28 August 2007

Eustorgio Colmenares

H.E. Alvaro Uribe Vélez President of Colombia Nariño Palace Bogotá,Colombia Fax: (571) 560-9943 Mr. President, For four years now the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has been investigating the murder of those working in the news media in the Americas and has come to the conclusion that in some cases not even has the right to justice been observed and in others negligence, apathy or irregularities in the official investigations have been obstacles contributing to those responsible for the crimes going unpunished. Determined to put an end to such impunity and in unison with the international community we respectfully call your attention to the case of the editor and owner of the newspaper La Opinión in Cúcuta, Santander, Eustorgio Colmenares, who was shot to death by two hired gunmen on March 12, 1993 as he was arriving home at 7:30 p.m. Almost 15 years later the crime continues to go unpunished, despite the fact that members of the ELN guerrilla movement claimed responsibility for the crime. Two charged with committing the murder were acquitted. We call, Mr. President, upon your good offices to cause the relevant steps to be taken to shed light on the murder of Eustorgio Colmenares and to bring all those guilty to justice, so that his death not be merely another statistic in the list of unsolved murders in the Western Hemisphere. Sincerely,