Friday, April 27, 2007

Colombia urgent action

I've been asked to forward an urgent action from the Colombia Solidarity Campaign as ever I'm more than happy to oblige - please do consider taking the time to write to the relevant parties.

Colombia Solidarity Campaign:

1. Towards 9am this morning, 26 April 2007 Federation president TEÓFILO MANUEL ACUÑA RIBÓN was detained by members of the Nueva Granada anti-air battalion of the [army’s] 5th Brigade at the Federation’s office in the town of Santa Rosa, Sur de Bolívar.

2. The army referred to a capture order issues by Edward José Cabello Baquero, a prosecuting attorney from section 28 in Cartagena, which speaks of the alias Teófilo with trade union leader as profession.

3. Teófilo was hit at the moment of his detention and, according to the dragoon Córdoba, due to superior orders a lawyer has been prevented access. Both of which make us fear for his physical state.

4. A formal meeting of the Dialogue Panel between the communities and the national government took place in Santa Rosa today, for which reason there are several national authorities present in the town.

5. TEÓFILO MANUEL ACUÑA RIBÓN is a witness in the continuing case against the Nueva Granada anti-air battalion for the assassination of another Federation leader Alejandro Uribe.

6. This occurs at the time when debates on the Mining Code are being prepared, in which the Federation has taken an active role.

7. A woman official of the Defensoría del Pueblo [lit People’s Defender - legal ombudsman] was also hit.

We demand:

1. the immediate release of TEÓFILO MANUEL ACUÑA RIBÓN, Federation president and spokesman of the agro-mining communities on the Sur de Bolívar Dialogue Panel with the national government.

2. that Nueva Granada anti-air battalion of the 5th Brigade is investigated for its repeated assaults on the inhabitants of Sur de Bolívar, specifically First Sergeant ARDILA of the battalion who struck TEÓFILO MANUEL ACUÑA RIBÓN and the Defensoría del Pueblo official.

3. That officers of the national, departmental and regional government who have gone to the meeting of the Dialogue Panel that should have started at 9.00am today 26 April with the Federación Agrominera’s representative Teófilo Acuña make a public statement.

4. That TEÓFILO MANUEL ACUÑA RIBÓN’s lawyer has immediate access to the place of his detention.

Direct communications to the followiing authorities:

Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Presidente de la Republica,
Fax: 57 1 566 2071

Dr. Francisco Santos. Vicepresidente de Colombia

Dr. Carlos Franco, Director del Programa de Derechos Humanos de Vicepresidencia

Dr. Edgardo Jose Maya Villazón, Procurador General de la Nacion.

Dr. Volmar Antonio Perez Ortiz, Defensor del Pueblo

Dr. Michael Frühling, Oficina del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los derechos humanos.

Also email Colombian Embassy in the UK:

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