Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez | President of the Republic of Colombia
Sr. Fiscal Francisco Barbosa Delgado | Attorney General of Colombia
April 14, 2022
We, members of the InterReligious Task Force, are deeply distressed about the assassination of yet another Colombian social leader. Luis Carlos Bustamante Fernández was a social, cultural and activist leader of the LGBTIQ+ community on the Island of San Andrés.
Luis Carlos Bustamante Fernández became the 42nd human rights defender assassinated in 2022 and 1,328th since the signing of the Peace Accords in November 2016. Not only does his assassination fit a long pattern of murders of LGBTIQ+ leaders but also of an attack on the culture of the island. Luis Carlos Bustamante Fernández was the current representative of the archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia to the Central Committee of Artists of the National Dance Council.
The assassination of Luis Carlos Bustamante Fernández, age 40, was the first documented of an LGBTIQ+ leader this year. His employer and co-workers found his body on March 17 near the entrance of the construction site Cueva de Morgan in the south of the island. Local law enforcement reported that his body had signs of torture. He was a dance performer who also worked security at the tourist attraction. According to the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office, at least 98 LGBTIQ+ people were murdered in Colombia between 2020 and 2021.
On March 17, the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz) confirmed that Luis Carlos Bustamante Fernández was the second musician murdered that week on San Andrés. On March 14, Fabián Pérez Hooker, more commonly known as Hety from the band Hety and Zambo, was resting at home in San Andrés when he was assassinated with two bullets. Two artists murdered within days on one island is not only significant for the locality, but in 2021 there were ten artists murdered in Colombia. According to the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL), eight of those ten were premeditated. Many musicians and other artists are involved in defense of environmental, cultural and social rights, and do work against violence and drugs.
Because of the assassination and torture of Luis Carlos Bustamante Fernández, concern for the safety of the members of the LGBTIQ+ community throughout Colombia, and concern for the social and artistic leaders of San Andrés, we call upon your integrity and humanity to:
- carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the intellectual and material actors behind the torture and assassination of Luis Carlos Bustamante Fernández and the assassination of Fabian Pérez Hooker, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice, in accordance with international standards
- guarantee that all LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of restrictions or reprisals in Colombia.
Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via email, US mail
Daniel Palacios, Minister of the Interior ~ via email
Joel Hernández García, Rapporteur for Colombia , Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email, US mail
Roberta Clarke, Rapporteur on the Rights of LGTBI 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 ~via email
US Representatives Beatty, Brown, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email
18 MAR 2022_Infobae__Colombia