Boletín mensual

Bulletin 20 MOVICE (English)

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Read the March 2010 informative Bulletin.

Persecution of MOVICE and its members

Residence of member of the Risaralda Chapter of MOVICE raided
On March 13 the residence of William Ospina Mejia, member of the Risaralda regional chapter and the cultural group Sabotage Kultura was raided by members of the DAS, CTI and SIJIN. At the time of the raid the following elements were seized among others: newspapers from organizations such as Desde Abajo, Ambiente Critico and material from the MOVICE, 1 laptop and a CPU plus 2 USB memory sticks. In the report the agents stated they had found propaganda material of the Bolivarian movement intimidating William Ospina to agree with this declaration.

New threats against members of the regional chapter Sucre
– On February 16 at 2:00 p.m. residents of the neighborhood where Ingrid Vergara and her family live noticed two men on a motorcycle without license plates circulating in the area asking for the residence of the human rights defender. The men said they were searching for Ingrid because of the protection scheme she has and that they wanted to talk to her.
– On February 17 at 9:28 a.m. Ingrid Vergara got a call with the following threatening message: "Stay still, motherfucker bitch (perra h.p.), you like the message we sent." That same day, Juan David Díaz Chamorro was informed that the first specialized judge of Sincelejo, in its ruling issued against the paramilitary perpetrators of the murder of his father Eulalio Diaz decided to open an investigation against Juan David for the crime of conspiracy. In the sentence the judge ordered in paragraph 11: "By secretary, certify a copy of this statement and send them to the Sectional Prosecutor's Office, so that a competent prosecutor can start if necessary a criminal investigation against Mr. Juan David Díaz Chamorro for the crime of conspiracy."
– On March 2 at 6:10 a.m. neighbors and relatives noticed that the vehicle in which Cendy Torres Vergara, daughter of Ingrid Vergara, was transported to school, was followed by a man on a motorcycle.

Jhonny Hurtado, president of the Human Rights Committee of La Catalina (La Macarena, Meta) assassinated
On March 15 Johnny Hurtado, 59 years of age, was murdered. According to witnesses, the victim was working on his farm, which is about one hour walk from the town of Puerto Catalina, when they heard a gun shot. Johnny managed to walk about 30 meters fell and died.The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Right Commission from the Lower Ariari precised that "There is concern throughout the region of the Guayabero River because of the militarization in the area. As reported by the Committee military units have accused and threaded social leaders and human rights defenders; the pressure of military units of the Mobile Brigade No. 7 attached to Task Force Omega and other units is constant, perpetrating among other violations; the occupation of settlements, roadblocks, illegal registrations, accusations, threats etc. (…) It is worth noting that Johnny Hurtado, was a prominent social leader and human rights advocate who was delegated several times by the community to present complaints and concerns of the community with respect to the Human Rights situation, f.e in a recent visit by the organization Justice for Colombia, British parliamentarians, trade unionists and other personalities to the municipality of La Macarena (Meta).

Peasant detained in the rural area of Cantagallo (Sur de Bolívar)
On March 28, Manuel Joaquín Rodríguez Buelvas was arrested in the village Isla no hay como Díos. The detention was realized by members of the National Army belonging to the Nueva Granada Battalion. Mr. Rodríguez Buelvas was pushed and physically abused, while taken to Tienda Nueva. It is noteworthy that this community has been a victim of arbitrary detentions since August 2009 when four people were arrested, including Ms. Field Analuz Garcia, emotional partner of Manuel Joaquín Rodríguez Buelvas. At that time rumors existed on the existence of 20 arrest warrants against this community. In November 2009 three more inhabitants were detained. This time rumors circulated on the existence of 70 arrest warrants, although the community doesn´t even reach 40 inhabitants. These detentions have been mostly illegally executed by the police and members of the Nueva Granada Battalion of the National Army.

Threats against the Corporación Lawyer’s Collective Luis Carlos Pérez (CCALCP)
On March 12, Judith Mojica Maldonado, legal representative of CCALCP, received a threat on the voice mail of her cell phone. The message comes from the subscriber's phone number 313 641 81 00. In the voice mail, among many things, the following message was left: “You have put yourself into a problem, a problem that won't leave you, we will place a bomb … we will put a bomb and you will be responsible … you have gone into the community and you will not enter again, you went where you should not … I tell you, a bomb where you will be blamed .. Hey Judith, your organization ruined the plans, the plans that the black eagles had against them. You're going to pay, you´ll pay a high price." Between the 6th and 9th of February , 2010 13 community and farmer leaders were captured in the region of Catatumbo, most of them belonging to the peasant organization ASCAMCAT, which just as CCALCP forms part of the Norte de Santander Chapter of MOVICE. Link:

Impunity and harassments in Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó
The Association of Humanitarian and Biodiversity Zones, consisting of families of the Curvaradó Community Councils expressed their rejection of the recognition by the Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio, on March 7 in the municipality of Carmen del Darién, of the Afro Colombian Germain Marmolejo as Legal Representative of the Curvaradó River Basin. Residents objected to this appointment because of the lack of respect of several articles of Law 70. Link:

There has been an increase of paramilitary operations in Llano Rico after the assassination of Argenito Diaz, with the persecution of and intimidations against members of the board of the Mayor Council of Curvaradó, leaders of the Humanitarian and Biodiversity Zones and the family of Argenito Diaz. At the same time the implementation of territorial and social control to prevent the collective ownership by afocolombianos and mestizos of the Curvaradó river bassin and improper and illegal operations by the Armed Forces have continued.
Link:, 2981

Threats against the Agrarian Association of Santander (ASOGRAS)
On March 16 at 11:00 AM, Cesar Tamayo, departmental president of ASOGRAS in Santander, arrived at his office, where he found a sealed manila envelope, which was addressed to him. The envelope contained a pamphlet of the Black Eagles and the Rastrojos, in which he was threatened to death together with other people from different social organizations. Link:

Serious attack against trade unionists of the Union Sindical Obrera (USO)
In the departments of Meta and Casanare, where the main oil exploitation of the country is taking place at the moment, the fundamental rights of workers have been violated by oil companies and contractors as well as the human rights of the rural communities, inflicting at the same time serious environmental damage. ECOPETROL as a response to the complaints has stated to not have any influence over his contractors, reason for which it has not reacted. The USO has expressed to ECOPETROL in several instances its concern over hiring contractors, since there is clear evidence of events linking paramilitary structures to this model of contracting. On Saturday March 27, at approximately 11:15 am, in the city of Villavicencio, hit men on a motorcycle started shooting against Fernando Navarro and Yesid Prieto, union leaders of the USO subcommittee Bogotá. The two leaders were unharmed, but unfortunately the attack seriously injured bodyguard Antonio Pedro Carreño, who died while being taken to a hospital in Villavicencio.

Army Abuses in the village of Cartagenita in Convention (Norte de Santander)
At four in the morning March 12, 2010 in the village of Cartagenita, National Army members moving in army trucks damaged the house of one of the inhabitants of this district, knocking the roof of his house. When the victim wanted to denounce the aggression, the soldiers replied: "We can go through where we want" and "pretend the guerrillas inflicted the damage." The members of the National Army did not identify themselves to the community. Several minutes after the aggression the president of the Community Board of Cartagenita arrived. The soldiers attacked him by pulling the truck on top of him. They took his data, full name and identification number, and after left the place.

Serious police abuses against peaceful march in Manizales
On March 2 a demonstration against the Transporte Integrado de Manizales (TIM), which had been announced publicly, was heading through the Avenue Santander towards the City Hall of Manizales. Arriving at the City Hall members of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) arrived at the scene, beating demonstrators and bystanders off guard, using their weapons and activating stun grenades and tear gas. On Wednesday, March 3 in the morning two peaceful demonstrations took place in the city of Manizales. One of the demonstrations began in the headquarters of the University of Caldas and the other started in the theater “Los Fundadores” in the center of the city. The first was blocked by a police squad assigned to the ESMAD. At approximately 1:15 pm ESMAD hostility ceased and the students, teachers, workers and bystanders were able to leave the premises of the university. However, in the vicinity the ESMAD started to arbitrary and illegally detain people, leaving 63 students arrested from different universities, which were beaten or subjected to cruel and degrading treatments and posterior transferred to the district police headquarters San Jose.

MOVICE's Activities

On the March 6 MOVICE objects and opposes the reelection of the “Democratic Security” policy
The MOVICE objects and opposes the reelection of the president and with it the policy of “Democratic Security” and its “Community State” calling on the 6th of March 6 2010 for symbolic acts in Colombia and the world. Since 2002 the systematic nature of human rights violations and infractions of humanitarian law, the criminalization and persecution of political opposition have led to exile, forced displacement and the imposition of an economic model that deepens poverty, the destruction of biodiversity and the lack of guarantees for the rights to truth, justice and reparation. In the months of January and February 2010, President Uribe and Defense Minister have reiterated on several occasions that eight years of "Democratic Security" have not been sufficient to restore security in the country and have their doubts about the intentions and capabilities with respect to the different presidential candidates to continue this policy.

Victim's rights

Urgent Action: For the immediate release of Carmelo Agámez!
The Technical Secretary of the regional chapter of the MOVICE in Sucre, Carmelo Agámez is unjustly detained since November 14, 2008. The human rights defender is absurdly investigated for the crime of aggravated conspiracy for belonging to paramilitary groups, who he has denounced and who have repeatedly declared Carmelo Agámez a military objective. We request your immediate action by sending a letter to the deputy prosecutor handling the case calling for immediate attention to his health problems, the immediate response to his appeal to not bring him to court and his immediate release.

Released farmers victims of mass capture Santander
On March 5, 2010, after four days of trial, the Second Court of Barrancabermeja acquitted seven peasants in the municipality of Sabana de Torres, who had been deprived of their liberty and detained in the high security prison of Palo Gordo – Girón since October 22, 2009 and falsely accused of collaborating with the guerrillas. The military investigations had been conducted by officials of the National Police SIJIN-more specifically by Patrolman Juan Carlos Celis Torres, who has coordinated several of the most recent mass arrests that occurred in the department of Santander. The prosecutor sustained the case of these peasants of Sabana de Torres in the declaration of three suspected former rebels from the guerrillas and reports prepared by the Regional Intelligence of the Fifth Brigade of the Army, on the basis of the testimonies of the same three ex-rebels(…) who when questioned by the defense, incurred in serious contradictions, not specifying the circumstances of when, how and where these peasants had been related to guerrilla activities and when they dared to do, they mentioned places and/or dates in which the defendants were outside the region.

Peasant leader Alirio García acquitted of charges
On March 25 Alirio García, former treasurer of the farmer union "FENSUAGRO"-CUT, who had been detained since August 2009, wrongly accused of rebellion was acquitted of charges. The process proved an existing policy by the Colombian government aimed at destroying the peasant movement and in particular to disrupt FENSUAGRO. The Attorney General's Office has done nothing to clarify the more than 1500 murders of members of Fensuagro and instead use witnesses such as “Olivo Saldaña” former guerrilla now in the service of the Establishment to criminalize us. We still demand the release of dozens of other peasant leaders who remain in Colombian jails, among them Rosalba Toro, the wife of Alirio Garcia. Link:

Support to the Supreme Court of Justice after facing new threats
The President in charge of the Supreme Court, Judge Jaime Arrubla, reported on the 18th of March new threats against the high court. Through an email, which apparently was sent out of the prison Combita, the judges were warned that "soon we will give a gift, for services rendered." Judge Arrubla in a response said that:"We receive with great concern these constant and systematical threats against the judges (…) We are very upset that we as judges, who have to fulfill our duty are pressured. We will not tolerate this type of threats, which seek to destabilize emotionally the judges and their families. The country must know that they have a Supreme Court which can respond to the circumstances." Despite these facts made known to the government and state authorities, to date these have not taken appropriate security measures to avoid irreparable damage. Read the declaration in support of the Supreme Court made by the Intereclesial Commission for Justice and Peace, the Lawyers Collective "José Alvear Restrepo", the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners and the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights. Link:

Colombia should be held liable for violating human rights in the case of the forced disappearances in the case of the Palace of Justice
There is sufficient evidence for the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to declare the international responsibility of Colombia for the violation of human rights in the military operation to regain control of the Palace of Justice, on November 6 , 1985. This was demonstrated at a hearing before the Commission, by the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the Lawyers Collective "José Alvear Restrepo" (CAJAR) and the Intereclesial Commission for Justice and Peace (CIJP).

The political party Izquierda Unida (Spanish State) asked to stop arms sales to Colombia and Morocco, because of the lack of guarantees for human rights
Senator Joan Josep Nuet of the political party Izquierda Unida has asked the Spanish president whether the government is planning to stop arms sales to Morocco and Colombia, countries that, according to the complaint, do not respect human rights, particularly those of the opponents of their governments. Nuet, in his question refers to data on the sale of arms for the first half of 2009 prepared by the Ministry of Commerce, which show that exports of arms and dual-use technologies amounted to 411,1 million euros, 64.5 percent more than in the first half of 2008. According to these data, Colombia is Spain's fifth customer of these products, with a purchase in the first six months of 2009 of 31 million euros. Link:

The EU should not sign trade or investment agreements with Colombia
On March 16, a week after the rejection by the Flemish Parliament of the Bilateral Investment Agreement with Colombia (due to concerns about human and labor rights), the new Commissioner Belgian De Gucht will discuss on the trade negotiations with Peru and Colombia at the INTA Committee.

Social organizations petitioned the Constitutional Court to declare unconstitutional the agreement between Colombia and the USA on the use of seven military bases and investigate the performance of President Uribe
A citizen's intervention directed to the Constitutional Court, requested to declare unconstitutional the supplementary agreement on the cooperation and technical assistance in defense and security matters between the governments of the Republic of Colombia and the United States. The citizen intervention presented by several social organizations, among them, the Lawyers Collective "José Alvear Restrepo, also asked the Court to request the Committee on Accusations of the House of Representatives to investigate the President of the Republic and the ministers who had subscribed the document.

Critical report on human rights in Colombia presented in London
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom presented the Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the world, in which again Colombia was included, along with 20 other states. The report is each year prepared by the Foreign Office on countries that continue to violate fundamental rights.

Reports by the UN presented
On March 1, the Special Report on the situation of human rights defenders with an Addendum on the Mission in Colombia realized by Margaret Sekaggya in September 2009 was presented.

On March 4, the annual report on the human rights situation in Colombia by the High Commissioner on Human Rights of the United Nations was presented.

Report on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia by the US Department of State
The report was presented on March 11, 2010 and among other claimed with respect to the extrajudicial executions that, "the number of cases, geographical areas and the diversity of the military units involved, indicate that the murders were committed in a systematic manner by significant elements within the military." Read the report: