Threats to a family and victims lawyers in the case of children from Tame
Mr. José Alvaro Torres, received a call from her eldest daughter’s cell phone, in which somebody advised him to leave Saravena if he didn’t want another son to be killed. The day before, the lawyers from Humanidad Vigente, received intimidating calls.
Today Thursday, March 24th, during the morning, Mr. Torres eldest daughter’s cell rang. It was a men’s voice asking who was answering and then sentencing. «ah, you are the daughter of that son of a bitch, tell him that we already have hurt him where he feels it more and that we are going to continue hurting him, we will not rest until we kill another one of his sons, he has to get out of Saravena, we know where he is living». Mr. Alvaro and his family are temporarily refugees at the building of the Organizaciones Sociales de Arauca.
To this threat, the intimidating calls of March 22nd, directed to the members of Humanidad Vigente are added. The same day in which the judge in charge of the case, Dr. Gloria Constanza Gaona, was assassinated in Saravena, Arauca, one member of the organization received two calls at home, where somebody ordered «to take two coffees to Olga’s office» and 30 minutes after, the same woman’s voice called to order «three coffees to the Lucho’s office».
Olga Silva, the victims representative attorney in the Tame’s kids case, and Luis Alfonso Ruiz, the Director of Humanidad Vigente, presented to the National Prosecution Office, a formal complaint against this intimidating acts that coincide with the Judge’s assassination, with the family threatening and with the situations from the last weeks against potential witnesses from the community, such as the prosecution of the communal leader Jose Toroca, who since October 2010, has actively participated in the accusation about the violation acts against the girls and homicide of one of them with her little brothers.
Humanidad Vigente, expresses its concern over the official versions that sign as the Judge Gaonas’ assassination motives, the narcotrafic and terrorism cases that she had in her office, these declarations given by different authorities can distract and confuse the public opinion. On the other hand, it is perceived as contradictory that the military authorities and the police make sure that the Judge was taking over complicated cases against Farc and Eln members and at the same time they were not giving her the necessary security and protection.
Given the risk situation that Torres family is having, we exhort the Interior Ministry, National Prosecution Office, and the Ombudsman, to take urgently the protection measures needed.
Also, we make a call to the international community, the human rights organizations, woman and children rights, media and public opinion to express their repudiation and rejection against the valiant Judge Gloria Constanza Gaona assassination and the persecution and intimidation against the family and victims’ lawyers of this atrocious crime in which all the peasant children rights in this country were violated.
In Arauca there are not judicial guarantees
Since November 2010, Humanidad Vigente, asked through the 51 Human Rights Prosecution Office, the change in the filing of the process to Bogota, for considering that there were no guarantees to make an adequate victims’ representation. This call was denied because the Prosecution Office considered that there were not grounds established by law to positively decide about this request. However, The Judge Gloria Constanza Gaona was assassinated. And we are also denouncing the threatening against the victim’s life and integrity: Mr. Alvaro Torres and his survival children.
Humanidad Vigente, as a the victims’ representative, is asking to the Board of Governors of the Judiciary to choose a Decongestion Jugde that takes over this process from Bogota to avoid actions that hinder the normal process of the judiciary administration and guarantee the victims’ rights to the truth, justice and integral reparation.
In this process it can be observed impunity mechanisms that the United Nations has signed as recurrent in investigations about the human rights violation cases. Last year the community reported National Army pressures, on March 14th, 2011 one of the most active leaders in the case and its rejection was judicialized. In the same way, the defense has worked with filibusters, looking for the sublieutenant’s Raul Muñoz Linares liberty, claiming expiration of terms.
Humanidad Vigente, makes a call to the National Attorney Office to intervene as a defense of the society interests in a convincing and opportune way, taking into account that until now, after 5 months of the process beginning, and despite of being an especial agency for this process, is has not taken any action to defend the society interests.
Finally, we extend a respectful request to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner and to the Delegation of the European Union to, according to its mandates, develop observation actions and quarantees for the victims’ rights in this case.