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Ambassador Francisco Santos Calderón
Embassy of Colombia
1724 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202 387 8338 I Fax: 202-232-8643
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Attorney General,
On 11 January, two unidentified men in a motorbike shot three times at the car in which Alfamir Castillo was in a rural area of the municipality of Pradera, Valle del Cauca Department, southern Colombia. Alfamir Castillo was with her husband and the two bodyguards granted by the National Protection Unit (Unidad Nacional de Protección) and were not injured. Alfamir Castillo has faced several threats and attacks for years as she is seeking justice for the unlawful killing of her son Darbey Mosquera Castillo, by members of the Colombian armed forces in 2008. This extrajudicial execution was part of the Colombian “false positives” scandal, in which members of the armed forces unlawfully killed civilians to get rewards. Seven members of the Colombian army have been sentenced to more than 40 years in prison for these extrajudicial executions.
On 10 and 11 January, Alfamir Castillo received two death threats, claiming that her protection measures would be useless to protect her life, that she “will pay in blood her insolence against [their] commander” and “will pay for all that has happened to [them]”. On 15 October 2018, Alfamir Castillo received another death threat on her phone, in relation to her attendance to the hearing of former Army Commander Mario Montoya at the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz), who could be linked to the death of her son: “we are warning you that we don’t want to see you at the hearings because this time our threats will become true…your death is close”.
I urge you to conduct a prompt, independent, effective and impartial investigation into the threats and attacks against Alfamir Castillo, and to bring all those responsible to justice, including those who ordered such attacks; as well as to guarantee comprehensive protection to Alfamir Castillo in consultation with her.