30 October 2012

Hernando Rangel Moreno

Date of murder: April 11, 1999 The facts: As he watched a televised boxing match on the balcony of his friend Alvaro Padilla’s home, a man came up from behind and shot him four times in the head and shoulders. The hitman then made off. Background: Hernando Rangel Moreno had been an ally of the mayor of El Banco Magdalena, Fidias Zeider Ospino. The former mayor had even funded a publication and was preparing a second work on of the achievements of his administration. But Rangel changed his mind and in his publications charged that there was a crisis in the local government. On April 12, 1999, the day after Rangel’s murder, a municipal strike was to be staged against the local administration, organized by Rangel, among others. Proceedings: The State Attorney’s Office assigned a local district attorney in El Banco Magdalena to handle the investigations. On January 6, 2000, an order for the preventive arrest of Fidias Zeider Ospino was issued. Ospino’s attorneys appealed and on March 10 the order was revoked. Ospino – up to then mayor of El Banco Magdalena – was freed but was suspended from duties for alleged mishandling of public contracts. Irregularities in the proceedings: From April 13 to July 1, 1999, the local district attorney, Oreste Sangregorio Gutiérrez, did little or nothing with the investigation. State Attorney Sandra Jeanette Castro accused him of foot-dragging. The investigation is now, however, is now being handled by Oher Hadith Hernández of the Attorney General Office’s Human Rights Unit.