Jorge Molano , Colombia

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Jorge Molano and German Romero

Colombia

We kindly ask your attention for recent threats against Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodríguez and German Romero Sánchez. Both men are Bogotá based human rights lawyers defending victims and relatives of victims of human rights violations.

On October 10, 2012, Jorge Molano and German Romero have been confronted with new and serious threats. These threats are related to the case regarding the killing of Alex Ramírez and Darvey Mosquera. Recently seven members of a Colombian army unit have been condemned for these killings. Immediately after the killings and during the course of the trial, the relatives of the victims as well as their lawyers have been targeted by intimidations and threats. Jorge Molano and German Romero defend the mother of Mosquera, Alfamir Castillo, in the case against the commanders of the army unit (Major Josue Yobanni Linares and Captain Julio Cesar Alvarez Pedreros) who are being prosecuted for their alleged involvement in the killings.

According to the information received, Ms. Castillo was threatened on October 10, 2012 in the city of Palmira (Valle del Cauca), while she was on her way to the city of Santiago de Cali by public transport. She was approached by a man that grasped her, pushed a gun to her chest and said: “Tell the lawyer that he is going to die and you too”. Then the man jumped off the bus and disappeared from the sight of Alfamir and the other passengers. These latest  threats to Alfamir Castillo, German Romero Sánchez and Jorge Eliécer Molano Rodriguez were made 48 hours prior to a hearing in the trial of the two commanders. These threats have put the relatives and the lawyers under grave pressure. They fear for their lives.

For more information, please see the letter attached. Click here for an English translation of the letter.

Please support Jorge Molano and German Romero and participate in the letter writing campaign! Fill out the letters, adapt, print and sign them and send them by post to the directions as mentioned. When you have participated, please let us know by sending an email to secr@lawyersforlawyers.nl.

Background
Jorge Molano has been working since many years for different human rights organisations and currently works as a lawyer for the organization “Sembrar”. He has been subject to threats on many occasions, amongst which in 2010 when “Lawyers for Lawyers” reacted  by setting up a letter writing campaign (see here for more information on Jorge Molano).
German Romero has been working since more than 9 years for several human rights NGO’s amongst which el Colegio de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo  and the Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz. Currently he is working as a legal advisor for the organization Yira Castro.
Both lawyers act on behalf of victims and relatives in several cases of grave human rights violations committed by (mostly) senior level army officers and paramilitaries. They have defended victims in the case on the disappearance of 11 persons in reaction to the violent occupation of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá in 1985. They have also acted on behalf of relatives of victims in the persecution of paramilitaries and militaries responsible for the killing in 2005 of 21 persons and members of the Peace Community San José de Apartadó. Lawyers for Lawyers maintains contact with both lawyers and have had a meeting with them in September 2012 in Bogotá during the ‘Caravana‘. 

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