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Bulletin 21 MOVICE (English)

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Read the April 2010 informative Bulletin.

Persecution of MOVICE and its members

Attack on social leader Carmen Leonor Roa, victim of extrajudicial execution
On April 7th at 10:00 a.m. in the city of Ibague (Tolima), Carmen Leonor Roa was with her youngest daughter at the door of her house starting her motorcycle. At that moment unknown made an attempt to shoot her. Since she was moving the bullet passed close to her ears without impacting (…) In the midday hours the neighbors observed two strange men passing several times around the block, who were observing the house. The human rights defender is part of ASODEMUC (Association of Democratic Women for Peace) and has been forcefully displaced to Bogotá in 2008 because of continuing acts of persecution and harassment, from before and after the murder of her husband by members of the National Army in Putumayo. This murder was denounced by Carmen Leonor Roa, which led to the arrest of four soldiers, who were released in November 2009 by a court in Puerto Asis (Putumayo).

Threats against members of the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace
A smear campaign and operation of media persecution against human rights defenders has been accompanied by recent threats against Danilo Rueda, Father Alberto Franco (Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace) and Father Javier Giraldo (director of CINEP and member of the Commission for Justice and Peace). This smear campaign has a total coincedence with the operations carried out by the illegal organ "G3" of the DAS in 2003 and the operations of the DAS in 2005, including “Operation Transmilenio”, “Operation Europe”, “Operation Internet”, “Operation Foreigner” and “Operation Exchange”. Operations which aim, among others: to "neutralize influence on American Court of Human Rights" and "generate controversy surrounding NGOs, by issuing statements through the creation of the pages", the latter evident in the portal La Diaspora del Atrato.
Link Manuals DAS by Morris Productions:

Threats against Juan David Díaz, member of the MOVICE Chapter Sucre
On April 9 at approximately 12:30 p.m. one of the bodyguards of Juan David Díaz Chamorro found on the terrace of Juan David's house a letter which stated the following: "Mr. Juan David Díaz, you can not imagine how pleased we are remembering that seven years ago we killed your father and member of the guerrilla Tito Diaz. We are awear that our work is not yet accomplished so we reiterate that we have not forgotten you, and we are sure that yours will be slow and painful and even worse than Tito's. Greetings to your wife, your son, your sisters and your mother, who'll carry the weight. Sincerely Los Paisas. Death to the guerrillas and their families, Notice that next time we will not leave you a letter." That same day President Uribe held a community council in the city of Sincelejo (Sucre). In the face of the threats received by relatives of Eudaldo Diaz the president requested protection for Juan David Diaz and his family. Juan David Díaz said on the evening of April 9 in the television program Unonoticias that not all responsables of the murder of his father are arrested. Among those who are still free are retired Police Coronel Norman Arango, former regional attorney (Procurador Regional) of Sucre Guillermo Merlano Martínez, Said Isaac Tatis (brother in law of Salvador Arana), the vice regional attorney (Vice-Procurador Regional) Carlos Arturo Gomez Pavajeau and former regional attorney Tatiana Moreno Sucre. Juan David Díaz made president Uribe responsable for anything that could happen to him and / or his family.

Threats of the paramilitary structure "Rastrojos" against MOVICE
The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes is deeply concerned by the threat made by the paramilitary group "Los Rastrojos – Urban Commandos", dated April 10, 2010 against several senators of the Republic and over 60 human rights organizations, among these the MOVICE. Through the threat, which was sent to several e-mails, "The Rastrojos" declare these organizations a military target, according to the paramilitary group "after a thorough and lengthy process of intelligence that included tracking and direct infiltration among other activities, in social organizations, human rights organizations, displaced persons and members in the departments of Nariño and North, Central and Pacific Valley, north of Valle, Cauca, Putumayo, Risaralda, Quindio, Tolima, Caldas, Cundinamarca, Meta, Boyaca and Antioquia and proved their relations with guerrilla groups, supposedly defending human rights."
Link threat:

Murder of trade unionists from the United Workers Central (CUT)
Judge Diego Fernando Escobar Munera, member of the Association of Professional Employees of the Judicial Branch (Judicial ASONAL) Sectional Antioquia, was assasinated on April 22 at 7:35 am, by a gunman who shot him in the head, at the moment Escober Munero left his residence and intended to take a taxi.

Henry Ramirez Daza, former President of the Syndicate of Workers of the Alcoholic Beverage Industry (SINTRABECÓLICAS) was assasinated on April 11, when a stranger came to his residence in Comfenalco in the city of Ibague (Tolima) and shot him in the head. Ramirez Daza was watching television with his minor child and was killed in front of his family. The killer fled on foot and then boarded a vehicle that had been waiting for him. Months before Ramirez Daza had reported in his security study threats he had received, but his security scheme was suspended after leaving the presidency of the union.

Javier Cardenas Gil, President of the Union Association of Sand and Transport workers of Quindío was murdered on April 1 at his residence in the Municipality of Tebaida (Quindio), when a gunman unloaded his weapon on the helpless companion.

On April 21, 2010, in the Manso River subregion, a rural area of the municipality of Tierralta (Córdoba), the teacher Elkin Eduardo González, member of the teacher's union ADEMACOR-CUT, was killed, after two days of disappearance. His body was found with several bullet wounds. On April 25, 2010, the teacher Benito Álvarez Díaz, member of the teacher's union ADEMACOR-CUT, was found slain inside his home in the urban area of the municipality of San Bernardo del Viento (Córdoba).
Between january and april 2010 13 teachers belonging to different teacher's unions have been assasinated

Death threats to the Secretary General of the Federation of University Students (FEU) in Pamplona
On April 7, Over Salgado, student at the University of Pamplona (Norte de Santander), received an intimidating call on his cellphone, in which he was threatened by an unknown man. Several minutes later he received a second call from the same cell phone number in which the same man repeatedly threatened the life of this university student, refering to his work not only of student activism, but also to his membership in the FEU. In the same phonecall, the unknown man stated he had information about the whereabouts of Over, his place of residence and his family and mentioned a possible trial that would be ongoing against Over Salgado.

Aggressions against and persecution of the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado
Since April 12, through local radio stations, members of the Peace Community were asked to present themselves at the XVII Brigade of the Army to declare. The community believes that the perpetrators of hundreds of crimes against members of the Community and against the peasant population in the region, have no legitimacy to constitute themselves as "investigators". This is an insult to the most basic and universal standards of justice, since a criminal institution can never investigate itself. On April 12 and 13, paramilitaries wearing camouflage uniforms and carrying rifles sent a message to members of the Peace Community and told them that they would exterminate the community and that a long list of victims had been developed and would be executed sooner or later. On April 14, around 18:00, a soldier told a board member of the community, that the army had a list of 60 people in the area, including several members of the community, they would detain. In this way, he said, we will "end this H.P. Community. "

Persecution of women leaders of forced displaced population especially those who are in charge of the Monitoring Committee of Auto 092
Including the women at risk, is the companion Maria Eugenia Cruz Alarcon, a member of the National Committee of Women of the CND, who on March 30 received a call on her cellphone, which has been assigned to her by the Ministry of Interior and Justice within the protection program for leaders of displaced people, through which she received a direct threat against her life. She was told that "we will give you a shot."
On April 2 neighbors perceived the presence of a stranger, prowling around the residence of Maria Eugenia. Despite calling line 123 in order to inform the police of the situation, these did not arrive at the scene.

Constant paramilitary persecution in Argelia (Cauca)
Robeiro Alvarado received several calls since April 13 by the regional paramilitary commander, who in addition to extortion said Robeiro's two missing brothers were killed last November. Robeiro has been forced to leave the city of Popayan.

On 10 April, 23 year old Franco Uriel Ruco Gutiérrez who worked as a motorcycle taxi driver was murdered by paramilitaries. Simultaneously displaced families in Algeria continue to be harassed and persecuted by paramilitary structures in Popayan.

Announced slaughter in mining area of the municipality of Suarez (Cauca)
On April 7, 2010 eight miners were killed by gunmen who were transported in two cars and a motorcycle. The event occurred at a place known as "Alto de Ovejar" in the rural area of the municipality of Suarez (Cauca).

MOVICE's Activities

II World Congress on Psychosocial Work in Exhumation Processes

On the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of April the second World Congress on Psychosocial Work in Exhumation processes, Forced Disappearance, Justice and Truth took place in Colombia. The Second Congress continues the collective process initiated by various organizations in Guatemala in 2007, on the need to adopt an International Consensus on minimum standards for the Psychosocial accompaniment in processes of exhumation and grave violations of Human Rights. In the Congress 400 participants from 27 countries participated.

Victim's rights

Five social leaders and human rights defenders released

José Del Carmen Sanchez, who was serving as Chairman of the Committee of the Peasant Association of Arauca – ACA in the town of Arauquita, Edinson Palomino Banguero, union leader of SINTRAOVA – CUT, Jose Evelio Gutierrez, Omar Alarcon Castillo and Damaris de Jesus Escorsia Lopez, the latter two members of the ACA have been declared inocent on april 9, regaining their liberty after more than two years of unjust imprisonment. On January 12, 2008 these people had been victims of judicialization, arbitrary detention and judicial set-ups for opposing to the plans of forced displacement and extermination against rural, social and civic organizations in the department of Arauca, orchestrated by the macabre coalition between military, paramilitary, the Departmental and National Governmentand and multinational oil companies. We demand guarantees to the life and physical integrity of these colleagues, taking into account that in the month of March 2010 Israel Verona, member of the ACA was murdered after having regained his liberty, just as Apolinar Herrera, assasinated in November 2009.

Preventive Detention of National Police officer in Mondoñedo Case
On April 9, 2010, the National Unit of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of the General Prosecutor demanded preventive detention against Mr. Hector Edisson Castro Corredor (Active Official National Police) in the process No. 543, better known as the Slaughter of Mondoñedo, for his alleged co-responsability in the crimes of aggravated kidnapping, extortion and aggravated homicide. The Committee of Victims of the Slaughter of Mondoñedo, pointed out that Vladimir Zambrano Pinzón, Jenner Alfonso Mora Moncaleano, Arquimedes Moreno Moreno and Juan Carlos Gomez Palacio, were kidnapped, tortured and killed on the 6th and 7th of September 1996, constituting in this way one of the first “false positives” on the outskirts of Bogotá. In this event Federico Quesada and Mateen Alfonso Valdivieso Barrera were also extrajudicially executed.

Prison for large landowners and oil palm farmers for financing paramilitary structures
On the morning of July 6, 1997 several residents of Dabeiba (Antioquia) were amazed how "the men of the Blue Blazer truck" hit the head of John Freddy Lopez Sierra, leader of the political party Unión Patriotica, with a baseball bat, which left him unconscious. Days later, his body was found in the Cañon de la Llorona, with several gunshot impacts.  That was the first time that people in the village heard of the alliance between landowner Carlos Andres Vargas Montoya and paramilitaries who had entered the Uraba region and killed López Sierra. Thirteen years after the crime, reported to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and after four years of research by the Police, the landowner was captured on April 6, 2010 at his farm in Dabeiba. He is said to be the intelectual responsable of the murder of the political leader and at least 200 more murders. That same day oil palm farmer Juan Guillermo Gonzalez Moreno was captured at his home in Apartadó . He is said to be responsible for the kidnapping of four peasant leaders from Riosucio (Chocó) in 2003, displacing 350 people from the peace community of Nueva Esperanza, and the disappearance of at least a hundred farmers and afro-colombians in the Chocó part of Urabá.

Support for Senator Piedad Córdoba
On April 12, 2010 Alejandro Ordoñez, Attorney General (Procurador General de la Nación) filed charges against Senator Piedad Cordoba for having "collaborated with and promoted" the illegal armed organization, FARC-EP and "incitement to progressive governments in Latin America to break diplomatic relations with Colombia" "having incited in public acts people to subvert and rebel" and of committing "acts of splitting national unity", for which exist a sentence of between 20 and 30 years imprisonment. We support Senator Piedad Cordoba, who is facing an institutionalized mechanism which seeks to criminalize free thought, free speech, and Article 22 of the Constitution, which defends the right to peace and the duty to build peace.

The Ethical Commission supports a humanitarian agreement
Members of the International Ethical Committee for Truth in Colombia have received with hope the initiatives by Colombians for Peace, a national and international civic expression led by Senator Piedad Cordoba, that strives for the humanization of the war in Colombia. We believe that a new step in the humanization of internal war, can be reached through a humanitarian agreement, which will be a first step to reach the final solution to the social and armed conflict that has been existing in Colombia for many years.

In the European Parliament plenary debate MEPs denounce "Operation Europe" by the Colombian government and demand the suspension of a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union
The European Parliament dedicated part of their plenary debate on the scandal of the Colombian government's secret service (DAS), which has been spying and harrasing since 2005 the political opposition of this country and according to Spanish MEP Raul Romeva i Rueda, also the UN and the European Parliament itself. "It has been found that the security services of the Colombian State are directly implicated in harrasments, the creation of false testimonies and the criminalization of opposition members." The strategy proposed by the DAS goes from misinformation, smear, creation of false ties with the guerrillas and drug trafficking to the generation of false documents, sabotage, threats, blackmail and terrorist acts. These documents specify among the objectives of these operations “to neutralize the influence on the European legal system", explicitly mentioning the Human Rights Sub-Commission of the European Parliament, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the UN and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and also propose to "destabilize" national and international NGOs. Following these scandals, the United States announced on April 12, 2010 to immediately withdraw aid to the Colombian intelligence services.
Watch video:

Resolution by the US House of Representatives
Several representatives presented a resolution in support of the Colombian Constitutional Court's resolution “025”, related to the protection of the rights of the displaced, and “autos” related to black communities, indigenous and women that are in this condition or at risk of being displaced. The resolution has been sent to the Commission of Foreign Affairs.

Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Colombia
The Colombian Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Luis Guillermo Plata, began his visit to Canada on April 26th to promote the ratification of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries. On the eve of signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and Colombia, the MOVICE wants to ask the Canadian Parliament to not sign this treaty, as it involves the perpetuation of the systemic nature of human rights violations and infrictions of international humanitarian law, the criminalization and persecution of the political opposition, exile, forced displacement and the imposition of an economic model that deepens poverty, destruction of biodiversity and the lack of guarantees to satisfy the rights to truth, justice and reparation.


Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The report contains four chapters which inform on the activities of the IACHR and its Rapporteurs in 2009 and provides information on petitions, cases and cautionary measures treated during the year. Likewise, Chapter IV contains special sections on the human rights situation in Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela, which the IACHR considered deserved particular attention in 2009. Regarding Colombia, the IACHR examines more specifically the progress and challenges in clearing up crimes committed during the conflict, including those where paramilitary leaders extradited to the United States are involved, the persisting pattern of violation of the rights to life and personal integrity, the situation of ethnic groups, and intelligence activities against defenders of human rights, social leaders, justice and the IACHR itself.

Asturian Report on Human Rights in Colombia
Between January 29 and February 12, 2010 a delegation from Asturias visited different departments of the country in order to verify the human rights situation in Colombia. This documentary recollects most of their conclusions:

Anual report on Colombia by the International Committee of the Red Cross
During the presentantion of the anual report on Colombia on April 22, 2010 the head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia Beney said that "in Colombia and other countries there is a tendency to want to disguise military action and political action (. ..) as a humanitarian action", adding that “the parties in conflict want to win the hearts and minds of people who, in good faith, receive assistance without realizing that this can have consequences." Beney mentioned as an example the civil-military brigades carried out by the army in some parts of the country, to which civilians concur in search of assistance.
Link report:$File/ICRC_003_T201021.PDF