REYNALDO PERDOMO, human rights defender
PEDRO TORRES, Civilians in El Castillo municipality, Meta department
Human rights activists in Villavicencio, Meta department
In August 2003 human rights advocate Reynaldo Perdomo and civilian Pedro Torres were brutally murdered.
At 9:00 p.m. on August 12, 2003, Reynaldo Perdomo was at his home in Villavicencio, Meta, when he was reportedly informed that there was a telephone call for him in a nearby bar. As he went to answer the call, an unidentified gunman reportedly approached him and shot him three times in the head, killing him instantly. According to reports, the gunman made his getaway on foot apparently unhindered despite the fact a police station is located near to Reynaldo Perdomo’s house.
Reynaldo Perdomo was a human rights activist and social leader. He had been forcibly displaced a year ago from his home in the hamlet of Esmeralda, in El Castillo Municipality and had been working with other forcibly displaced members from the Ariari region. In the past, human rights activists and activists supporting displaced people have been labeled subversives by the security forces and their paramilitary allies. These accusations have frequently been followed by serious human rights violations, which were committed by the security forces and their paramilitary allies.
In the municipality of El Castillo, army-backed paramilitaries continue to carry out human rights violations. On August 9, 2003, Pedro Torres was travelling by bus from Medellín del Ariari to El Castillo when a known paramilitary reportedly boarded. The bus was reportedly followed by other paramilitaries in a grey vehicle, who subsequently forced the bus to stop. Pedro Torres was forced off the bus and into paramilitaries’ vehicle. Witnesses report seeing the paramilitary vehicle, with Pedro Torres inside, crossing Medellín del Ariari and heading towards the municipality of Puerto Esperanza. At 7:00 p.m. Pedro Torres’ body was found by his family in the community of Puerto Esperanza.
LRWC wrote to President Uribe reciting Colombia’s positive legal duties to protect and promote human rights and asking the government to invesitigate the murders of Reynaldo Perdomo and Pedro Torres and identify and punish those responsible through prosecution and trial.