Days after organizing a public event to commemorate December 10th – International Human Rights Day – human rights organizations have started receiving a series of death threats. Included among those threatened are Berenice Celeyta of NOMADESC and SINTRAUNICOL, the university workers union.
OPSEU and activists in Colombia are familiar with these organizations and individuals. They have worked with us and been to Canada to talk about the importance of solidarity and the struggle of Colombian unions and human rights organizations to work for social justice.
These threats must be seen as the latest in a continuous campaign of intimidation and fear that NOMADESC and others in Colombia face daily. The nature and timing of these latest threats have our partners extremely worried. NOMADESC has specifically requested that their Canadian allies, such as OPSEU, help to mobilize Canadian support.
Please write immediately to:
Call on the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the death threats against members of the NOMADESC and SINTRAUNICOL and to publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;
Demand that they provide protection for those threatened, as agreed with those in danger;
Remind the authorities to fulfil their obligations regarding the situation of human rights defenders, as laid out in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
Urge the authorities to take immediate action to dismantle paramilitary groups, in line with stated government commitments and recommendations made by the UN and other intergovernmental organizations.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO:
Señor Presidente Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Presidente de la República, Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26, Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: +57 1 337 5890
Salutation: Dear President Uribe/Excmo. Sr. Presidente Uribe