Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Columbia Support Group

Dear Members of CSN’s Urgent Action list :

CSN is sending along for your consideration the following letter. The letter is designed to encourage Colombia's Attorney General to carry forward sensitive investigations which he has begun. We are seeking signatures for this letter at the request of relatives of the Palace of Justice workers who were taken and disappeared by the Colombian Army and Police . If you decide to sign on please tell us how you want to be identified and what city, state or country you live in. Please circulate this letter to as many people as possible, so we can collect many signatures.
Thank you very much.Colombia Support Network Email : csn@igc.org

May 13, 2007

The Honorable
Minister of Foreign Relations
of the Republic of Colombia

The Honorable
Fiscal General ot the Republic of

Dear Minister Araujo and Attorney General Iguaran :

It has come to our attention that the office of the Attorney General has decided to move forward the proceedings in the case of the citizens who were disappeared from the Palace of Justice in Bogota in November of 1985. On November 6, 1985, the Palace of Justice was taken over in a senseless mission by the April 19 guerrilla movement ( M- 19). In response the Colombian Army carried out a brutal assault on the building, which was approved by the civilian authorities. On December 7, 2005 Attorney General Iguaran transferred the case from the human rights unit of his office to the unit of prosecutors delegated to the Supreme Court.

We respectfully request that the Foreign Minister order the temporary removal from his post of the Military Attaché to the Colombian Embassy in Chile, Carlos Alberto Frasica Naranjo, until the Attorney General’s office, through the investigative process which it is carrying out concerning the disappearance from the Palace of Justice (Case # 9755), establishes the responsibility of this general in this crime against humanity. This is based upon testimony from the year 1985 of a soldier, Yesid Cardona, who said that by order of then Major Frasica he personally transferred personnel from the cafeteria to the Casa del Florero Museum. The reference for this testimony of Yesid Cardona is Annals of the Colombian Congress, Year XXIX, # 141, November 19, 1986, page 37.

Likewise, we wish to congratulate Attorney General Iguaran for his courage in giving impulse to the investigation of the Palace of Justice case, since this case, like others of crimes against humanity, will not be solved until the truth is known, justice is done, and full reparations are made to the relatives of the victims.

We also respectfully ask Attorney General Iguaran to facilitate the arrangements for receiving the testimony of witness Ricardo Gamez, accepting all of the conditions which he has requested, given the exceptional status of this witness. We as the international community request that Ricardo Gamez’s testimony be taken in the presence of international representatives, as well as protected witnesses. We also ask that his testimony be filmed and recorded in the place chosen by him for the purpose of insuring the validity and receptivity of the testimony as evidence. We will follow closely the steps taken by the Attorney General’s office to take this testimony.

We also ask that the high ranking officers of the Colombian Army of that time be linked to the case through investigation. Among these are Generals Jesus Armando Arias Cabrales and Rafael Samudio Molina; Luis Carlos Sadovnik Sanchez ; and Generals Jose Luis Vargas Silva and Victor Delgado Mallarino of the National Police.

The international community also demands an explanation of why until now, the following persons have not been linked as subjects of investigation for the major roles they played in the decisions taken by them during the Palace of Justice events : former President Belisario Betancur, who recognized publicly in a radio and television address on November 7, 1985 full responsibility for the military operation of the retaking of the Palace of Justice ; his Minister of Communications, Nohemi Sanin, who silenced the mass media, ordering them to transmit a soccer match while the Palace of Justice operation was going on, instead of live interviews with Supreme Court President Alfonso Reyes Echandia and other justices ; and former Mayor of Bogota and then Minister of Government Jaime Castro . These officials have only been called as witnesses to events.


Noam Chomsky, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA

Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621
e-mail: csn@igc.org

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