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Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
PO Box 1270
Nederland CO 80466-1270
Phone: 303 440 0913
Fax:303 258 7881

UA 182/98 Fear for safety/ 'Disappearance'/ Extrajudicial execution 
19 June 1998

Civilian population of the municipality of Murindo, Antioquia 
Department, including:

Residents of the El Bartolo hamlet: 'Disappeared': Maria Esperanza 
Ayala, Wilson Golzalez, Gabriel Marriaga, Luis Mendoza, Juan Regyes, 
Jose Gonzalez, Ever Gonzalez. Killed: Aurelio Borja, Remberto Tovar, 
Yomar Morelo, Walter Mendoza. 

Residents of Indigenous Embera community of Gauguas: 
'Disappeared': Casilda Sapia, Fidel Pernia, Alirio Sapia, Jesus Majore, 
Albeiro Jumi, Atencio Sinigui, Trina Carupia, Francia Carupia, Celia 
Pipicay, Reiniero Sapia

Residents of Indigenous Embera community of La Isla: 'Disappeared': 
Gloria Domico, Carlos Domico, Olga Domico, Emiro Domico, Evelio 
Baikarin, Belarmina Bailarin, Lina Domico, Emilio Bailarin, Gilma 
Domico. Killed: Otoniel Bailarin

There is serious concern for the safety of the civilian population in 

municipality of Murindo, Antioquia Department, particularly the 26 
'disappeared' named above who have not been seen since 
paramilitary forces attacked their communities at the end of May 
1998. The whereabouts of all the 'disappeared' remain unknown. 
According to reports, paramilitary forces were also responsible for 
killing the five people named above.

On 28 May 1998 a paramilitary force attacked the black community 
of El Bartolo in Murindo municipality in the northwestern region of 
Uraba, reportedly killing four residents. The seven others named 
above have not been seen since the paramilitary incursion. This 
attack was followed by eight days of intense fighting between 
paramilitary and guerrilla forces in the area, forcing much of the 
local population to flee
and seek safety in the village of La Isla. 

The fighting also forced 200 residents of the Embera indigenous 
community of the hamlet of Guaguas to flee their homes and seek 
refuge in La Isla. In light of the paramilitary operations in the area 
the attack on El Bartolo, there is grave concern for the 10 members 
of the community named above whose whereabouts have remained 
unknown since the they were forced to flee their homes. It is not 
clear if they were abducted by paramilitary forces or if they fled into 
the forest to seek refuge.

The governor of La Isla, another Embera indigenous community, has 
reported that at least 300 people have sought refuge there. On 28 
May Otoniel Bailarin, a resident of La Isla, was reportedly killed by 
paramilitary forces when he passed through El Bartolo on his way to 
Murindo. An independent commission made up of state officials and 
representatives of human rights and indigenous non-governmental 
organizations, which travelled to the area to confirm details of the 
situation, has also confirmed that the nine members of La Isla 
community named above are still missing and are presumed 

Peasant communities, including black and indigenous communities, in 
disputed zones in Colombia's long running civil conflict have 
frequently suffered attacks. Neither the left wing armed opposition 
groups nor the armed forces and their paramilitary allies recognize 
the civilian population's neutrality in the conflict. 

Members of the Colombian army and security forces and their 
paramilitary allies continue to commit serious human rights 
violations with virtual impunity. Over the past five years several 
thousand civilians have been killed by paramilitary groups 
throughout the country. The Colombian Government suspended the 
constitutional legal base for the formation of paramilitary 
organizations and issued directives to the armed forces to combat 
and disband such groups in 1989, yet they continue to work with the 
support of the security forces in many areas of the country. 
President Ernesto Samper Pizano has repeatedly promised to 
improve the human rights situation and to dismantle paramilitary 
forces, but no steps have been taken to control their actions and to 
hold members accountable for serious and widespread human rights 
violations. The Attorney General recently stated that over 200 
outstanding arrest warrants issued against alleged paramilitary 
members have still not been acted upon by the security forces.

telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters: - expressing 
concern for the safety of 26 people who remain 'disappeared' from 
the black and indigenous communities of El Bartolo, Guaguas and La 
- urging the authorities to take all appropriate measures to 
guarantee the safety of the civilian population in Murindo; - calling 
for full and impartial investigations into the reported killings of
five people and the 'disappearance' of another 26 (name some of 
them), that the results be made public and that those responsible be 
brought to justice;
- calling for a full and impartial investigation into links between the 
security forces and paramilitary groups operating in the area and 
urging that those found responsible for supporting and participating 
in such groups be brought to justice;
- urging that the authorities take immediate action to dismantle 
paramilitary groups, in line with stated government commitments. 

President of Colombia:
Senor Presidente Ernesto Samper Pizano
Presidente de la Republica
Palacio de Narino
carrera 8 No. 7-26
Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Dear President Samper:

Telegrams: President Samper Pizano, Bogota, Colombia Telexes: 396 
44281 PALP CO
Faxes: 011 57 1 284 2186 / 289 3377 / 286 7434 

Minister of Defense:
Dr. Gilberto Echeverri Mejia
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Avenida Eldorado CAN - Carrera 52
Santafe de Bogota, Colombia

Dear Minister:

Telegrams: Ministro de Defensa, Bogota, Colombia Telexes: 396 42411 
INPRE CO / 396 44561 CFAC CO Faxes: 011 57 1 222 1874

Attorney General:
Dr.Alfonso Gomez Mendez
Fiscal General de la Nacion
Fiscalia General de la Nacion,
Diagonal 22B 5201, Apartado Aereo 29855
Santafe de Bogota,Colombia

Dear Dr.:

Telegrams: Fiscal General, Fiscalia General, Bogota, Colombia Faxes: 
011 571 570 2000 (when ansaphone picks up dial 2017 for fax)

Governor of the Department of Antioquia: Dr. Alberto Builes Ortega
Gobernador del Departamento de Antioquia Gobernacion de 
Calle 42B, # 52-106
Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia

Dear Governor:

Telegrams: Gobernador de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia Fax: 011 
574 381 1342

Human Rights Organization:
Grupo de Apoyo a Organizaciones de Desplazados (GAD) Calle 61# 13-
54, piso 4
Bogota, Colombia

Ambassador Juan Carlos Esguerra
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 August 1, 1998.

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