Colombia: Death threats against Adriana Lizarazo

19/11/2021
Urgent Appeal
en es

COL 005 / 1121 / OBS 118
Threats
Colombia
November 17, 2021

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint program of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Colombia.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has received information from the Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) about death threats against Adriana Lizarazo, her family and members of the Santander branch of the CSPP, a member organization of OMCT’s SOS-Torture Network. Ms. Lizarazo is the coordinator of OMCT’s SOS-Torture Network, as well as the coordinator of the CSPP Santander departmental section and spokesperson for the Northeast Node of the Coordination Colombia-Europe-United States (CCEEU) [1].

On November 13, 2021, at noon, Adriana Lizarazo received numerous WhatsApp messages on her phone from an individual who identified himself as a member of the paramilitary group Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC). The messages, which showed that the AGC had private information about the defender, her place of residence, work and family, insistently requested a meeting with Adriana Lizarazo, threatening otherwise that they would take action against her. When she did not respond to any of the messages, the individual threatened to kill Adriana Lizarazo and declared the Santander section of the CSPP and its members as a military target, sending photos of weapons and of an unknown individual dressed in military clothing and an armband with the initials of the AGC.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern about the death threats against Adriana Lizarazo, her family and the members of the Santander branch of the CSPP and recalls that the CSPP has been the victim of acts of intimidation, multiple attacks and death threats for its legitimate work in defence of human rights.

The Observatory reiterates its concern about the context of violence in which human rights defenders operate in Colombia, having counted 152 attacks against social leaders and defenders from January 1 to November 15, 2021, according to figures from the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (INDEPAZ).

Therefore, the Observatory urges the Colombian authorities to immediately take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and physical and psychological integrity of Adriana Lizarazo, her family and the group of people who make up the Santander branch of the CSPP, and to carry out an immediate, independent, exhaustive, effective and impartial investigation into the death threats mentioned above.

Action requested:

Please write to the Colombian authorities urging them to:

i. Immediately adopt the most appropriate measures to guarantee the safety and physical and psychological integrity of Adriana Lizarazo, her family and the members of the Santander branch of the CSPP;

ii. Carry out an immediate, independent, exhaustive, effective and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned threats, in order to identify those materially and intellectually responsible, bring them before a competent, independent, fair and impartial tribunal and apply the criminal and other sanctions provided by law;

iii. To put an end to all types of threats, aggressions and acts of harassment and criminalisation, and to guarantee the safety of all human rights defenders in Colombia.

Addresses:

- Mr. Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia. E-mail: contacto@presidencia.gov.co Twitter: @infopresidencia
- Mr. Daniel Palacio Martinez, Minister of the Interior. E-mail: servicioalciudadano@mininterior.gov.co; notificacionesjudiciales@mininterior.gov.co. Twitter: @MinInterior
- Mr. Diego Andrés Molano Aponte, Minister of National Defense. E-mail: usuarios@mindefensa.gov.co
- Ms. Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, Presidential Advisor for Human Rights and International Affairs of the Republic of Colombia. E-mail: angelicasalcedo@presidencia.gov.co ; nancyatuesta@presidencia.gov.co
- Mr. Francisco Barbosa Delgado, Attorney General of the Nation. Email: contacto@fiscalia.gov.co, denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co. Twitter: @FiscaliaCol
- Ms. Margarita Cabello Blanco, Attorney General of the Nation. Email: procurador@procuraduria.gov.co. Twitter: @PGN_COL
- Mr. Carlos Ernesto Camargo Assis, National Ombudsman. E-mail: secretaria_privada@hotmail.com, defensoria@defensoria.org.co
- Mr. Alfonso Campo Martínez, Director of the National Protection Unit. Email: director@unp.gov.co; correspondencia@unp.gov.co. Twitter: @UNPColombia
- Ms. Alicia Arango Olmos, Ambassador-Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations in Geneva. E-mail: donu.suiza@cancilleria.gov.co
- Ms. Juliette de Rivero, Representative in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. E-mail: oacnudh@hchr.org.co

Please also write to the diplomatic representatives of Colombia in your respective countries.

***

Paris-Geneva, November 17, 2021

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken by quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) is a program created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and aims to intervene to prevent or remedy concrete situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, contact the Hotline:
- E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
- Tel. FIDH: + 33 1 43 55 55 25 18
- OMCT Tel: + 41 22 809 49 39

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