I have an urgent request. Below is a letter to the Minister of the Interior and Justice in Colombia concerning three men with whom I have worked closely in the past five years. All three men do human rights work in Colombia and have recently been the target of death threats and false accusations by different armed groups within the country.
I am asking for folks to place their name into the letter, print and send it to the Minister. These threats have happened before and attention from the international community has been vastly helpful in creating safety for those concerned.
These cases have been picked up by Amnesty International as well. Amnesty’s site inlcudes a letter that is also available for sending.
Human rights documentation is a vital necessity within Colombia. The ongoing civil conflict as well as the action of para-military groups leaves many vulnerable but in particular the poor and marginalized. Please take a moment to send a letter today and help protect Human Rights Defenders. Peace Liz
Minister of the Interior and Justice
Sr. Fabio Valencia Cossio
Ministerio Del Interior y de Justicia
Carrera 9a. No. 14-10,
My name is______________ and I am a member of a nonprofit organization called 8th Day Center for Justice. This nonprofit represents over 40 religious congregations located in the Midwest. I am writing to express concern for the safety of members of the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission, including Father Javier Giraldo, Father Alberto Franco, and Danilo Rueda because of the explicit threats against them and because the two priests could be the target of the graffiti against “the Marxist priest”.
I am calling the Colombian government to conduct a full and impartial investigation into these threats and for those responsible for ordering and writing the threats to be brought to justice. I urge all authorities to provide effective protection to those individuals affected who request it and in strict accordance with their wishes and the protection measures granted by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights of the Organization of American States.
I want to remind and urge all authorities to fulfill their obligations to ensure human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear, as laid out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.
Thank you for your time in this urgent matter.
Your name etc.