Monday December 18, 2017
SNc Channels:

Search
About Salem-News.com

 

Jan-10-2014 12:51printcomments

Colombia: Second Break-In at the Offices of CPDH and ANDAS

Initiate an immediate, exhaustive and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned breaks-in, as well as into the intimidation and threats against CPDH, ANDAS and their members, with a view to identifying those responsible and bringing them to justice in accordance with international standards-William Nicholas Gomes

Salem-News.com
Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes

(WASHINGTON, DC) - On 6 January 2014, the Valle del Cauca offices of the Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos – CPDH (Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights) and of the Asociación Nacional de Ayuda Solidaria – ANDAS (National Association of Assistance and Solidarity) were broken into. This is the second time in three months that their offices have been broken into and sensitive information taken.

The CPDH is an organisation that works on the protection of the rights of civilians in the context of the armed conflict. ANDAS defends the rights of victims of forced displacement. During the robbery on 6 January 2013, four monitors, one laptop and two bags containing sensitive information were taken, as well as a central processing unit. Additionally, files and drawers had been searched through, the doors of the office were damaged and filing cabinets destroyed. Nothing of economic value was taken. The incident comes in the context of intimidation and high risk for the members of CPDH and ANDAS.

The CPDH del Valle suffered the enforced disappearance of its ex-director, Mr Walter Alvarez Ossa, on 16 August 2006; the detention and theft of belongings of its sub-director, Mr Rodrigo Vargas, on 19 August 2013 and a subsequent attempt to disappear him; and repeated threats to the life of its director, Mr Athemay Sterling. On 9 May 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights granted protection measures to members of CPDH del Valle as well as to other sections of CPDH. The organisation has been facing the harassment of people at its offices, its directors being followed, and stigmatisation of the organisation and its members. The CPDH has filed formal complaints with regard to all of these facts but it is reported that the only investigation consisted of investigators coming to the office to take photos without any follow-up action, an act which the organisation views as intimidatory. Front Line Defenders issued an urgent appeal regarding threats against members of CPDH on 10 July 2013. Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com is concerned that the break-in at the offices of CPDH and ANDAS is linked with their peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights, and in particular their work to defend the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia.


Señor Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República,
Palacio de Nariño,
Carrera 8 No.7–26,
Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: +57 1 596 0631
Fax: +57 1 5662071
fernandoibarra@presidencia.gov.co
comunicacionesvp@presidencia.gov.co
www.presidencia.gov.co

Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.

On 6 January 2014, the Valle del Cauca offices of the Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos – CPDH (Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights) and of the Asociación Nacional de Ayuda Solidaria – ANDAS (National Association of Assistance and Solidarity) were broken into. This is the second time in three months that their offices have been broken into and sensitive information taken. The CPDH is an organisation that works on the protection of the rights of civilians in the context of the armed conflict. ANDAS defends the rights of victims of forced displacement.

During the robbery on 6 January 2013, four monitors, one laptop and two bags containing sensitive information were taken, as well as a central processing unit. Additionally, files and drawers had been searched through, the doors of the office were damaged and filing cabinets destroyed. Nothing of economic value was taken.

The incident comes in the context of intimidation and high risk for the members of CPDH and ANDAS. The CPDH del Valle suffered the enforced disappearance of its ex-director, Mr Walter Alvarez Ossa, on 16 August 2006; the detention and theft of belongings of its sub-director, Mr Rodrigo Vargas, on 19 August 2013 and a subsequent attempt to disappear him; and repeated threats to the life of its director, Mr Athemay Sterling. On 9 May 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights granted protection measures to members of CPDH del Valle as well as to other sections of CPDH.

The organisation has been facing the harassment of people at its offices, its directors being followed, and stigmatisation of the organisation and its members. The CPDH has filed formal complaints with regard to all of these facts but it is reported that the only investigation consisted of investigators coming to the office to take photos without any follow-up action, an act which the organisation views as intimidatory. Front Line Defenders issued an urgent appeal regarding threats against members of CPDH on 10 July 2013.

I am concerned that the break-in at the offices of CPDH and ANDAS is linked with their peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights, and in particular their work to defend the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia.

Human Rights Ambassador Salem-News.com William Nicholas Gomes urges the authorities in Colombia to:

  1. Initiate an immediate, exhaustive and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned breaks-in, as well as into the intimidation and threats against CPDH, ANDAS and their members, with a view to identifying those responsible and bringing them to justice in accordance with international standards;
  2. Reassess and reinforce protection measures for members of CPDH del Valle and other CPDH offices;
  3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Colombia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Yours Sincerely,
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
Twitter@wnicholasgomes
www.williamnicholasgomes.com

- See more at: http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/24631/action#sthash.DgbgPIEQ.dpuf

________________________________________

_________________________________________




Comments Leave a comment on this story.
Name:

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.


[Return to Top]
©2017 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


Articles for January 9, 2014 | Articles for January 10, 2014 | Articles for January 11, 2014

Donate to Salem-News.com and help us keep the news flowing! Thank you.

The NAACP of the Willamette Valley

Tribute to Palestine and to the incredible courage, determination and struggle of the Palestinian People. ~Dom Martin

googlec507860f6901db00.html