The courageous brother of one of the persons “disappeared” by the Colombian Army in its counterattack on the Palace of Justice in Bogota 22 years ago, Rene Guarin Cortes, has received serious threats against his life. During the last weeks he has received threatening telephone calls and been apparently followed by suspicious persons. The telephone threats referred to a necessity to silence any activity demanding justice, truth and reparations for the families of the Palace of Justice victims. Two unknown persons within a white jeep which sometimes has license number APJ 005 and sometimes license plate number AP 005 follow him around.
These threats are an example of the advanced state of persecution against those who try to uncover the truth of what happened, brought by those who caused the deaths of at least 11 persons “disappeared” and later murdered after being taken out of the Palace of Justice alive. Other related events which have already occurred are the murder 9 years ago of defense and human rights attorney Jose Eduardo Umana Mendoza, who represented relatives of the victims of the Palace of Justice, and the theft of information obtained by relatives of the victims from the residence of Enrique Rodriguez Hernandez, the father of the Palace of Justice cafeteria administrator.
Now the Guarin family is being threatened. Quite understandably, they have little confidence that Colombia’s Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, or DAS, which is like an FBI, will investigate and prepare evidence against those responsible for the “disappearances” and murders, since the DAS has been implicated in murders of labor leaders, local community leaders and university professors.
It is vital that the international community express its support for the efforts of Rene Guarin and the other relatives of the Palace of Justice victims and for the efforts of Attorney General Mario Iguaran, who has renewed and carried forward the investigation into the Palace of Justice events.
Please write the following persons to tell them you want to see the Colombian Government take appropriate measures to protect the lives of Rene Guarin and all of the other relatives of the Palace of Justice “disappeared’, and to support Attorney General Iguaran’s investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the Palace of Justice murders.
YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES IN THE US CONGRESS : See our website
US AMBASSADOR IN COLOMBIA; Currently Charge d’ Affairs Mr. Brian A. Nichols
Vicepresident of Colombia
Dr Francisco Santos E-mail : email@example.com>
Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón Email : firstname.lastname@example.org & anticorrupcion@presidencia. gov.co
Defensoría del Pueblo
Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz.
Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN in Geneva
Colombian Embassy in Madrid*
*The current Ambassador Nohemi Sanin, was Minister of Communications at the time of the takeover of the Palace of Justice and censored the mass media to report
To the following European Embassies that have shown support for the relatives of the victims :
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621