Thursday, 26 July 2007

C olombian Peace Community leader murdered - please act

On 13 July, Dairo Torres, a leader of the San José de Apartadó Peace Community in Colombia was taken from a bus by two armed members of an army-backed paramilitary group. The next bus along that rounte discoved his body by the road; he had been shot.

Dario Torres's murder is but the most recent of 160 murders of members of this Peace Community since its establishment ten years ago: people who have chosen not to align with any army actors in Colombia's messy wars. You may remember the film about this community, Until the Last Stone, that showed the fear and the basic poverty in which these people live. Agreeing to be a leader looks like a suicide bid.

The San José de Apartadó Peace Community is accompanied by PBI in Colombia. As a result of this murder PBI has issued an urgent activation of its support network; a step PBI only takes when things are really serious.

More information about Dario Torres, his community and the background to this case can be found on Amnesty's website.

Please write to your MP and request that the British Government asks the Colombian Government to
- give guarantees that these acts of persecution against the Peace Community will cease
- quickly investigate the facts of this case, including the role of the police in the assassination of Dairo Torres
- take immediate measures to ensure and effectively stop impunity for the crimes committed against the Peace Community, impunity that opens the way for repetition of such crimes.

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