Juan Manuel Santos
Juan Manuel Santos
Juan Manuel Santos

Presidente Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la Rep?blica,
Palacio de Nari?o,
Carrera 8 No.7-26
Bogot?,
Colombia
Fax: +57 1 596 0631 / 566 2071
Email: // [email protected]
[email protected];
Nezly Mariedt Le?n Monsalve
[email protected]

Dear President Santos,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

I would like to draw your attention to the following case.

 

On 23 July 2015, human rights defender Ms Nicolasa D?az Ortiz received two anonymous telephone calls to her home in which her life was threatened.

Nicolasa D?az Ortiz is the executive director of Asociaci?n de ni?os y J?venes Casa Taller las Moyas, a community organisation based in the San Luis Nororiental Chapinero neighbourhood of Bogot?. It was opened to provide a space for children and young people to study or carry out other activities, in light of a lack of social amenities in the area. Nicolasa D?az Ortiz is also a founding member and board member of Asociaci?n para la Investigaci?n y Acci?n Social (NOMADESC) an organisation which aims to give a voice to isolated rural communities at risk of displacement and promote inclusion, community empowerment and development in Colombia.

On 23 July 2015, the human rights defender received two phone calls on her land-line phone at 9:43pm and 9:46pm. On the first call, an unidentified man who was distorting his voice cursed at her. On the second call an undistorted male voice directly threatened her life by saying ?estamos llamando de la funeraria San Gabriel y quer?amos decirle que hemos vigilado su casa y sabemos que se va a morir pronto? (we are calling from the San Gabriel funeral home and we would like to inform you that we have been watching your house and we know that you’re going to die soon). The telephone line at Nicolasa D??z Ortiz’s home had been out of service for two and a half months and had only just been repaired on 23 July, the day she received the threatening phone calls.

The human rights defender has faced other risks in recent months. On 16 May 2015 a group of unknown individuals broke into the Casa Taller. The incident was reported to the police, and members of the Comandos de Atenci?n Inmediata ? CAI (immediate attention Commands) were dispatched to the address. However, they did not carry out any analysis of the scene, instead advising Nicolasa D?az to secure the property better and to file a complaint.

Following complaints from several organisations that support Casa Taller, Colonel Ra?l Ver? Moreno was assigned to the case. On 17 May 2015, the Colonel visited the organisation and made some enquiries, before organising a number of searches on neighbouring properties. That night, at 11:00pm, Ra?l Ver? Moreno arrived at the home of Nicolasa D?az, accompanied by two patrol cars and three police motorcycles. They carried a suspect and asked Nicolasa D?az Ortiz to identify him. This placed the human rights defender at great risk of retribution. It is not clear why police did not carry out an anonymous identification parade at the police station. On 18 and 19 May further searches were carried out on the orders of Colonel Ver? Moreno. On 13 June 2015, a complaint was filed against him on basis of various irregularities in the investigation, including exposing the witness to risk of retaliative attacks.

Nicolasa D?az Ortiz, together with other members of the board of NOMADESC, was awarded precautionary security measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in 2004 as a result of ongoing threats against them. Despite their attempts to have the precautionary measures implemented by the State, none of the board members are currently receiving any protection.

I believe that the death threats against Nicolasa D?az Ortiz are directly related to her work in the defence of human rights. Front Line Defenders is seriously concerned for the security and physical and psychological integrity of Nicolasa D?az Ortiz, as well as other members of the Asociaci?n de ni?os y J?venes Casa Taller las Moyas and NOMADESC.

I urge the authorities in Colombia to:

1. Carry out an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into the death threats against Nicolasa D?az Ortiz, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Nicolasa D?az Ortiz, as well as other members of the Asociaci?n de ni?os y J?venes Casa Taller las Moyas and NOMADESC;

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.

Sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Defender & ?Freelance Journalist

Twitter @wnicholasgomes

Email: [email protected]

www.facebook.com/williamnicholasgomes

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.