Arnold Gómez, Carmelo Agamez, Juan David Díaz, Adolfo Berbel, Jackeline Moguea, Roberto Serpa, Amauri Vidual – Members of the Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado
Reports indicate that the people named above, all members of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado) in Sucre Department, northern Colombia, are in grave danger. Amnesty International has received reports that their names appear on a ‘death list’ compiled by army-backed paramilitaries. The lives of other members of the Victims’ Movement in Sucre department may also be at risk.
The existence of the “death list” became known in August 2006. Amnesty International believes that those people named on the ‘death list’ may be individuals whom the paramilitaries fear could provide evidence against them in criminal proceedings. The list may also include those campaigning for their right to truth, justice and reparation in cases of human rights violations. One member of the Victims’ Movement, Luis Guevara, was reportedly killed by paramilitaries on 22 August 2006 in the Coveñas area of the municipality of San Onofre, department of Sucre. In the past, human rights defenders and others campaigning for justice in cases of human rights violations committed by the security forces or their paramilitary allies have repeatedly been the target of human rights violations themselves. According to information received, nine people with alleged links to paramilitary structures operating in the north of Colombia whose names appeared on the ‘death list’ have already been killed.
The Victims’ Movement is a non-governmental organization which campaigns for the surviving relatives of all those killed by the army or their paramilitary allies in the four-decade long armed conflict in Colombia. It is reported that the ‘death list’ appeared soon after the Victims’ Movement held a demonstration in opposition to the re-arming of paramilitaries in Sucre, on 26 August 2006. The organization’s subsequent decision to present a report to the Senate, in October 2006, in which they name local and national politicians with clear links to restructured paramilitary groups, has further heightened concerns for their members’ safety.
Letter by Heather Neun sent on November 27, 2006