OPSEU has learned from Amnesty International that on July 21 a shot was fired through a window into the office of Justicia y Vida (Justice and Life) where Colombian Human Rights activist, Lilia Solana carries out her courageous work. Fortunately no-one was hurt. OPSEU members and staff visited this office in August 2009 and met some of the women Lilia was assisting on a daily basis.
On July 23, she received a phone call from someone who detailed her daily activities and accused her of being a traitor to her country and threatened that she would be killed. President, Smokey Thomas is calling on members to raise our voices to protect Lilia and her colleagues.
What can members do?
Send a message to Colombian authorities without delay.
Express concern about the threatening phone call and the shot fired at her office and ask for an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Request that authorities immediately implement protection measures in consultation with Lilia and her colleagues. Ask for a reply regarding what steps have been taken.
Señor President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (write: Dear president Uribe / Excmo Sr. Presidente Uribe)
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26
Acting Attorney General Dr. Guillermo Mendoza Diago (write: Dear Attorney General / Estimado Sr. Fiscal General)
Fiscal General de la Nación (e)
Diagonal 22B (Av. Luis Carlos Galán No. 52-01)
Bloques C, Piso 4
His Excellency Jaime Giron Duarte
Ambassador for Colombia
360 Albert Street, Suite 1002
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7X7
FAX: (613) 230 4416
Jusiticia y Vida
Message to Canadian Authorities:
Express concern about the threats. Ask Canadian authorities to leverage their close relationship with Colombia and promises made during the debate over the Free trade Agreement to call for an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Request that Canada press the Colombian government for immediate and effective protection measures for Lilia and her colleagues.
Hon. Peter Kent
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Latin America)
110 Justice Building
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
FAX: (613) 992 0887
Genevieve des Rivieres, Ambassador of Canada in Colombia
Canadian Embassy, Bogotá, Colombia
James Lambert, Director General, Latin America and Caribbean Bureau