Appeal for investigation on the killing of Human Rights Defender Mr. Rogelio Martinez in Colombia

Posted on June 13, 2010

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Good morning You wonderful fighter for Human Rights!

I have a question for You. Would You like to help me send the letter below to President Uribe of Colombia, to see that he investigates the killing of Human Rights Defender Mr. Rogelio Martinez? His family would never forget Your effort in this case!

You cannot e-mail directly. You have to enter this site: http://www.presidencia.gov.co/nuestra_enti/index.asp and somewhere at the top of the page You will find the button “Escribar al presidente”. You push the button and another sheet will open where You copy/paste the message below. Below the message in this blog You will find the translation from Spanish to English regarding Your contact-information.

Thanks in advance and have a beautiful day!

Your Excellency,

Human rights defender Mr Rogelio Martínez was killed on 18 May 2010 in San Onofre, Sucre, Colombia. Rogelio Martínez was a member of the Sucre branch of the Movimiento de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado – MOVICE (Movement of Victims of State Crimes). On 18 May 2010, at approximately 6pm, Rogelio Martínez was traveling by motorbike to his home, at the “El Alemania” plantation when he was knocked from his motorbike and assassinated by a group of hooded men, all of whom were dressed in black.

The “El Alemania” plantation in which Rogelio Martínez resided had been infiltrated by paramilitaries in 1997, subsequent to being handed over to the Instituto Colombiano de Reforma Agraria – Incora (Colombian Institute of Agrarian Reform). As a result of paramilitary operations in the area, the resident families were displaced in 2000. Just under two years ago, Rogelio Martínez had returned to the area and, since then, had reportedly been subjected to regular threats and intimidation from paramilitary agents, who accused him of being responsible for the return of inhabitants to the area and collaboration with leftist guerrillas.

Members of the Sucre branch of MOVICE have been subjected to constant threats and attacks as a result of their work in attempting to expose paramilitary influence in local politics and campaigning on behalf of victims. According to MOVICE, its members in Sucre have been subjected to over 50 acts of aggression since its formation in 2006 including, inter alia, assassinations, attacks, illegal raids, direct and indirect threats, and intimidation. Concerns had been previously been expressed in relation to threats and intimidation against MOVICE activists Juan David Díaz Chamorro and Ingrid Vergara, and, on 24 April 2010, concerning death threats issued against MOVICE and over 60 organisations and individuals by the paramilitary organisation ‘Los Rastrojos’.

I believe that the killing of Rogelio Martínez was a direct result of his legitimate work in defence of human rights. I see this as part of an ongoing campaign of defamation, threats, harassment and attacks against MOVICE. I am gravely concerned for the safety of MOVICE activists.

I urge the authorities in Colombia to:

1. Carry out an immediate, thorough, and impartial investigation into the killing of Rogelio Martínez, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Take measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of other MOVICE activists;

3. Publicly condemn any groups making unsubstantiated links between human rights organisations and guerrilla groups and publicly reaffirm the importance of the work of human rights defenders in Colombia;

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Colombia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

Yours sincerely

Pre-name:

Surname:

E-mail:

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Ministry: Sucre

Municipal: San Ofore

Telephonenumber:

Topic: Human rights defender Mr Rogelio Martínez

Theme: Denuncias

Sub-theme: Derchos Humanos

Posted in: Uncategorized