(Translated by Susan Tritten, a CSN Volunteer Translator)

In spite of the calls by multinational human rights organizations,
announcements by national and international organizations, public
reports, and even more direct means to demand government action,
attacks against human rights defenders and social activists in
Colombia become more and more critical.

Campana por el Derecho a Defender los Derechos Humanos en Colombia
(Campaign For the Right to Defend Human Rights in Colombia)
Communiques – June, 2010

In May we saw an alarming increase in attacks against human rights
defenders and social activists in Colombia, exactly three months
before the end of the current administration and in the last moments
of the electoral campaign. If, according to the data of the NGO for
the protection of human rights defenders, Somos Defensores (We Are
Defenders), 2009 was the worst on record in the last four years, with
170 cases, 2010, especially the month of May, seems to exceed what we
had foreseen. This month, seven human rights defenders and peasant
leaders were assassinated, four of them connected with reports of
forced displacement and claims for land restitution. Also, 100
organizations that work for human rights and social service
organizations for women, Afro-Americans, and indigenous peoples, among
others, were targets of threats by illegal armed or unknown persons,
using intimidating e-mail, fliers, text messages, and telephone calls.

Many of these threatened human rights organizations take part in
dialogues with the Colombian government in Regional Roundtables and
the National Roundtable on Constitutional Rights, a process promoted
since 2009 by Committees for Human Rights and Peace, and various
sectors of society, seeking guarantees for the exercise of human
rights defense.

In response to this situation, human rights defenders and social
activists demonstrated peacefully at the induction of the Minister of
the Interior and Justice on May 21, 2010, to demand comprehensive
measures to protect the lives of those who work for human rights in

As a result of this protest, a meeting was held with Minister Fabio
Valencia Cossio, who made a commitment to monitor threats and attacks
against defenders and to respond immediately to any new danger.
Nevertheless, two days after this meeting, Alexander Quintero, a human
rights defender, was assassinated in the Department of Cauca and 30
other organizations received threats in Santander, Cauca Valley and

During May and the first week of June, attacks and threats were
reported without receiving any attention from national, regional or
local authorities, not even the media. So the national and
international Campana por el Derecho a Defender los Derechos Humanos,
are compiling, in this urgent action notice, some of these violent
acts. They are doing this so that the national and international
public might become aware of this critical situation not as isolated
acts, but as a systematic pattern of aggression and intimidation by
armed and illegal persons who affect the work that human rights
organizations and leaders carry out in Colombia.

In this way, we are making a plea to all organizations and persons
associated with the campaign, to the national and international media,
to the offices and agencies of the United Nations, to the academic
community, to unions and, in general, to the all people abroad and in
Colombia to:

— Petition the Colombian government to adopt immediate and effective
comprehensive measures to protect the lives of human rights defenders
and social activists.

–Maintain vigilance over the safety and security of those who perform
legal and legitimate work in defense of human rights in Colombia.

We are making a vigorous demand to all agencies of the Colombian
government who are responsible for the protection of human rights and
social organizers immediately to put into effect comprehensive
measures to protect these men and women who work for democracy, peace
and human rights in Colombia.

Please see below a list of the most recent violent acts committed
against human rights workers in Colombia.

Attacks against human rights workers compiled by the national and
international Campana Por el Derecho a Defender los Derechos Humanos
en Colombia in May and the first week of June, 2010, in the following

Date – Type of Offense – Place – Victim(s) – Method – Assumed Perpetrator.

June 7 – Threat – Bogota – Office for the Protection of the Rights of
the People of Choco, Cauca, Narino and Huila, CODHES, CRIC, ACIN,
Corporacion Juridica Libertad (Juridical Freedom Corporation) –
Leaflet – Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia Bloque Central
(Self-defense United Forces of Colombia, Central Bloc)

June 7 – Homicide – Vistahermosa, Meta – Walter Zuniga – Santo
Domingo area community leader, Commission for Human Rights of Bajo
Ariari – Assassination by assumed paramilitaries

June 5 – Homicide – Gigante, Huil – Rigoberto Urriago – President of
the Community Action Committee of the Tres Esquinas district – Forced
from his house and assassinated outside – Assassination by assumed

May 29 – Threat – Sincelejo, Sucre – Eduardo Castro, member of MOVICE
and of ACEU and candidate for Student Council in the University of
Sucre – Declared a military target on April 28, 2010 by e-mail by an
organization that calls itself Nuevas Generaciones AUC, intimidating
telephone call – Nuevas Generaciones AUC (New Generations Self-defense
Forces of Colombia).

May 28 – Assault – Pasto, Narino – Jonny Vidal, President of the
Foundation of Displaced Persons Minga of El Charco, Narino – Attempted
forced disappearance, assault with a pointed, sharp knife – Aguilas
Negras (Black Eagles)

May 28 – Threats – Barrancabermeja, Santander – David Ravelo Crespo,
Director of the Regional Association of Victims of Magdalena Medio
(ASORVIM), survivor of the Union Patriotica (Patriot Union) –
Threatening telephone call – Not identified

May 27 – Threat – Tulua, Valle del Cauca – Luz Marina and John Freddy
of ECATE, Berenice [Celeyta] of NOMADESC and Comite de Solidaridad con
Presos Politicos (Committee of Solidarity with Political Prisoners) –
Intimidating telephone call – Not identified

May 27 – Threat – Santander de Qilichao, Cauca – Meraldino Cabiche
Ulchur – Territorial Inter-ethnic Union of Naya (UTINAYA), member of
the Red de Iniciativas y Comunidades de Paz desde la Base (Grassroots
Network of Initiatives and Communities for Peace) – Cell phone text
message – Aguilas Negras

May 26 – Threat – Barrancabermeja, Santander – 18 organizations,
unions, and work places in defense of human rights in Magdalena Medio,
most of them members of the Barrancabermejo Chapter of MOVICE – E-mail
– Comando Conjunto de Limpieza (Joint Command for Social Cleansing,

May 23 – Homicide – Santander de Quilichao, Cauca – Alexander
Quintero, leader of the victims of the Naya massacre, peasant leader,
member of the Union Territorial Inter Etnica del Naya (UTINAYA) and
president of the Asociacion de Juntas Comunales del Alto Naya
(Association of Joint Communities of Upper Naya), and member of the
Red de Inciativas y Comunidades de Paz desde la Base; Assassination –
Not identified

May 23 – Threat – Cali, Valle del Cauca – Diego Escobar, Omar Romero,
and Wilson Saenz, Cut Valle, Sinaltracampo – Flier – Aguilas Negras,
Nueva Generacion

May 21 – Threat – Pasto, Narino – Javier Dorado Rosero, president of
the Comite Permanente por la defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CPDH)
(Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights) Narino – Cell
phone text messages – Not identified

May 20 – Harassment – Barrancabermeja, Santander – Maria Leonilda
Ravelo, president of Asociacion Nacional de Ayuda Solidaria (ANDAS)
(National Mutual Aid Association) Barrancabermeja, Asociacion de
Desplazados (Association of Displaced Persons), member of the steering
committee of CREDHOS – Stalking and intimidating telephone calls – not

May 20 – Threat – Barrancabermeja, Santander – More than 20 political
directors of FENSUAGRO declared military targets – E-mail – Bloque
Central of Aguilas Negras

May 20 – Harassment – Bucaramanga, Santander – Miguel de la Vega,
recognized social activist, technical secretary of the Coordinacion
Nacional de Desplazados (CND) (National Coordinating Committee for
Displaced Persons) in that region, member of the operations team of
the Santander chapter of MOVICE, director of ANDAS en Bucaramanga and
survivor of genocide against the Union Patriotica – Attempted robbery
– Not identified

May 18 – Homicide – San Onofre, Sucre – Rogelio Martinez, peasant
leader and human rights defender, and active member of the Sucre
chapter of the Movimiento de Victimas de Crimenes de Estado (MOVICE);
Assassination; Not identified

May 17 – Harassment – San Jose de Apartado, Antioquia – Citizens of
Mulatos, Bellavista, and La Cristalina districts were accused of being
collaborators of the insurgency – Direct intimidation – National Army

May 14 – Threats – Bogota D.C. – Various defenders and political
leaders and more than 50 organizations in Bogota, Choco and Cauca –
E-mail – Bloque Central of Aguilas Negras

May 11 – Homicide – Araba (Via Turbo Necocle), Antioquia – Albeiro
Valdes Martinez, leader of land restitution process in Uraba, linked
to the Asociacion de Victimas para la Restitucion de Tierras y Bienes
(ASOVIRESTIBI) (Victims' Associationfor the Restitucion of Land and
Property) – Asssassination – Not identified

May 7 – Homicide – El Castillo, Meta – Nilson Ramirez, affiliate of
Sintragrim in the Esmeralda district of El Castillo, Meta –
Assassinated – Not identified

May 3 – Threat – Bogota, D.C – Rodolfo Vecino – Financial manager of
the Petroleum Workers' Union (USO) – E-mail – Not identified

Campana por el Derecho a Defender los Derechos Humanos en Colombia –
Campaign for the Right to Defend Human Rigihts in Colombia

Somos Defensores – We Are Defenders

CODHES – Consultorio para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento –
Bureau on HumanRights and Displacement

CRIC – Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca

ACIN – Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca

ASFADES – Association of Relatives of Detained or Disappeared Persons

CIMA Center for International Media Assistance

ASOINCA – Asociacion de Institutores del Cauca – Cauca Teachers' Union

ONIC – Organizacion Nacional de Indigenas de Colombia – National
Indigenous Organization of Colombia

NUEVO ARCOIRIS – New Rainbow – Business and Human Rights Organization
of former guerrillas

INDEPAZ – Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz –
Institute for Studies of Development and Peace

ASOPRO – Asociacion de Professionales – Association of Professionals

Corporacion Juridica Libertad – Corporation for Juridical Freedom

Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – United Self-defense Forces of
Colombia (paramilitaries)

MOVICE – Movimiento Nacional de Victimas de Crimenes del Estado –
National Movement of Victims of Crimes of the State

ACEU – Colombian Association of University Students

Nuevas Generaciones AUC – New Generation Self-Defense Forces of Colombia

Aguilas Negras – Black Eagles (paramilitaries)

ASORVIM – Asociacion Regional de Victimas de la Violencia del
Terrorismo del Estado en el Magdaleno Media – Regional Association of
Victims of State Violence and Terrorism in Magdaleno Media

Union Patriotica – Patriotic Union [Party] (victims of paramilitaries)

ECATE – Asociacion ECATE – Social Development and Human Rights Organization

NOMADESCE – Asociacion para la Investigacion y la Accion Social –
Research and Social Action Association

CSPP – Comite de Solidaridad de Presos Politicos – Committee of
Solidarity with Political Prisoners

UTINAYA – Union Territorial Inter-etnica de Naya – Regional
Inter-ethnic Union of Naya

Asociacion de Juntos Comunales del Alto Naya – Joint Community
Association of Alto Naya

Red de Iniciativas y Comunidades de Paz desde la Base – Grassroots
Network of Iniciatives and Communities for Peace

CUT – Confederacion Unida de Trabajadores – National Workers' Union

SINALTRACAMPO – Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo –
National Campesinos' Union

Aguilas Negras Nueva Generacion – New Generation Black Eagles (paramilitaries)

CPDH – Comite Permanente por la Defensa de lo Derechos Humanos –
Standing Committee for the Defense of Human Rights

ANDA – Asociacion Nacional de Ayuda Soladaria – National Mutual Aid Association

Asociacion de Desplazados – Association of Displaced Persons

FENSUAGRO – National Campesinos Union

CND – Coordinacion Nacional de Desplazados – National Coordinating
Committee for Displaced Persons

ASINCORT – Asociacion Sindical de Institutores Nortesantandereanos –
Teachers' Union of North Santander

ASOVIRESTIBI – Asociacion de Victimas para la Restitucion de Tierras y
Bienes – Association of Victims for the Restitution of Land and

Sintragrim – Sindicato de Trabajadores Agricolas Independientes del
Meta – Union of Independent Agricultural Workers of Meta

USO – Union Sindical Obrero del Petroleo – National Oil Workers' Union

Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos y Paz de la USO – National
Commission on Human Rights and Peace of the National Oil Workers'

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