ACTION: Attempted Kidnap of Female Defender (UA 26/12)

Hello once again.

We have just received news from our head office (the International Secretariat) that there was an attempt to kidnap a Colombian Human Rights Defender amid her pursuit of justice for the rape and killing of her daughter. We are very concerned for her safety and request that supporters write a letter urging the authorities to take measures to guarantee her safety.

Please take ten minutes of your day to write a letter and make a difference!

If you would like help writing your letter please don't hesitate to contact us on iar@amnesty.org.uk. If this is your first letter and you'd like us to look over it feel free to email it to us first.

You will also find attached three documents which make up the amazing resource that is the Participation Guide which will answer any questions you may have about the Network and how it works. This can also be downloaded at the bottom of the page on www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent

 

COLOMBIA

Blanca Nubia Díaz (f) and Irene López Garzón (f)

On 23 January, an attempted kidnapping took place of Blanca Nubia Diaz in Bogotá, Colombia. She is seeking justice for the rape and killing of her daughter Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz by paramilitaries.

On 23 January, in plain daylight, a car followed Blanca Nubia Díaz in Bogotá. A woman got out of the car and told Blanca Nibia Díaz that “Doctor Irene has sent us to tell you to come with us”. (La Doctora Irene mandó a decir que vaya con nosotros). When Blanca Nubia Díaz replied that she did not know this person, the woman insisted she get in the car, saying “Get in, how could you not know her, she is handling your case”. (Súbase, cómo no la va a conocer si ella lleva su caso). Blanca Nubia Díaz was repeatedly ordered to get into the vehicle and the woman also tried to force her inside. When Blanca Nubia Díaz started to call for help she left.

Blanca Nubía Díaz is a member of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas e Crímenes de Estado, MOVICE). She has been seeking justice after paramilitaries operating with the security forces tortured, raped and killed her daughter Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz in May 2001, in Albania Municipality, La Guajira Department. After the killing she reported the crime to the local Office of the Attorney General in Maicao, La Guajira Department. However, no progress was made in the case until the Constitutional Court ordered the authorities, in 2008, to investigate over 180 conflict-related sexual crimes against women and girls, including that of Blanca Nubia Díaz’s daughter. Irene López Garzón – who is Blanca Nubia Diaz’s lawyer and is a director of the human rights NGO Corporación Jurídica Yira Castro, which is also part of MOVICE – denies having sent someone to pick her up. She has also received repeated death threats over the years because of her work campaigning against impunity.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
* Express concern for the safety of Blanca Nubia Díaz, her family , Irene López Garzón, and other members of MOVICE and urge the authorities to guarantee their safety in strict accordance with their wishes;
* Call on the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the attempted kidnapping and threats against Blanca Nubia Díaz, her family and Irene López Garzón as well as the rape, torture and killing of Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz in 2001, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;
* Urge the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups and break their links with the security forces, in line with stated government commitments and UN recommendations made by the UN and other intergovernmental organizations.
* Urge the authorities to follow-up on the recommendations and conclusions of international and regional mechanisms for protection of women’s rights and combating violence against women.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 8 MARCH 2012 TO: (Time difference = GMT - 5 hrs / BST - 6 hrs)
President
Señor Juan Manuel Santos
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26, Bogotá,
Colombia
Fax:  0057 1 596 0631
Salutation:  Dear President Santos/Excmo. Sr. Presidente Santos

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