MAC: Mines and Communities


Published by MAC on 2001-12-25


December 25th 2001

To confirm, subsequent to urgent action below, Armando Perez, lawyer for the community of Tabaco in Colombia, has been released from detention at the office of the Fiscalia in Riohacha and is now under house arrest in his own home. No further action is requested for the moment. Many thanks to all who protested against his arbitrary imprisonment.

December 21st 2001

On 20th December, 2001, Armando Perez Araujo was arbitrarily detained in the Fiscalia in Riohacha, the capital of the Colombian Department of La Guajira. Armando is the lawyer representing communities in La Guajira facing relocation as a result of coal strip-mining activities by Exxon subsidiary Intercor.

Armando had filed a legal 'denuncia' against Intercor for the demolition of homes in the village of Tabaco on 9th August 2001. The company, with police and military assistance, demolished the homes to pressure
residents to move out. The 'denuncia' also accused the Judge who had approved the demolitions of acting illegally. Last week, Intercor returned and demolished more houses. This week, Armando's denuncia' was heard and judgement was given in favour of Intercor. Armando was then accused of filing a false 'denuncia' and detained. Essentially, he has been imprisoned for losing the case.

Armando's partner, Remedios Fajardo, is President of Yanama, a Wayuu Indigenous organisation. She asks that we contact the Director of the Fiscalia in Riohacha and demand Armando's immediate release. She also asks that we protest against the judgement given in favour of Intercor in the case which Armando had brought against them.

Remedios was unable to give email addresses. She asks that we telephone the following:

Senor Wibbert Guerra, Director of the Riohacha Fiscalia (where Armando is detained): 00 57 57 27 0446 or 00 57 57 27 4677

Please also contact the National Attorney General (Fiscalia General de
la Nacion) to protest against Armando's detention in Riohacha and demand his immediate release:

Senor Camilo Osoria, Fiscalia General de la Nacion, Tel: 00 57 1 570

If you do not speak Spanish, please try to telephone anyway, and do your best to say: 'Armando Perez esta detenido en la Fiscalia en Riohacha. Insisto en que este liberado.' (Armando Perez is detained in the Fiscalia in Riohacha. I insist that he be freed.)


Contacts for Fiscalia de la Nacion

Fax: 00 571 570 2022 (If the call is answered, say 'Fax,por favor' and
wait for the signal)
E-mail :

Fiscalia General de la Nacion,
Diagonal 22B 5201
Apartado Aereo 29855
Santafe de Bogota, Colombia
Telegram: Fiscal General, Fiscalia General, Bogota, Colombia

Thank you for any help that you can give.

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