President Juan Manuel Santos
c/o HE Mauricio Rodriguez
Colombian Embassy to the UK and Ireland
3 Hans Crescent
6th June 2012
Dear President Santos,
We are writing to express our grave concern for the safety of Dr Carlos Lozano, leading member of Colombians for Peace, member of the Democratic Pole Party, a leading figure in the Patriotic March political and social movement, and editor of the weekly newspaper Voz.
We urge you to immediately provide Dr. Lozano, and others like him under threat, with the increased security measures necessary and bring those responsible for the threats and assassination attempts to justice.
Many of us have met Dr. Lozano during numerous delegations to Colombia and during his recent visit to the UK and Ireland, hosted by Justice for Colombia, to which we are all affiliated. During his visit we pledged our full support for Colombians for Peace, not only to help advance their aim of a peace process with social justice, but also to provide international accompaniment in the face of threats as a result of their work.
We have now learned that Dr. Lozano has been the subject of an order of assassination by the paramilitary group Los Urabeños, which has placed a $200,000 contract on his life, and has hired assassins already in Bogota to kill him.
We understand that this threat against Dr. Lozano’s life comes after senior members of the Colombian administration have made false accusations of links between the Patriotic March and illegal armed groups. Furthermore, that several members of the Patriotic March have recently been disappeared, assassinated and threatened and Piedad Cordoba, another leading member of Colombians for Peace, was the target of a planned missile attack.
Dangerous false accusations by the Colombian authorities give the paramilitaries a green light to carry out violence against peace activists such as Dr. Lozano.
We look forward to progress in this matter,
Tony Lloyd MP
Chair, Parliamentary Friends of Colombia
cc: Rt Hon William Hague MP, First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, UK
Mr. Federico Renjifo Vélez, Minister of the Interior, Republic of Colombia
HMA John Dew, British Ambassador in Colombia
Justice for Colombia