legally and factually, although in many cases the Colombian State has denied its existence. As the Court says "From this perspective one should conclude that these events did not simply occur with the contemplation and permissibility of the military involved, but with the material and effective intervention of the authority as reflected in the analysis of the evidential elements." The General Attorney is now obliged to investigate further, since the massacre of Mapiripán was an operation that required a national coordination between paramilitaries and members of the security forces. The aircraft carrying weapons and paramilitary, left the Uraba region from an airport under total military control of men belonging to the XVII Brigade, commanded at that time by General Rito Alejo del Río.14
Committee on Torture of the United Nations concerned about the situation of torture in Colombia
Torture in Colombia is "widespread" and remains in almost total impunity, despite its tipification since 1980. Such was stated by the UN Committee against Torture following the periodic review held on the 10th and 11th November in Geneva. The concluding observations of the Committee Against Torture are available at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodie .
On November 11th, the Colombian Coalition Against Torture, released an "Alternative Report on torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading practices in Colombia from 2003 to 2009." as part of the periodic review carried out by the Colombian State and the UN Committee against Torture. Download the report on the Web: www.corporacionavre.org
Debate on the Law of Justice and Peace and the demobilization process in Spain
At the Casa de America in Madrid (Spain) the Toledo International Center for Peace (CITpax) held a debate on November 26th which introduced a balance of achievements and challenges of the demobilization of paramilitaries and guerrillas and the implementation of the Justice and Peace law promoted by President Álvaro Uribe. Present during the debate were the high commissioner for peace in Colombia, Frank Pearl, the deputy justice minister, Miguel Ceballos, the president of the Supreme Court of Colombia, Augusto Ibañez, the Attorney General, Guillermo Mendoza, the mayor of Medellín, Alonso Salazar, spokesman for the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes, Iván Cepeda, and the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon. Both Baltasar Garzon and Ivan Cepeda agreed that the extradition of paramilitary leaders to the U.S. has done "damage" to the Justice and Peace "and asserted “that the U.S. does not facilitate the implementation of this law.”15
1“Carmelo Agámez enfrentará juicio” MOVICE 10/11/2009
2“Comunicado Público: Traslado Penitenciario del defensor de derechos humanos Winston Gallego Pamplona” MOVICE Antioquía 09/11/2009
3“Denuncia Publica: Amenaza de grupo paramilitar a organizaciones de defensa de los derechos humanos en Nariño” MOVICE 5/11/2009
4Nuevas amenazas contra la Corporación Yira Castro” Corporación Yira Castro 11/11/2009
5“Comunicado Público; Hostigamientos por parte de tropas del Batallón Energético y Vial No. 8 durante taller de promotores y promotoras de derechos humanos en el nordeste antioqueño” Corporación Yira Castro y Cahucopana 30/11/2009
6Paramilitares amenazan pobladores en la región de la Macarena en el Meta” Comunidades campesinas de San Vicente del Caguán y La Macarena 12/11/2009
7Misioneros Claretuianos – Medellin de Ariari, Comisión Claretiana de Justicia, Paz e integración de la creación, Corporación Claretiana Norman Perez Bello y Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz 27/11/2009
8“31 sindicalistas han sido asesinados en Colombia durante 2009” CUT 9/11/2009
9“Continua Genocidio contra Comunidades Indigenas en Cauca: Suarez y Morales” NOMADESC 18/11/2009
10“Varios afectados en intento de desalojo en Guaimaro” Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo 27/11/2009
11“De Ver 600: Declaración final encuentro MOVICE en España” Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz 30/11/2009
12“Informe 28: Y la palma y los palmeros continuan ahí” CIJyP 25/11/2009
13“Estado Colombiano abandona audiencia convocada ante la CIDH” CCAJAR 9/11/2009
14“Primera condena contra un general del ejercito por masacre de Mapiripán” CCAJAR 27/11/2009
15“Comisionado de Paz defiende extradicón pero aboga para mejorar cooperación EEUU” ADN 26/11/2009