Urgent Action: PROTECT JOURNALIST AT RISK (Colombia: UA 91.21)

August 27, 2021

On July 7, 2021 a local civil society organization received confidential information about a plan to kill journalist José Alberto Tejada. Since April 28, 2021 he has faced more than 14 security incidents including surveillance by unidentified men and a security forces official had treated with killing him. José Alberto Tejada’s work has been crucial in denouncing human rights violations and crimes under international law by the security forces during the Colombian National Strike, in the city of Cali (West). We urge the National Protection Unit of the Ministry of Interior to provide him with appropriate protection measures with his agreement.

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  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on October 22, 2021.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 91.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Alfonso Campos Martinez
Director of the National Protection Unit
Address: Carrera 63 # 14 – 97 / Primer Piso
Puente Aranda / Bogotá D.C. Colombia
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Francisco Santos
Embassy of Colombia
1724 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202 387 8338
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ColombiaEmbUSA ; @PachoSantosC
Facebook: @ColombiaEmbassyUS
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Mr. Campos,

I am writing to express concern for the safety journalist José Alberto Tejada, director of the Colombian media outlet Canal2. José Alberto’s work has been crucial in denouncing the human rights violations and crimes under international law committed by the security forces in the context of Colombian national Strike.

On July 7, 2021 the Inter-ecclesial Commission of Justice and Peace (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz) received confidential and credible information about an ongoing plan to kill José Alberto Tejada, including the fact that unidentified men collected 30 million of Colombian pesos to pay for his assassination.

Due to his work, José Alberto Tejada, has faced at least 14 different security incidents since national strike started, including surveillance by unidentified men and direct threats against his life. For example, on June 4, 2021 a member of the Group of Special Operations (GOES) of the National Police threatened Tejada while he was covering the humanitarian situation in the area called “Paso del Aguante” in Cali saying: “you are good enough to shoot you” (“está bueno como para pegarle un tiro”). On July 20, 2021 while José Alberto was covering the demonstrations on person of his protection team was shot three times, allegedly by an agent of National Police Mobile Anti-riot squad (ESMAD), wounding his shoulder, thigh, and knee. Also, José Alberto Tejada has been victim of stigmatization by high level public officials who have publicly accused him of spreading “fake news” to incite violence in Cali.

On July 9, 2021 José Alberto Tejada requested your office protection measures for him, his team and the premises of Canal2, that have not been issued yet, despite the serious risk faced by all these people.

Therefore, we urge you grant José Alberto Tejada appropriate protection measures that are result of a comprehensive risk assessment and that are agreed upon with him.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES