The peace process in Colombia will be a big failure if cases such as the Carlos Alberto Pedraza Salcedo one do not obtain truth, justice and guarantee of no repetition.
Below is a model letter to send to the Colombian authorities:
The assassination of the human rights defender and social leader CARLOS ALBERTO PEDRAZA SALCEDO happened in the context of systematic threats received during the months of October, November and December in 2014 and during the month of January in 2015, by social, political y humans rights defender organisations from the self-named ‘’ AGUILAS NEGRAS `` paramilitary group who is part of the Colombian paramilitarism and who accused them of being in agreement with the peace process that is going forward between the guerrillas and the government.
The forced disappearance and homicide of Carlos Pedraza has augmented el number of human rights defender`s assassinations, which reached 34 for the first semester of 2015 according to a SOMOS DEFENSORES report. The impunity with which the Colombian justice settled these cases to its convenience was described in this report: ``… it is 219 human rights defender homicides which happened between January 2009 and June 2013 that happened in total impunity as the record shows that 95% of these cases never went further than the preliminary investigation step done by the Attorney General and that only one case ended with a firm sentence against the assassins. It is more than probable that the rate of impunity in these cases happen 100% of the time with an inexplicable institutional silence from the Attorney General’s office.
With the passing of time, and by taking the district attorney’s office actions in the last years as references, it is possible to conclude that there is a lack of political and administrative will from the National Office of the Attorney General in order to deal with the culprits of the aggressions against the human rights defenders in Colombia; on the other hand, there are evidences of a noticeable rapidity and efficiency on the part of the Attorney General and his investigating bodies to judicialize and to criminalize human rights defenders and their actions when they are accused of various offenses.
This affirmation is supported by the fact that in the six first month of the year 2015, 332 human rights defenders were victims of threats, including 27 threatening flyers against their lives and activities, and the General Attorney did not show any progress in any of these cases.1
The entities in charge have ignored requests for an investigation in the case of Carlos Pedraza from the Observatory for the Protection of the Human Rights Defenders (OMCT), from the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), from the Organization of American States (OAS), from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) and from the United Nations (UN)
We continue to carry out the same questions that were raised this year by social organizations.
- Is there an institutional resistance from theAttorney Generaly to investigate these threats?
- Why did the Attorney General not give any results in any of these cases in at least the past 5 years?
WE REQUEST :
- The acceleration of the case of the forced disappearance and homicide that is underway in the district attorney 98 of the National Unity of Human Rights.
- To carry out an independent, impartial and exhaustive investigation concerning the intellectual and material culprits of the assassination of CARLOS ALBERTO PEDRAZA SALCEDO.
- To impose justice upon the culprits of the crimes, to find the truth concerning the motivation of the assassination and to put an end to the impunity.
- To protect the physical and psychological integrity of the members of the Social and Political Movement The People`s Congress
- To put an end to all kind of threats, harassment and attacks against the members of the Colombian social and popular movement.
- To guarantee the respect of the human rights and fundamentals liberties in the whole country, in conformity with the international human rights norms ratified by the Colombian state.
- To ensure the application of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders’ dispositions, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1988.
1Informe Enero-Junio 2015 Programa Somos Defensores. Agresiones contra defensores de Derechos Humanos en Colombia. “Los Nadie”. Programa Somos Defensores y Asociación Minga. Pgs. 31- 33.