Colombia Solidarity Campaign

- Fighting for Peace with Justice -


PUBLIC ACCUSATION New acts of persecution and stigmatisation against Valle University Print
Urgent Actions
Wednesday, 08 April 2009 22:25

With this document, the Cali subdivision of the Colombian University Workers Union (abbr. SINTRAUNICOL) in Valle University seeks to draw national and international attention to events which occurred on April 4th, 2009, when members of the Colombian National Police Force and Prosecutor's Office entered the university with the intention of carrying out a raid.


  1. At approximately 4:30 am on April 4th 2009, officers from the National Police Force, apparently ordered by prosecutor Ángela Londoño of Cali, entered the university with the aim of carrying out a raid of buildings 385 (Estanislao Zuleta), 381 (Physical Education and Sports) and the workshop.

  2. This raid, led by the National Police Force in collaboration with the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) and the Judicial Investigations and Intelligence Service (SIJIN), continued until approximately 7:00 am and was directed by General Ricardo Ricaurte, commander of the Valle del Cauca police force.

  3. The ESMAD and police personnel participating in this operation proceeded to identify and photograph the human rights campaigners and university workers that tried to confirm the validity of the actions, preventing them from doing so.

  4. It is incredibly worrying that the authorities claim to have seized explosive material outdoors. It is extremely strange that, if this material was found outdoors, it should be in perfect condition and show no signs of degradation or dampness from it's exposure to the elements.

  5. In addition, we condemn the way the Prosecutor's Office refused to present the documents authorizing the raid and furthermore that the needless blank space they contained could well have been a mechanism to enable them to be altered according to how events would unfold.

  6. It is extremely strange that, though no criminal material was recorded found during the raid carried out in the workshop building, subsequently the National Police Force altered records to claim that sizeable quantities not registered at the time were seized.

  7. This raid occurred only a few hours afters after a Valle University High Council meeting with the Valle del Cauca government in which no mention of it was made. During this session the various university departments stated the failure of the government to meet its legal obligations to provide funding to the university. These funds have been embezzled by the current Governor, Juan Carlos Abadía C since January 1st, 2008.

  8. Additionally we condemn the claims made to the media by General Ricardo Ricaurte, Commander of the Police, that the university was now closed, in conflict with the autonomy of the university whose competent authorities have not reached this decision.

  9. As well as the four students and a teacher who have been assassinated between 2005 and 2007, in the last few months various members of the university have been taken hostage, threatened and persecuted, like the cases at the Buenaventura site of the university and the murder of the student in his second term studying Company Administration Juan David Jiménez Caballos on March 26th 2009 a few meters from the Zarzal site in the north of the Cauca Valley.

These details and the dawn raid are occuring in the context of a montage of legal proceedings against workers, students and teachers in the National Universities; Pedagógica, Distrital, Industrial of Santander, Antioquia and of la Guajira (the last two there have also been assassinations of students in March 2009) and where academic work and social protest are cataloged by the authorities as guerrilla or terrorist actions. It is unsetteling that this persecution is being carried out at a time when State universities are financially very weak.

Due to the above, we request you to demand that the colombian authorities will ;

a) thoroughly investigate the irregularities which we have denounced here, as well as the acts which are weakening State Universities and attacking their autonomy.

Cali, April 4th 2009.


Sindicato de Trabajadores Universitarios de Colombia SINTRAUNICOL- Subdirectiva Cali



London Mining Network


The London Mining Network (LMN) is an alliance of human rights, development and environmental groups. We pledge to expose the role of companies, funders and government in the promotion of unacceptable mining projects.