URGENT ACTION: Demand Release of 4 UniValle Students Charged with Terrorism Print
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Urgent Actions
Sunday, 13 April 2008 19:49

 

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THE ASSOCIATION FOR INVESTIGATION AND SOCIAL ACTION and the organisations that constitute LA CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR (FORBIDDEN TO FORGET), denounce before the national and international community the continued violation of Human Rights that is being committed by the Colombian public forces and judicial apparatus against the University of Valle community since the 4th April 2008, as evidenced by the following facts:

1.         On the 3rd April 2008, the students of the University of Valle decided to stage a protest against the Colombian government, headed by ÁLVARO URIBE VÉLEZ, and it’s policy of cuts to the budget for publicly-funded further education, to privatise further education and decrease the quality of university education through educational reforms.

2.         In this context, from midday, violating the Autonomía Universitaria, special autonomous status given to universities by the National Constitution, the Governor of Valle de Cauca, JUAN CARLOS ABADIA, ordered the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (or ESMAD, by their Spanish acronym) of the Cali Metropolitan Police force, to enter the university campus under the command of JESUS ANTONIO GOMEZ MENDEZ. It is worth remembering that this squadron has carried out actions of this type on several occasions, as a result of which they have murdered students such as in the case of JHONNY SILVA ARANGUREN, and seriously injured students and workers, and have caused lots of damage to the physical structure of the university. This shows a systematic policy of violation of the rights of the university community and the application of severe and repressive methods.

3.         Upon entering the University, the members of the squadron shot at the university community before proceeding to break glass and cause destruction, principally in the Engineering Faculty. The students repelled the action by placing rocks, desks and chairs to prevent them from advancing any further. In this wave of official violence against the university community the Human Rights Defender and Trade Union Member, JOSE MILCIADES SANCHEZ ORTIZ, was brutally assaulted by a member of the ESMAD squadron who shot him with a tear gas canister, impacting him in the arm. At the time, Jose was filming the incursion of the squadron and their rampage on the university campus. After striking him they told him he was being detained for disrespect of the authorities. One of the agents told him “We had you warned, skinny son of a bitch”. At this moment another agent whispered something to the one who had him by the neck, who then let him go telling him that he wasn’t being detained but ordered him to stay in the middle of them, at which point Mr Sanchez resisted and retreated from the scene.

4.         Thereupon, the university campus was invaded by heavily-armed army personnel, placing the integrity of the university popultation at high risk.

5.         Adding to these grave facts, the police proceeded to detain 11 students who were on the campus at that moment (several students were also beaten), 7 of those detained were freed thanks to pressure from human rights institutions, family members and students.  

6.         The other 4 students, ANDRÉS PALOMINO, DANIEL LENIS, NILSON RUALES and HOOVER ASCÁRATE, are being prosecuted. On Friday 4th April the criminal court 25 Penal Municipal the capture of the students was legalized/upheld based on the testimony of Police Subtenent Luz Marina Amará Quintero, to whom the Fiscal Carlos Martín La Torre Patiño, gave complete credibility. In the same hearing the students were notified of the crime which they have been charged with TERRORISM. The students were ordered to be REMANDED IN CUSTODY, which was appealed by the defence, and will be decided in the appeal hearing.

7.         We emphasise that these students don’t have anything to do with the crimes which the Fiscal  Carlos Martín La Torre Patiño has charged them with and which was upheld by the Judge of control in the Garantías 25 Penal Municipal.

We demand :

The immediate release of the students unjustly detained and accused of TERRORISM and DAMAGE TO PROPERTY [lit. someone  else’s goods].

RECOMMEDED ACTION/ ACCION SOLICITADA

We solicit that you denounce these actions to the national authorites : / Solicitamos sus pronunciamientos ante las autoridades nacionales.

[Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds : to the Colombian Embassy in UK Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or your country.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]

Presidency of the Republic

Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Presidente de la República
Cra 8 # 7-26, Palacio de Nariño, Bogotá D.C.
E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Fax: 57 1 566 2071

Vicepresidency of the Republic

Dr. Francisco Santos, Vicepresidente de la República
Cra 8ª # 5-57, Bogotá D.C.  E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Presidential Programme of Human Rights and Internacional Humanitarian Law

Dr. Carlos Franco, Director
Cll 7 # 5-54, Bogotá D.C.
Teléfono: 565 97 97 ext. 744 E. mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

General Prosecutor of the Nation

Dr. Mario Hernán Iguarán Arana. Fiscal General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B # 52-01, Bogotá D.C.
E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

National Defender of the People

Dr. Volmar Pérez Ortiz. Defensor Nacional del Pueblo 
Teléfono: 314 73 00  E.mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

General Solicitor of the Nation

Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón. Procurador General de la Nación
Teléfono : 336 00 11 E.mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Office of the United Nations High Comission for Human Rights in Colombia

Oficina del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los DerechosHumanos en Colombia.

Teléfonos 658 33 00 E.mail  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

National Police Human Rights Programme

Programa de Derechos Humanos de la Policía Nacional

Coronel Efraín Oswaldo Aragón. Director
Teléfono: 315 94 38 E.mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

National Army Human Rights Office

Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Ejército Nacional

Coronel Enrique Garay Saleg. Director
Teléfono: 266 03 16  E.mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ACCION URGENTE

LA ASOCIACIÓN PARA LA INVESTIGACIÓN Y ACCIÓN SOCIAL y las organizaciones que integran LA CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR, denuncian ante la comunidad nacional e internacional la continua violación de Derechos Humanos que se está ejerciendo por parte de la fuerza pública y el aparato judicial en contra de la comunidad de la Universidad del Valle desde el día 4 de abril del 2008, que se evidencia en los siguientes hechos:

1. El día 03 de abril de 2008 los estudiantes de la Universidad del Valle decidieron  adelantar una acción de protesta en contra del  gobierno colombiano en cabeza de ÁLVARO URIBE VÉLEZ, y su política de realizar recortes al presupuesto para la educación superior pública, privatizar la educación superior y desmejorar la calidad en la educación universitaria a través de una reforma educativa. 

2. Dentro de este contexto, hacia el medio día violando la Autonomía Universitaria consagrada en la Constitución Nacional, el gobernador del Valle del Cauca, JUAN CARLOS ABADIA, ordena a la fuerza pública ingresar al campus universitario; el Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios de la Policía de Cali comandado por el coronel JESUS ANTONIO GOMEZ MENDEZ. Vale recordar que este escuadrón en varias oportunidades ha realizado este tipo de acciones y como resultado de las misma han asesinado a estudiantes como es el caso de JHONNY SILVA ARANGUREN, resultado heridos a veces de gravedad varios estudiantes y trabajadores, además de haber ocasionado muchos daños en la estructura física de la universidad, con lo que se evidencia una política sistemática de violación de los derechos de la comunidad universitaria y la aplicación de medidas represivas severas. Metropolitana

3. Al ingresar a la Universidad los miembros de este escuadrón dispararon contra la comunidad universitaria, procedieron después a romper los vidrios y causar destrozos en los salones de clase de la facultad de ingenierías principalmente, l@s estudiantes repelieron a la acción colocando  piedras, escritorios y asientos para evitar que estos avanzaran más. En esta ola de violencia oficial en contra de la comunidad universitaria fue brutalmente agredido por un miembro del ESMAD quien le disparó un gas lacrimógeno impactándolo en el brazo, el miembro del sindicato y defensor de Derechos Humanos Jose Milciades Sánchez Ortíz, quien se encontraba filmando el ingreso de este escuadrón y sus atropellos en el campus universitario, después de golpearlo le dijeron que estaba detenido por irrespeto a la autoridad, uno de los agentes le dijo. « Te lo teníamos adevertido, flaco hijodeputa» en ese momento un agente le susurró al oido a al agente que lo tenía encuellado, quien lo soltó, le informó que no estaba detenido pero le ordenó quedarse en medio de ellos, a lo que el señor Sánchez se negó y s retiró de ese sitio.

4. Acto seguido el campus universitario fue invadido por personal del ejército fuertemente armado, poniendo en alto riesgo la integridad de la población universitaria.

5. Sumándose a estos graves hechos la policía procedió a detener a 11 estudiantes  que estaban en ese momento en el campus, (también fueron golpeados varios estudiantes), 7 de los detenidos fueron liberados gracias a la presión de algunas instituciones de derechos humanos, familiares y estudiantes.

6. Los otros Cuatro estudiantes son ANDRÉS PALOMINO, DANIEL LENIS, NILSON RUALES y HOOVER ASCÁRATE y están siendo judicializados; el viernes 04 de abril  en el Juzgado 25 Penal Municipal fue legalizada la captura con base en el testimonio de la Subteniente de