accion urgente

**Adapted from original text in Spanish, annexed below**

The below-signed advocacy and human rights organisations denounce the events that took place today which violate the human rights and endanger the lives of the Silva Aranguren Family (father, mother and sister). This is the family of JHONNY SILVA ARANGUREN , a student who was the victim of an extra-judicial execution that happened within the campus grounds of Universidad del Valle in the city of Santiago de Cali on September 22, 2005 , at the hands of the ESMAD Mobile Anti-riot police .

We demand that the Colombian state, specifically President Juan Manuel Santos, the Ombudsman (E ) ALFONSO Cajío CABRERA , the Attorney General JORGE FERNANDO PERDOMO TORRES (E ), take action to guarantee protection for the lives of SILVA ARANGUREN family.

The facts:

At 8.46am on 30 April 2016, Ms ENERIET ARANGUREN received a telephone call on the family landline, in which a man on the other end of the line said:

» Good morning Doña Eneriet, yesterday we tried to contact you, you know that as here in the Buitrera there are thugs , there are rapists, this has become very dangerous. We are the Camilo Torres social cleansing group. We are doing social cleansing and we need you to help us out with two boxes. We are doing cleaning and we need you to help us out with two boxes of ammunition. » She replied ‘What do you mean?’, to which the man said, ‘We have you under surveillance, if you want come to the window and you will see that the boys are there, and if not, if you want then we will send for you in the truck.’

Eneriet continues, ‘They then said something else which I haven’t been able to remember Word for Word, but it was a threat, but with a term I hadn’t Heard. Then he said ‘positive, negative, positive, negative, do not hang up, do not hang up, so I just didn’t say anything…then they hung up’.

Human rights organisations reacted immediately, we contacted local authorities, as well as the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cali, and we immediately went to the house of the SILVA ARANGUREN family. Upon arriving we were told that a police patrol had arrived to the house and taken a statement of what had occurred. Later on, at around 12.20pm, the commander of the local police station at Melendez, Cali, arrived to the home and took further details in the presence of human rights defenders from Nomadesc, Sintraunicol Valle, and the Comité de Solidariadad con Presos Politicos Valle, who requested that action be taken to protect the Silva Aranguren family. It was also agreed to hold a meeting between the community of Buitrera and the local authorities to hear testimonies about the serious levels of insecurity in the area, and rumours of the arrival of an armed paramilitary group in recent months.


It should be noted that the case of Jhonny Silva’s murder at the hands of the police remains in absolute impunity, despite abundant evidence showing the responsibility of the police and clear evidence of a high-level cover up in this case. On 4 August 2008, prosecutors on the case concluded:

‘it has been established that Jhonny Silva was killed by an unidentified member of ESMAD (police mobile anti-riot squad)’

Despite this, and despite the subsequent identification of the responsible officers, in 2009 they were absolved by state prosecutors. In 2015, an administrative tribunal ordered the state to pay a derisory sum of money in compensation to Jhonny’s family, however it did not accept that the student was the victim of an extra-judicial execution at the hands of the police. The family rejected the verdict because it diluted the level of state responsibility, and are awaiting the verdict of an appeal against this decision.

It is concerning that despite the derisory payment, it was announced to the media that the family was going to receive a large sum of money, which aside from being an insult also increases the risk against the family’s safety. Since Jhonny’s murder the family have been continuously and systematically threatened and harassed in an attempt to stop their tireless campaign for justice and against impunity, all of which have been reported to national authorities as well as international organisations including the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

We urgently request:

a) That this latest threat be thoroughly investigated in order to establish the identity of those responsible and bring them to justice.

b) That urgent protective measures are taken to ensure that no harm comes to the SILVA ARANGUREN family.





If you are in the UK you can email the Colombian embassy at elondres@cancilleria.gov.co. Address your email to Nestor Osorio Londoño, Colombian Ambassador to the UK.

If you are on Twitter, you could use this suggested tweet:

@JuanManSantos @MinInterior We are deeply concerned by threats against mother of murdered student Jhonny Silva and the Silva Araguren family


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