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REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA:
LEADER OF PEACE COMMUNITY THREATENED

Update info:
16 Dec 2017
Country:
REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA
Subject:
Gildardo Tuberquia (m) and other members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó
Gender m/f: All
Period:
16 Jan 2018
Distribution date:
16 Dec 2017
UA No:
263/2017

Paramilitary groups continue their incursions and threats against the people of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia, and the leaders who have reported these abuses nationally and internationally.

The paramilitary group Gaitanistas Self-Defence Forces of Colombia is advancing to gain control of the village of San José de Apartadó and is jeopardizing the Peace Community’s 20 years of work to maintain neutrality in Colombia’s armed conflict.

Gildardo Tuberquia, a member of the Internal Council of the Peace Community, reported that he received at least eight death threats in 2017. The most recent occurred on 30 November. The paramilitary fighters told Gildardo Tuberquia that they were going to kidnap and kill him and any other community members who continue to report these incidents.

Throughout 2017, Gildardo Tuberquia has reported AGC activity and his town’s need for protection, both nationally and internationally. He spoke, for example, before Colombia’s Congress in May. At this time, he can only travel within San José de Apartadó with international accompaniment because of the risk due to the threats he has received. In its latest statement, the community writes, “we appreciate all the people and organizations that have believed our pleas for help and we ask, from our territory that we so dearly wish to see at peace, that you do not stop your letters and messages to pressure with this government that has never cared about the lives of civilians and that furthermore only looks out for its own interests.”

Take action

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Demanding urgent measures to guarantee the right to life and physical safety for Gildardo Tuberquia, the other members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, and the other civilians in the region who face the grave threats they have reported;
  • Urging authorities to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups and investigate their connections to government security forces, in compliance with their international human rights obligations;
  • Demanding respect for the principle of distinguishing noncombatants in the context of armed conflict, including the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó and other civilians in the region.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 JANUARY 2018 TO:
President
Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26
Bogotá, Colombia
Email: contacto@presidencia.gov.co
Salutation: Dear Mr. President / Estimado Señor Presidente

Ombudsperson
Carlos Alfonso Negret
Carrera 9 Núm.16 - 21
Bogotá D. C., Colombia
Email: Asuntosdefensor@defensoria.gov.co
Salutation: Dear Mr. Director / Estimado Señor Director

And copies to:
Peace Community
Peace Community of San José de Apartadó AA 243 de Apartadó Antioquia, Colombia
Email: cdpsanjose@gmail.com

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

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

UA: 263/17 Index: AMR 23/7549/2017 Issue Date: 5 December 2017