Request for action from Amnesty International

An armed man and woman forced entry into the home of a Colombian human rights defender, Jackeline Rojas Castañeda. They threatened to kill her daughter and demanded information about her husband, Juan Carlos Galvis, a trade unionist.

On 9 November, the armed man and woman entered Jackeline Rojas Castañeda’s home in Barrancabermeja, in Northern Colombia. Jackeline Rojas Castañeda is a leading member of the Popular Women’s Organisation (Organización Femenina Popular, OFP). She has been working with the organization for 20 years.

The man and woman held Jackeline Rojas Castañeda and her 15-year-old daughter at gunpoint in separate rooms. They told Jackeline Rojas Castañeda that they would kill her daughter if she screamed or tried to call for help. She was tied up; gagged and red paint was sprayed on her body and clothes. Red paint was sprayed on photos showing Juan Carlos Galvis and “son of a bitch” (HP perro) and (HP perra) was daubed on the walls.

The attackers repeatedly demanded information on the whereabouts of her son and Juan Carlos Galvis, who is a director of the National Trade Union of Food Workers (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores del Sistema Agroalimentario, SINALTRAINAL). He is also a member of the executive committee of the Santander Department branch of the Trade Union Congress (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, CUT). In addition to the attack, two laptops, USB sticks, mobiles and documents were taken from Jackeline Rojas Castañeda’s house. These contained information about Juan Carlos Galvis’ work. On 10 November Jackeline Rojas Castañeda went to report the attack at the Attorney General’s Office. Her complaint was not admitted initially after staff at the Attorney General’s Office claimed she had invented the attack.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
n Express concern for the safety of Jackeline Rojas Castañeda and Juan Carlos Galvis and their family, and call for protection measures to guarantee their safety, in line with their wishes;
n Call on the authorities to launch a full and impartial investigation into the attack, and to publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;
n Remind the Colombian authorities to fulfil their obligations regarding the protections of human rights defenders as specified in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
Juan Manuel Santos
Señor Presidente Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República, Palacio de
Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26, Bogotá,
Fax: +57 1 596 0631
Salutation: Dear President Santos/
Excmo. Sr. Presidente Santos

Minister of Interior
Germán Vargas Lleras
Ministerio Del Interior
Carrera 9a. No. 14-10,
Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: +57 1 242 7400 ext 2351 say “me
da tono por favor”
Salutation: Dear Minister Vargas/
Estimado Sr. Ministro Vargas

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