Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia
Sr. Fiscal Francisco Barbosa Delgado, Attorney General of Colombia
November 26, 2021
We are deeply concerned about death threats to human rights defender Adriana Lizarazo, the coordinator of the Santander Department chapter of the Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) in Bucaramanga, Santander.
At around 12:26pm on November 13, Adriana Lizarazo received threats through the messaging application WhatsApp. The messages were sent from the number 313 879 3816, which signify the initials of the paramilitary organization Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces/Gulf Clan (AGC) The messages indicated that the sender had private information about Adriana Lizarazo, such as her place of residence, her workplace, and her family. The sender insisted on meeting with her. One message read: “I was ordered only to speak with Ms. Adriana Lizaraso…the issue is serious and very important…we want to speak with you…it’s nothing bad, at least not for now, that depends on you.”
When she did not respond to the messages, which contained excerpts of recent denunciations by CSPP, she finally received this one: “Since you didn't want to talk to us, the best thing is that you go away if you want to live…tell those sons-of-bitches that if they come to speak with you at the CSPP office that this ultimatum is also for them…if they don’t want to do it the easy way, we will do it the hard way.”
CSPP was also singled out as a target: “The committee of political prisoners of Bucaramanga from 12:56 Hr (sic) today 13 November 2021 is officially declared as a military objective of the GAITANISTAS SELF-DEFENSE FORCES OF COLOMBIA. GULF CLAN ... On Tuesday wait in the office ... a little package that we are going to send you.” The person also sent photos of firearms and someone dressed in military gear with a military rope and a bracelet with the initials AGC.
The threats to Adriana Lizarazo, her family, and members of CSPP-Santander are of great concern. INDEPAZ (Institute for the Study of Development and Peace) reports that from January 1 through November 15 of this year, there have been 152 acts of aggression against social leaders in Colombia.
We strongly urge that you
- conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the threats against Adriana Lizarazo, publish the results, and bring the perpetrators to justice
- adopt appropriate measures to guarantee the safety (physical and psychological) of Adriana Lizarazo, her family, and the members of CSPP-Santander, in strict accordance with their wishes
Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martínez
Alfonso Campo Martínez, Director de la Unidad Nacional de Protección ~ via email
Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via email, US mail
IACHR: Antonia Urrejola Noguera, Rapporteur for Colombia and the Rights of Indigenous Persons, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email, US mail
UN: Juliette De Rivero, Representative in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ~ via email
US Embassy: Kristen Farrell (human rights) and Mariel Chatman (vulnerable populations) ~ via email
US State Department: Christine Russell, Desk Officer for Colombia ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman and US Representatives Beatty, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email
14 NOV 2021_ContagioRadio__Colombia