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Asunto:[LEA-Venezuela] Emergency Action : Colombia
Fecha:Miercoles, 7 de Febrero, 2001  22:52:31 (-0400)
Autor:Palmer <Paula>

Dear Members of Global Response's "Quick Response Network:"

This is an Emergency Action.

Global Response issues Emergency Actions when the lives and safety of
environmental activists are threatened.

Please write letters to Colombian authorities on behalf of indigenous
leader Julio Henriquez Santamaria, abducted by military-backed
paramilitaries on Feb. 4.  Amnesty International requested Global Response
participation in this letter campaign.  AI's appeal follows:

U R G E N T    A C T I O N   A P P E A L
---------------------------------------------------
5 February 2001

UA 33/01      Fear for Safety/possible 'disappearance'

COLOMBIA
Julio HENRIQUEZ SANTAMARIA - environmental activist


Environmental activist Julio Henriquez Santamaria was abducted by
army-backed paramilitaries on 4 February. His whereabouts are now
unknown, and Amnesty International is seriously concerned for his
safety

Julio Henriquez was at a meeting with peasant farmers, discussing
an environmental project, at the local school in the village of
Calabazo, department of Magdalena, in the Caribbean coastal area
of northern Colombia. A paramilitary group arrived in a pick-up truck,
beat him and drove him away.

Julio Henriquez is a well-known community activist and member of
the Madre Tierra (Mother Earth) environmental association. He is a
former member of the guerrilla organization Movimiento 19 de Abril
(M-19), 19 April Movement, which formally demobilized in 1990, when
it was recognized as a legal political party and its members received
an amnesty.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Colombian armed forces, and their paramilitary allies, commit
serious human rights violations with virtual impunity. Several
thousand civilians have been killed by paramilitary groups over the
past five years. The Colombian government suspended the
constitutional legal base for the formation of paramilitary
organizations and in 1989 issued directives to the armed forces to
combat and disband such groups, yet they continue to operate with
the support of the security forces in many areas of the country.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send
telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters:
- expressing concern for the safety of Julio Henriquez Santamaria,
who reportedly 'disappeared' after being abducted by paramilitaries
on 4 February;
- urging that there should be a full and impartial investigation to
establish the whereabouts of Julio Henriquez Santamaria and that, if
in detention, efforts should be made to ensure they he is released
immediately;
- urging that his abductors are brought to justice;
- calling for a full and impartial investigation into links between the
security forces and paramilitary groups operating in the department of
Magdalena, urging that the results are made public, and that those
responsible for supporting and participating in such groups are
brought to justice;
- urging the authorities to take immediate and decisive action to
combat and dismantle paramilitary groups, in line with repeated
government commitments and United Nations recommendations.

APPEALS TO:
President of the Republic:
Senor Presidente Andres Pastrana Arango
Presidente de la Republica
Palacio de Narino
Carrera 8 No.7-26
Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA
Fax:           011 57 1 336 2109 / 337 1351
Salutation:    Dear President / Excmo. Sr. Presidente


Vice-President of the Republic:
Senor Vicepresidente Gustavo Bell Lemus
Alto Consejero Presidencial para asuntos de Derechos Humanos y
lucha Contra la Corrupcion
Cra. 8 #7-26, Palacio de Narino,
Santafe de Bogota, Colombia
Faxes:    011 57 1 337 1350 / 337 1351
Salutation:    Excmo. Sr. Vicepresidente / Dear Vice-President

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development:
Senor Rodrigo Villalba Mosquera
Ministro de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural
Ministerio de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural
Avenida Jimenez N07-65, Piso 3
Santafe de Bogota, Colombia
Faxes:         01157 1 336 1562
Salutation:    Excmo. Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister

COPIES TO:
Corporacion Colectivo de Abogados 'Jose Alvear Restrepo'
Apartado Aereo 33035
Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Ambassador Luis Alberto Moreno
Embassy of Colombia
2118 Leroy Pl. NW
Washington DC 20008

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 March 19, 2001.

This information is from Amnesty International's research
headquarters in London, England. A.I. is an independent worldwide
movement working for the international protection of human rights. It
seeks the release of people detained because of their beliefs, color,
sex, ethnic origin, language or religious creed, provided they have not
used nor advocated violence. These are termed prisoners of
conscience. It works for fair and prompt trials for all political
prisoners and works on behalf of such people detained without
charge or trial. It opposes the death penalty, extra-judicial executions
(political killings), 'disappearances' and torture or other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of all prisoners
without reservation. Amnesty International promotes awareness of
and adherance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
other internationally recognized human rights instruments, the
values enshrined in them and the indivisibility and interdependence
of all human rights and freedoms.

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.

Please read the monthly Urgent Action Network Newsletter posted on
the web at: http://www.amnesty-USA.org/urgact/newslett.html

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
PO Box 1270
Nederland CO 80466-1270
Email: sharriso@...
http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgact/
Phone: 303 258 1170
Fax:     303 258 7881



--------------------------------------
GLOBAL RESPONSE is an international letter-writing network of environmental
activists.  In partnership with indigenous, environmentalist and peace and
justice organizations around the world, GLOBAL RESPONSE develops "Actions"
that describe specific, urgent threats to the environment; each "Action"
asks members to write personal letters to individuals in the corporations,
governments or international organizations that have the power and
responsibility to take corrective action.  GR also issues "Young
Environmentalists' Actions" and "Eco-Club Actions" designed to educate and
motivate elementary and high school students to practice earth stewardship.

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