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REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA:
HARASSED FOR FIGHTING SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Update info:
2 Feb 2015
Country:
REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA
Subject:
Blanca Nubia Díaz (f) and her family
Gender: both
Period:
27 Feb 2015
Distribution date:
2 Feb 2015
UA No:
010/2015

Two men forced their way into the home of human rights defender Blanca Nubia Díaz, demanding to see one of her daughters. Both women have faced threats and intimidation as they campaign for justice in a case of sexual violence.

On 3 January two men forced their way into the home owned by human rights defender Blanca Nubia Díaz in Riohacha, La Guajira Department, northern Colombia. They demanded to see one of Blanca Nubia Díaz’s daughters, but neither Blanca Nubia Díaz nor her daughter currently live in the property. Before leaving, the men ordered the family living in the property to leave. On 29 December the door of the home had been kicked down.

Blanca Nubia Díaz, a member of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado, MOVICE), has been campaigning for justice in the case of the rape, torture and killing of another daughter, Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz, in 2001 by paramilitaries. In June 2014 the daughter being sought by the two men was raped in La Guajira Department. This daughter has since left the region, and although the rape has been reported to the Office of the Attorney General, investigations have not advanced. In the case of the rape, torture and killing of Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz, the judicial authorities are reportedly investigating a powerful drug-trafficker linked to paramilitaries who has recently been captured.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Over the past 50 years, Colombia’s internal armed conflict has pitted the security forces and paramilitaries against a range of guerrilla groups. All the warring parties continue to be responsible for widespread and serious crimes under international law and other human rights violations, including systematic sexual violence against women and girls. Despite the fact that many of these violations amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity, the Colombian authorities have failed to take decisive actions to end conflict-related violence against women and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The lack of security dissuades most victims and relatives from reporting abuses. Witnesses, victims’ families, prosecutors, lawyers and judges participating in human rights related investigations have also been threatened and killed.

Despite government claims that all paramilitaries demobilized in a government-sponsored programme that began in 2005, such groups continue to operate and commit serious human rights violations against human rights defenders and other civilians. This is sometimes in collusion with the security forces, or with their consent.

MOVICE is a broad coalition of civil society organizations campaigning for truth, justice and reparation for the victims of Colombia's long-running armed conflict. Members of MOVICE in different branches across the country have repeatedly faced threats and intimidation.

On 26 March 2001 15-year-old Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz, a member of the Wayúu Indigenous community in La Guajira Department, was tortured, raped and killed by paramilitaries in the Cuestecitas area of Albania Municipality, La Guajira Department. When her mother Blanca Nubia Díaz tried to find her she was informed that several women had been killed at the same time. Blanca Nubia Díaz managed to establish the whereabouts of the body, but she was forcibly displaced from La Guajira Department due to threats from paramilitaries. The body was buried as an unidentified person and it was not until 2010 that she was finally able to reclaim the body. In August 2010 Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz was buried under the rituals of the Wayúu Indigenous People. The investigations into the rape, torture and killing have not made significant progress in over a decade.

Blanca Nubia Díaz and her family have been threatened repeatedly over the years. In 2014 her brother and other relatives received threatening phone calls targeting a son of Blanca Nubia Diaz. For more information on an attempt to kidnap her see: UA 26/12, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR23/004/2012/en.

Name: Blanca Nubia Díaz (f) and her family

Gender m/f: both

UA: 10/15 Index: AMR 23/002/2015 Issue Date: 26 January 2015

Take action

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Expressing concern for the safety of Blanca Nubia Díaz and her family, and urging the authorities to guarantee their safety in strict accordance with their wishes;
  • Calling on the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the threats against Blanca Nubia Díaz and her family as well as the rape, torture and killing of Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz in 2001 and the rape of another daughter in 2014, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;
  • Urging them to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups and break their links with the security forces, in line with stated government commitments and UN recommendations made by the UN and other intergovernmental organizations;
  • Urging them to follow-up on the recommendations and conclusions of international and regional mechanisms for protection of women’s rights and combating violence against women.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 FEBRUARY 2015 TO:
President
Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26
Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: +57 1 596 0631
Salutation: Dear President Santos / Excmo Sr Presidente Santos

Attorney General
Eduardo Montealegre
Fiscalía General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 (Ciudad Salitre)
Bloque C Piso 4
Bogotá, Colombia
Fax +57 1 570 2000 (when recorded voice answers, dial ext 2023)
Salutation: Dear Attorney General / Estimado Sr. Fiscal General

Minister- Counsellor for Post Conflict, Human Rights and Security General
Oscar Adolfo Naranjo Trujillo
Ministro Consejero para el Postconflicto, Derechos Humanos y Seguridad,
Calle 7 No. 6-64
Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: +57 1 596 0631
Salutation: Dear Minister Counsellor / Estimados Sr. Ministro Consejero

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.