Re: Maria del Rosario Guerrero Galluci
To: Sr. Jesse Chacon, Ministro del Interior y Justicia
From: Charles B. Davison
I am writing at this time concerning the situation of Maria del Rosario Guerrero Galluci and her husband Adolofo Martinez Barrios, who both were the victims of an armed attack on April 21, 2006 in the State of Guarico. Ms. Guerrero was shot first, and as her husband attempted to drive her to the hospital, they were followed and both were shot again a number of times. There is reason to believe that this attack was the direct result of Ms. Guerrero’s work on behalf of those who have suffered violations of their human rights.
I am a member of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, which is a group of Canadian lawyers concerned about the protection of lawyers and other human rights defenders in all countries and under all governments around the world. We are particularly concerned when lawyers and human rights workers are the victims of persecution, attack or imprisonment.
We understand that after she was attacked Ms. Guerrero was offered protection but only if she paid for all costs associated with taking that step. She is without sufficient financial resources and therefore not able to have protection under this arrangement.
We call upon you to thoroughly and properly investigate the attack upon Ms. Guerrero and her husband, and for those found to be responsible be brought to justice. We also call for the immediate provision of protection to Ms. Guerrero and her family members, in accordance with her wishes and without charge to her. Finally, we call for the implementation of necessary measures to ensure that all who work on behalf of human rights and the victims of rights violations are protected from intimidation, harassment or attack. Any further such incidents should be fully and properly investigated, and those responsible dealt with properly under the law.