On 14 August Juan
Pablo Gutiérrez was near his home in the Colina Campestre neighbourhood in
Bogotá, the Colombian capital, when an unknown individual gave him an envelope
with no return address. The envelope contained a death threat targeting Juan
Pablo Gutiérrez and other members of the National Indigenous Organization of
Colombia (Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia, ONIC) as well as members of the Cauca Indigenous Regional Council
(Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca, CRIC).
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez is a Colombian-French photographer and defender of
Indigenous Peoples’ rights. He is an international representative of ONIC and
has collaborated with Amnesty International on several photographic projects.
Both ONIC and CRIC have a longstanding history in
the protection and promotion of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia. The
threat, which was signed by the paramilitary group Black Eagles, Capital Bloc
(Aguilas Negras, Bloque Capital), accused Juan Pablo Gutiérrez of being close
to the guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas
Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) and declared him a military target. It then
stated: “[w]e remind the snitch son of a bitch Juan Pablo Gutiérrez and his
ONIC and CRIC comrades manipulating the country’s indigenous peoples that
Colombia must be respected! Those who dishonour the brave national state must
be eliminated. It does not matter if the bastard son of a bitch is protected.
In Colombia or elsewhere he has little time left.” In the days following this
death threat Juan Pablo Gutiérrez has also received numerous threatening phone
Please help to ensure the safety of Juan Pablo Gutiérrez and his colleagues.
YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED >>
MORE INFORMATION:Death threats issued to Colombian Indigenous activist Juan Pablo Guitierrez (Blog - August 21, 2014)
Andrés Villamizar, Director of the National Protection UnitUnidad Nacional de Proteccion del Ministerio del Interior Carrera 58 No. 10-51 Bogotá, Colombia cc: Hon John Baird, Minister of Foreign AffairsHouse of Commons, Canada K1A 0A6Dear Mr. Villamizar,I am deeply concerned for the safety of Juan Pablo Gutiérrez and other members of the Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC) and Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca (CRIC), following death threats made by the Aguilas Negras paramilitary group beginning on 14 August 2014 and repeated over subsequent days. The threats have been reported to authorities by ONIC.The human rights work of Juan Pablo Gutiérrez, ONIC and CRIC is well known and respected in Canada.I urge you to:
ensure immediate, effective protection for Juan Pablo Gutiérrez and others working with ONIC and CRIC, in accordance with their wishes,
share this message and my call for a full, impartial investigation of the death threats received by Juan Pablo Gutiérrez with the Attorney General’s office for action without delay
A copy of this message is being sent to Canada’s Foreign Minister given the close relationship of our two countries and common commitment to advancing the protection of human rights in Colombia.
I look forward to hearing back from you about the steps taken to protect the life and rights of Juan Pablo Gutiérrez, and other members of both ONIC and CRIC.