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Urgent action on San Onofre
Colombia Support Network / Thursday 30 November 2006

At the request of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes, the Colombian Senate’s Human Rights Committee met in San Onofre on November 28, 2006, to hear testimony from community residents concerning crimes committed in the region during the past decade. More than 1,000 persons attended the hearing, which was held in a sports stadium in San Onofre. Members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, military and police authorities from Sucre Department, delegates from the Defensor del Pueblo’s office and the Fiscalia, the mayor of San Onofre and delegates from national and international human rights organizations were present.\

Testimony given at the hearing revealed massive forced disappearances, existence of common graves with numerous bodies, administrative corruption, politicians’ ties to paramilitaries, and the fact that 2,162 families forcibly displaced live in poverty. San Onofre Mayor Jorge Blanco Fuentes was pointed to as the person responsible for these conditions, through his acts and omissions. His ties to paramilitary leader Rodrigo Mercado Pelufo (alias "Cadena") were demonstrated and he was accused of receiving royalty income which was not used for public works programs, and of failing to protect San Onofre’s residents.

Please write the following officials to request:

a. of President Alvaro Uribe Velez, that he demand the immediate resignation of Mayor Blanco;

b. of Fiscal General Mario Iguaran, that he open a criminal investigation of the actions of Mayor Blanco, based upon evidence now held by the Colombian Senate;

c. of Procurador General Edgardo Maya, that he open a disciplinary proceeding against Mayor Blanco;

d. of the Contralor General of Colombia , that he undertake a general audit of all municipal accounts since the beginning of Mayor Blanco’s administration and designate a committee to determine the extent of public works development by Mayor Blanco’s administration;

e. to all these authorities, that they guarantee the lives and physical and psychological safety and wellbeing of San Onofre residents, particularly those who valiantly testified at the hearing.

Presidencia de la República
Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez,
Cra. 8 No..7-26, Palacio de Nariño,
Santa Fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71
E-mail: auribe@ Section Write to the President (Escribale al presidente)

Vicepresidencia de la República
Dr Francisco Santos

Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón.
Carrera 5 No. 15-80
Bogotá. Fax: (+57 1)342.97.23.

Contralor General de Colombia
Dr. Julio Cesar Turbay

Defensoría del Pueblo
Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz.
Calle 55 No. 10-32
Bogotá. Fax: (+571) 640 04 91 .