Liliany Obando honoured

Political prisoner Liliany Obando has been honoured by聽One World Action, which is聽"... an international development organisation focusing on promoting the rights of women. We work with 41 local partners in 19 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve the political participation of women so that they can make decisions about their own lives. We provide funding, training, capacity building, networking and other opportunities, so that they can overcome barriers and participate meaningfully in their communities." The entry on their site can be seen at聽http://oneworldaction.wordpress.com/


Arbitrary treatment of prisoners violates rights

The following is a statement (in Spanish only) from human rights group Traspasa Los Muros (Beyond the Walls) regarding recent violations of the rights of political prisoners held in the "Buen Pastor" women's prison in Bogot谩. The acts involve the confiscation of information regarding human rights in Colombia, the preventing of an Australian human rights defender from visiting Liliany Obando and confiscation of private correspondce from Liliany. At the end of the statement, there are addresses for protests.

NUEVAS ARBITRARIEDADES COMETIDAS POR EL INPEC EN LA RECLUSION DE MUJERES EL BUEN PASTOR DE BOGOTA

La Campa帽a Traspasa los Muros DENUNCIA ante la comunidad nacional e internacional la violaci贸n de los derechos fundamentales a la informaci贸n, a la libertad de conciencia, de expresi贸n y del derecho a聽 la visita de las prisioneras pol铆ticas cometidas por el 聽Instituto Nacional Y Penitenciario (INPEC), de acuerdo a los siguientes.

HECHOS

1.聽 Desde hace aproximadamente dos a帽os las prisioneras pol铆ticas recluidas en el patio 6 del Reclusi贸n De Mujeres El 鈥淏uen Pastor鈥 de Bogot谩 ven铆an construyendo el peri贸dico mural, propuesta que permanentemente alimentaban con informaci贸n alternativa, poemas, cuentos, art铆culos y otras expresiones realizadas por las mismas con el fin de generar espacios informativos y comunicativos al interior del patio.

2.聽 El 聽d铆a 14 de agosto de 2011, cuando conclu铆a la visita dominical, la directora de la reclusi贸n LIDIA JUDITH CALDERON se dirigi贸 al pabell贸n 6 y orden贸 retirar el peri贸dico mural de las prisioneras, bajo la amenaza de imponer castigos colectivos en caso de volverse a publicar el peri贸dico mural.

3.聽 El d铆a 16 de agosto de 2011, cuando la prisionera pol铆tica JAZM脥N MOLINA transitaba por el patio con un sobre de manila el cual conten铆a documentos sobre derechos humanos y la聽 cartilla del Encuentro por la Libertad de las y los Prisioneros Pol铆ticos 鈥淟arga Vida a las Mariposas鈥, fue abordada por la pabellonera de turno de nombre ISABEL, quien procedi贸 a decomisarle el sobre, argumentando que los documentos eran ilegales, procediendo a realizarle una anotaci贸n disciplinaria en la minuta, dicha anotaci贸n es utilizada para realizar informes disciplinarios que posteriormente restringen a las prisioneras el acceso a beneficios judiciales.

4.聽 En varias oportunidades el personal de guardia y custodia del INPEC ha impedido a diferentes organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos y abogados defensores聽 de prisioneros pol铆ticos el ingreso de material alternativo de prensa, argumentando聽 que聽 dicho material es peligroso.

5.聽 El 21 de agosto de 2011, el INPEC impidi贸 el ingreso a la Reclusi贸n de la defensora de derechos humanos australiana RITA MALLIA, quien pretend铆a visitar a la prisionera pol铆tica LILIANY OBANDO, bajo el pretexto de que su pasaporte no ten铆a la huella dactilar; esto sucedi贸 a pesar de que la se帽ora RITA MALLIA se encontrar谩 debidamente registrada聽 en la lista de visitantes autorizada por el mismo INPEC y adem谩s el pasaporte constituye un documento universal聽 de identificaci贸n que no posee huella dactilar.

6.聽 Es importante resaltar que los internacionales que visitan a otras prisioneras ingresan sin ning煤n tipo de obst谩culos como los que ha puesto el INPEC a las visitas de LILANY OBANDO, pues este hecho se aplica de manera sistem谩tica a las visitas de la prisionera.

7.聽 El 31 de agosto de 2011, el cuerpo de guardia y custodia del INPEC decomis贸 la correspondencia privada de la prisionera pol铆tica LILIANY OBANDO, bajo el falso pretexto de que la misma conten铆a documentaci贸n ilegal y sospechosa.

DENUNCIAMOS

Que el decomiso de material legal publicitario es una violaci贸n a los derechos a la informaci贸n, comunicaci贸n y contacto con el exterior de las prisioneras, el cual se encuentra consagrado en las normas y reglas m铆nimas de tratamiento a los reclusos y el c贸digo penitenciario colombiano; as铆 mismo, se帽alar de ilegal la documentaci贸n, publicidad y prensa alternativa constituye delito de calumnia de acuerdo al art铆culo 314 del c贸digo penal.

La restricci贸n del uso de peri贸dicos murales u otras formas de expresi贸n de las prisioneras es una flagrante violaci贸n al derecho fundamental a la libertad de expresi贸n y a la recreaci贸n, puesto que esta herramienta estimula la creatividad y hace menos penosa la vida en reclusi贸n.

La privaci贸n de la libertad no puede ser una excusa para violentar otros derechos de las prisioneras, como lo son la comunicaci贸n, la libertad de expresi贸n, la recreaci贸n, la libertad de conciencia, la privacidad de correspondencia entre otros, sobre todo cuando la Reclusi贸n no ofrece programas o planes que ayuden a mantener la mente sana de las prisioneras. Actuar contrario a la garant铆a de estos derechos es imponer de facto una pena accesoria que las prisioneras no est谩n en capacidad de soportar y que a todas luces es ilegal, ocasionando mayores da帽os y sufrimientos.

Por ello DENUNCIAMOS los hechos arriba enunciados como arbitrarios y contrarios a la constituci贸n pol铆tica y a los tratados internacionales en materia penitenciaria.

EXIGIMOS

1.聽 Que el INPEC respete los derechos de las prisioneras en el Buen Pastor de Bogot谩 y se abstenga de continuar decomisando y se帽alando la documentaci贸n, publicidad y prensa alternativa que reciben las prisioneras, y 聽prohibiendo propuestas de libre expresi贸n como el peri贸dico mural.

2.聽 Que el INPEC cese las anotaciones disciplinarias arbitrarias y en garant铆a del derecho al debido proceso se le brinde a las prisioneras la oportunidad de controvertir en presencia de su abogado(a) los hechos se帽alados caprichosamente como contravenciones por la guardia.

3.聽 Que el INPEC respete el derecho a la visita tanto de LILIANY OBANDO como el de los extranjeros, que realizan un gran esfuerzo para poder visitarla, e informe previamente a los mismos聽 el procedimiento y los requerimientos para poder ingresar a la Reclusi贸n los d铆as establecidos para las visitas.

SOLICITAMOS

1.聽 Que los medios de comunicaci贸n y la comunidad nacional e internacional respalden y difundan la presente denuncia.

2.聽 Que las organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos intervengan y soliciten de manera formal al INPEC la garant铆a de los derechos de las prisioneras a la comunicaci贸n y contacto con el exterior, a la informaci贸n, la libertad de expresi贸n, la libertad de conciencia y el debido proceso, de acuerdo a los hechos arriba referenciados.

Agradecemos enviar sus pronunciamientos a las siguientes entidades:

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS CALDER脫N
Presidente de la Rep煤blica de Colombia
Carrera 8 No. 7 -26 Palacio de Nari帽o Bogot谩
Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71
E-mail: fsantos@presidencia.gov.co

JUAN CARLOS ESGUERRA
Ministro de Justicia y del Derecho de Colombia
Carrera 9a. No. 14-10 - Bogot谩, D.C.
e-mail: ministro@minjusticia.gov.co, reclamos@mij.gov.co
PBX (+57) 444 31 00 Ext. 1820

GUSTAVO ADOLFO RICAURTE TAPIA
Director General del INPEC
Calle 26 No 27-48
Telefono: (571) 2347474 鈥 3382316
E-mail: direccion@inpec.gov.co

ALEJANDRO ORDO脩EZ MALDONADO
Procurador General de la Naci贸n
Cra. 5 No.15 鈥 80F Bogot谩 D.C.
anticorrupci贸n@presidencia.gov.co, reygon@procuradur铆a.gov.co

WOLMAR ANTONIO PEREZ ORTIZ
Defensor del Pueblo
Calle 55 # 10-32, Bogot谩
Fax: (+571) 640.04.91
E-mail,secretaria_privada@hotmail.com, agenda@agenda.gov.co,
defensoria@defensoria.org.co

OFICINA EN COLOMBIA DEL ALTO COMISIONADO DE
NACIONES UNIDAS PARA LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS
Calle 114 No. 9-45 Torre B Oficina 1101
Edificio Teleport Bussines Park 鈥 Bogot谩, Colombia
Tel茅fono PBX (57-1) 629 3636 (57-1) 629 3636 Fax (57-1) 629 3637
E-mail: oacnudh@hchr.org.co

COMISI脫N INTERAMERICANA DE DDHH
E-mail: cidhoea@oas.org, apizarro@oas.org
Bogot谩 D.C.聽

Septiembre 8 de 2011


FROM OPERATION PHOENIX TO FARC-POLITICA (FARC politics) -BRIEF MEMORIES OF AN UNJUST IMPRISONMENT-

By: Liliany Obando[1]

August 8, 2011

"... All political prisoners must be grateful
to their jailers who confirm to them,聽
by deeds and on their person聽
the validity of their convictions,聽
the correctness of their path.聽
Never is a person聽
more certain in what they do聽
when prolonged pain聽
cannot take their breath away聽
and defeat them... "聽
(Spring with a broken corner, excerpt, pg. 162 Mario Benedetti).


Today marks 36 months from the time I was confined in a prison; "arrested" while I was subject to a judicial investigation that is still not over.聽

I am a woman among more than 7,500 Colombian political prisoners, both men and women, who suffer and resist with dignity the harshness of a judicial system, prisons and a state that denies us and disqualifies us calling us 鈥渢errorists鈥 and which seeks to annul us as individuals and break us as social and political activists.聽

The prelude to this personal nightmare took place the morning of March 1, 2008, when under orders of then President Uribe, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos and the generals of the Armed Forces of Colombia unleashed Operation Phoenix on Ecuadorian territory.聽

Operation Phoenix - WITHOUT TRUTH THERE IS NO RETURN FROM THE ASHES聽

Operation Phoenix, which combined the participation of Army Special Forces, Police and the Colombian Air Force, with the possible involvement of a third country[2], would be from that time onwards the cause of a bitter controversy. On one hand are those from the side of the State who consider this operation a feat of "Heroes of the Nation" that resulted in the elimination of a significant 鈥渆nemy within鈥 no matter the political, diplomatic and legal cost to the country and that, after all, "the end justifies the means".聽

On the other hand, there are those who believe that Operation Phoenix was a warmongering act that resulted in a flagrant violation of number of principles of national and international law, including the territorial integrity and sovereignty of another country 鈥 Ecuador 鈥 of the self-determination of peoples, treaties and bilateral and multilateral agreements on judicial and penal cooperation[3]; at the national level that such action was contrary to the precepts of the Constitution and criminal law. But it was also contrary to the rules of war, yes, because even war has limits and there is a warrior's code of honour, according to which anything most certainly does NOT go.聽

The military objective of Operation Phoenix聽

In military terms, Operation Phoenix sought to terminate what was considered a 鈥渉igh value target鈥. Military intelligence had located on the Colombian-Ecuadorian border, more precisely in Angostura, in the Province of Sucumb铆os in Ecuador 鈥 the camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, which would meet this objective: the insurgent leader and member of the Secretariat of FARC, Raul Reyes.聽

Operation Phoenix then took place. First came a phase of softening of the terrain. Never mind that this goal lay beyond the Colombian border nor that it had no authorization from the Ecuadorian government headed by President Rafael Correa or the judicial authorities of that country to conduct the raid.聽

The Colombian Air Force bombarded the encampment located in Ecuador with all its firepower. Then came the landing of the members of the Police Special Forces and the Colombian army to inspect and comb the bombed area, confirm their 鈥渉igh value target鈥 and seize selectively, again without the authorization of competent judicial authority in Ecuador or Colombia, material evidence while at the same time altering the scene of the crime.聽

In Operation Phoenix FARC guerrilla leader Raul Reyes and at least 24 other people, civilians and rebel fighters among them, died violently. Among the civilians killed were 4 Mexican students[4] and an Ecuadorian citizen[5]. Among the known survivors were a Mexican student and two wounded guerrillas[6].聽

Two of the bodies of interest to the Colombian armed forces, that of Raul Reyes and another who they believed was Juli谩n Conrado were illegally removed from site and transported to Colombia without complying with the established protocols for the removal of the deceased. Images of the bodies 鈥 a war trophy 鈥 were presented in grotesque form in the media.聽

Even today the real cause of the death of FARC leader Raul Reyes is not known. His body was never released to his family. Today he counts among the more than 50,000 disappeared in Colombia.聽

The other body, turned out to be the Ecuadorian citizen Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina and not that of the guerrilla Juli谩n Conrado. Once identified his body was repatriated to Ecuador. A lawsuit filed is now pending before the Commission on Human Rights against the Colombian state by the Ecuadorian government for the killing; the extrajudicial execution of this citizen[7].聽

THE SO-CALLED FARC POLITICS聽

聽The other component of Operation Phoenix took shape at the political and legal level. In 2008, the para-politics scandal, which compromised a large number of members of the political class mostly associated with the Uribe government, was at its peak. To lay a smokescreen on this issue, the government fabricated what would become known as FARC-POLITICA 鈥 FARC politics. It was based on supposed evidence 鈥 material (computers, removable hard drives and USB sticks) 鈥 illegally obtained by members of the armed forces who participated on the raid the camp of Raul Reyes in Ecuador.聽

This evidence was collected in an arbitrary and illegal way by military personnel and police who, contrary to what some officials of the current and former government say, had no judicial function as police. This was stolen in fact, in another country without the express authorization of the judicial authorities of Ecuador, affecting the scene of the crime and violating international protocols in collecting material evidence on foreign soil.聽

It was the then police major Camilo Ernesto Alvarez Ochoa[8] who, as commander of the Group Against High-Value Targets, Special Operations Command (COPES) 鈥 one of those who collected the material evidence鈥 illegally stole and, as first respondent in the "chain of custody", transported the aforementioned material to Colombia.聽

Back in Colombia, in the municipality of Puerto Asis, Putumayo, on that same March 1, 2008, major Alvarez presented the material evidence to the then police captain of the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and Intelligence (DIJIN), Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, who from that time until March 3, would serve as the second respondent of the hardware and its 鈥渃hain of custody鈥.聽

Captain Coy, without being a computer expert, from 1 to March 3, 2008, manipulated the said physical evidence without following established protocols for treating it. Without any expertise in information technology for creating the "mirroring" necessary for the analysis of information, he directly accessed the files, which under oath he later said were not emails but Word files (documents)[9], and which he additionally opened, read and copied to his personal computer. And he duly sent copies of them, considering them important to the "National Security", to the Colombian Defence Ministry, all without obtaining a warrant from any competent authority.

The Colombian Defence Ministry, in turn, selectively leaked some of these documents to the media, in violation of summary discretion regarding the supposed prime evidence that would be used during the so-called FARC-politics.聽

Only on March 3, 2008, did Captain Coy present the "evidence" in the city of Bogota, to major Freddy Bautista Garcia of the National Police, then head of the Computer Crimes Taskforce of DIJIN. It was major Bautista, who after processing the said physical evidence and first creating the "mirror copy" of it with his team of experts, who suggested that INTERPOL[10] should certify the procedure to validate the test.聽

THE BEGINNING OF A NIGHTMARE WITHOUT END

With the fury of the Operation Phoenix still lighting their faces, in May 2008 the then Prosecutor General Mario Iguar谩n, along with Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, appeared before the media to publicly announce the opening of a judicial investigation into Colombian citizens and foreign nationals under the so-called FARC-politics, a process built on the basis of the information allegedly obtained from the electronic equipment of Raul Reyes during Operation Phoenix.聽

To my surprise, I heard my name on the lips of prosecutor Iguar谩n next to those of renowned personalities from politics, academia and journalism. Among those mentioned were Polo Democratico Alternativo [Democratic Pole] congress members Gloria Ines Ramirez and Wilson Borja , the then Liberal Party Senator Piedad Cordoba, a former minister 脕lvaro Leyva Duran, journalists Carlos Lozano Guillen, William Parra and Lazaro Viveros, the American academic James Jones and the Venezuelan parliamentarian Amilcar Figueroa. Over time this list would be expanded with new names. The common factor among those who were included in this line was the commitment taken up in the different areas of work of each one of us, some of us from the political opposition, to the defence of human rights, the search for scenarios of peace and humanitarian accords.聽

After this statement came moments of anxiety for my family and I. My life until then had passed between my professional work as a sociologist, my commitment to defending human rights, women鈥檚 and labour rights, my membership in the left as a political option[11]; my academic pursuits in the Masters in Political Studies at the National University of Colombia (I was preparing graduate thesis), and raising my children (4 and 15 years) as a single mother and head of my family. It had been radically changed, but not in fundamental matters.聽

Faced with the impending trial I started to seek legal assistance to take up my defence.聽

On August 8, 2008, while reading news online there was one item that caught my complete attention 鈥 it was regarding the arrest warrant issued against me. Hours later my home was raided and I was led into the cells of the DIJIN and then to the Women's Prison in Bogot谩 where I remain still, 36 months later, with the status of CHARGED waiting for justice to be done in my case and a clear abuse of pre-trial detention.聽

In the raid, heavily armed police (DIJIN) participated and succeeded in intimidating my elderly mother and my little children. At the site, they seized documents, including some belonging to my mother and children, which are among the evidence being used against me.聽

Leading the raid and "capture" was the same captain of the DIJIN, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, who had participated in Operation Phoenix. 聽He sarcastically said to me among other things, it would make me famous, nationally and internationally, while other police filmed everything around me, including my family members and myself from all angles. There was a moment that made me curious when the police cameraperson was ordered from the place in an urgent tone. A few minutes later, while the raid was still in progress, images of the operation were transmitted on television. During this the police paused to watch the media spectacle with their chest puffed out by the "positive" result.聽

With my detention the process of the FARC-politics began. It is a political rather than legal process, which seems to languish now because of the arbitrariness and illegality on which it was built.聽

On 11 August 2008, while still isolated in the cells of the DIJIN, I was taken before the anti-terrorism prosecutor number 19, Nancy Esperanza Pardo Bonilla. I would find out the reasons why I was being linked to the process of FARC-politics and the charges made against me.

Before returning to the prosecutor鈥檚 cells, some journalists tried to get a statement from me. Stuck in my memory is the first question a journalist put to me, "Is it true that you were the mistress of Raul Reyes?" I looked at her and replied, "That's not true and this type of malicious slander violates my dignity as a woman and a human being. " I do not really know what offended me more, that the public was being subjected to a falsehood that left a lasting mark on my honour, or knowing that I was being used as cannon fodder by those from 鈥渕ilitary intelligence鈥 who just wanted to smear the image the insurgent leader.聽

Finally during the questioning, the prosecutor laid charges of rebellion and managing resources for terrorist purposes against me, based on the alleged information obtained from the computing devices of the late leader of FARC, Raul Reyes. Charges I did not accept and consciously I prepared to subject myself to a trial to prove my innocence. The prosecutor then decided to issue a security measure against me by placing me in a prison facility. It was the first time I was to be denied the benefit of home detention despite having fully demonstrated my status as a single mother. Later I would be denied the benefit a further 9 times, being considered a "danger to society" 鈥 something that does not happen to white collar criminals who are granted this benefit without any obstacle.聽

On 14 August 2008, I was then sent to the Bogot谩 women鈥檚 prison 鈥 鈥淓l Buen Pastor" 鈥 wing 6, which is the wing where most of the women political prisoners are held. Thus I became the first Colombian and the only woman deprived of their freedom under the so-called FARC-politics.聽

OTHER ILLEGAL PROCESSES

From the time I was linked to illegal evidence 鈥 the prosecution of the FARC-politics 鈥 I was subjected to a media storm in which I was attributed as having 鈥渞omantic ties鈥 with the late leader of FARC, Raul Reyes; to having a string of responsibilities that I never had. This situation affected not only my honour and my reputation but has also triggered instances of degrading treatment, insults and even death threats against me with resulting security problems for my family and myself.聽

In jail, the political prisoners must carry the stigma of the 鈥渃rime鈥 we have foisted on us. Rebellion gives us a 鈥渉ighly dangerous鈥 profile; we are considered the 鈥渆nemy within鈥, except that we are behind bars. In these circumstances, my continued commitment to the defence of human rights, including those of my new comrades in prison has led to me be being singled out and persecuted by the prison authorities, INPEC[12].聽

In June 2011, as a result of that singling out, I was transferred within the same prison from wing 6 to wing 7, where I am isolated from the rest of my fellow political prisoners and subjected to enhanced security measures.聽

Besides being linked to a jury trial on the basis of illegal evidence, with the consequent arbitrary detention, the process against me has been attended by flagrant irregularities from the preliminary stage to this point:聽

- The "crime" of rebellion was also attributed to me, which is a political crime and the jurisdiction of regular courts, while the crime of resource management for terrorist purposes, is a non-political crime and subject of specialized judicial processes.聽

It has been a strategy of prosecutors to charge political opponents with crimes associated with terrorism, together the "crime" of rebellion, in order to aggravate the judicial situation with long sentences, increase the time required for the development of trials and impede access to legal benefits for the accused and convicted.聽

On account of this strategy I have been denied home detention repeatedly. I was subjected to preventive detention, which is an extraordinary measure, that has been extended over the period for the conduct of the trial.聽

- After prosecutor 19 issued the indictment against me and it became final on April 8, 2009 the public hearing and preliminary hearing before trial began under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Criminal Court of the Specialized Circuit of Bogot谩. During the preliminary hearing, my defence requested access to all the "Prime Evidence" evidence, i.e. files obtained in Operation Phoenix, but this request was denied. Both judge and prosecutor allowed access only to summaries of the files that were considered directly related to me. Thus the procedural unity of everyone linked to the process of FARC-politics was broken, those for whom the "Prime evidence鈥 was precisely those files obtained in Operation Phoenix.聽

In this way those linked to the aforementioned process were prevented from taking up a collective defence. The investigation was individualised for each of us and we were allowed to see only fractions of the "Prime evidence鈥. This seriously affected the protection of due process and fair trial.聽

- By being subjected to specialized justice, trial-times in the process of public hearing have been long and have had interruptions. To this point it has been 24 months from the start of the public hearing and 32 months since my "preventative detention" and this stage it has not been completed despite the fact I have the right to my freedom due to expiration of terms.聽

On April 11, 2011 we requested my freedom under expiration of terms, but on April 13 the Ninth Judge of the Criminal Circuit denied it, on the basis that the public hearing has not been terminated for "just and reasonable cause," because the defence had requested the taking of evidence abroad, and in the meantime I would be ensured due process.聽

In the face of this legal absurdity, we filed appeals and a writ of Habeas Corpus[13] to demand my release for expiration of terms, but both the Superior Court of Bogota, who learned of the appeal, and the judge considering the Habeas Corpus refused to grant immediate release.聽

- On May 18, 2011, the Supreme Court of Justice, Criminal Division, issued a self-inhibiting writ[14] in the case of former congressman linked to the process of FARC-politics. With this order, the Court held that items of physical evidence obtained in Operation Phoenix, which had been used as evidence in the case against former congressman Wilson Borja are illegal and that in law they cannot be used in the case Borja nor any other case as they have no legal validity.聽

On August 1, 2011, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice unanimously upheld the ruling handed down on May 18, 2011 declaring illegal material evidence obtained in Operation Phoenix and the inadmissibility of this in any judicial proceeding as evidence.聽

Based on that ruling, Professor Miguel Angel Beltran was released on June 3, 2011. Professor Beltran had also been linked to the process of FARC-politics and remained unjustly deprived of freedom for 2 years. The extradition to Colombia of communist leader Manuel Olate was stopped and he was able to clarify his legal situation in his country.聽

- For his part, based on the ruling of the Supreme Court, my defence lawyer requested in July 2011 a Control of Legality before Judge 9 of the Specialised Criminal Circuit, Danae Hinestroza Rengifo and requested my freedom for being arbitrarily detained on the basis of illegal evidence. The trial judge once again rejected the defence request.聽

-On August 1, 2011 we resubmitted our writ of habeas corpus in consideration of the fact that not only had I been deprived of my freedom arbitrarily and illegally but there had also been an extension of the illegal detention. We based our request on the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice, Criminal Chamber, on May 18, 2011 and its ratification of August 1, 2011 in declaring void for lack of legal validity, "evidence" obtained illegally in Operation Phoenix and which has been used against me.聽

Inexplicably, the judge responsible for hearing the Habeas Corpus, Labour Circuit Judge 30 of Bogot谩, Mario Alfonso Araujo Monroi denied as "inappropriate" our petition based on spurious legal arguments.聽

It is evident that during these 36 months, my "preventive detention" in a prison facility has violated many rights: the presumption of innocence, due process, to self-defence, procedural guarantees and my freedom. It has caused me irreparable damage in material and moral terms. Therefore through my defence, we have requested interim measures of protection to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.聽

The truth is that three years after the controversial Operation Phoenix, the monster of the FARC-politics languishes. Fortunately, since many people unfairly linked to this process have been acquitted, only Joaquin P茅rez Becerra and I are still deprived of our freedom.聽

Meanwhile my days are spent in a high security cell isolated from the rest of my fellow political prisoners, but with dignity, high morale and standing tall.聽

We continue to fight for the freedom of all Colombian political prisoners.聽

Someday it will be possible, and I will continue working freely once more for a truly democratic country enjoying political inclusion, social justice and peace.聽

These 36 months of unjust incarceration have been less torturous thanks to the invaluable solidarity and expressions of affection of many, many comrades and many others who, even without knowing them have become sensitized to my case and that of more than 7500 Colombian political prisoners.聽

To all the trade unions, activists for human rights, peace and social justice, the alternative media, the opposition political parties, the democratic lawyers and the parliamentarians who come together from different latitudes of the globe, in the campaign to free Colombia鈥檚 political prisoners, my gratitude and affection.聽

Special thanks to the comrades of the International Network in Solidarity with Colombia鈥檚 Political Prisoners (INSPP), to the Solidarity Campaign for Political Prisoners in Canada, Justice for Colombia in the UK, the circles of Solidarity for Colombia and Peace and Justice for Colombia in Australia, the Alliance for Global Justice in the United States, the Solidarity Campaign for Colombian Political Prisoners, "Building Bridges of Solidarity" in Cuba, the Bolivarian Agency of Humanitarian Affairs, Homeland is Solidarity in Venezuela, the Campaign for Freedom for Colombian Political Prisoners in France; the Free the Political Prisoners campaign 鈥淏eyond the Walls", the Ties of Dignity Foundation, the Eduardo Uma帽a Mendoza Legal Brigade, the Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Colombia.聽

To the lawyers who have contributed to my defence Matyas Eduardo Camargo, Gustavo Gallardo, Santiago Ortiz and July Henriquez.

To my friend and comrade Raul Arango, always supportive of the El Buen Pastor political prisoners, to Niki, wherever you are.聽

To my comrade and friend Nestor Montilla who always stood by me while he was alive and who is still with me.聽

To my small but unconditionally loving family,聽

To each and every one of you, thank you very much and a fraternal embrace.聽

LILIANY OBANDO, political prisoner; survivor of the genocide against the Patriotic Union.聽

Women's Prison 鈥淓l Buen Pastor鈥, Bogota, AUGUST 8, 2011.聽

NOTES:


[1] Political prisoner, who survived the genocide against the Patriotic Union; Sociologist, defender of human rights, of women鈥檚 and workers鈥 rights.聽

[2] "The government of Ecuador... argues that according to the remnants of the bombs found in the encampment, they require advanced launching technology of the sort the Colombian Air Force doesn鈥檛 possess." Report by the Organisation of American States, OAS commission that visited Ecuador and Colombia. Twenty-fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, March 17, 2008, Washington, pg. 7

[3] Colombia is a State member to the Organization of American States OAS, as such it approved the Inter American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Nassau, Bahamas on May 23, 1992 and the optional protocol to the convention on Criminal mutual assistance adopted in Managua, Nicaragua on June 11, 1998. Act 636 of 2001. Colombia also approved the agreement on judicial cooperation and mutual assistance in criminal matters between the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Ecuador, signed at Santa Fe de Bogota, DC, December 18, 1996. Act 519 of 1999.聽

[4] Ver贸nica Natalia V谩zquez Ram铆rez, Fernando Franco Delgado, Soren Ulises Aviles, Juan Gonzalez del Castillo, students from the Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM.聽

[5] Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina

[6] Martha Perez and Diana Gonzales, FARC guerrillas and Lucia Morett Alvarez, found by the Ecuadorian military.聽

[7] The Ecuadorian state accused the Colombian state for the homicide "extrajudicial execution" of Franklin Aisalla before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. According to the Ecuadorian state, Aisalla was beaten to death with a rifle used to smash his skull.聽

[8] Today an investigation is being conducted in Ecuador against the high command of the Colombian Armed Forces who participated in Operation Phoenix, including then police major Camilo Ernesto Alvarez Ochoa, commander of the Group of High Value Targets; Special Operations Command (COPES).聽

9 The then captain of the National Police, DIJIN, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz who was custodian of the physical evidence obtained in Operation Phoenix declared under oath that those files were not emails but Word documents.聽

[10]According to the INTERPOL report on the validity of the procedures used in the treatment of devices obtained in Operation Phoenix of 1 to March 3, 2008, about 48,000 files were handled without full observance of the protocols for this purpose.聽

[11] A state like the Colombian one that proclaims itself democratic and a 鈥渟ocial state of law鈥 must ensure the inclusion and participation of the political opposition.聽

[12] The Penitentiaries and Prisons Institute聽

[13] A fundamental right and constitutional action, article 30 of the National Constitution.聽

[14] According to Article 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Law 600 of 2000 "... it becomes imperative to issue an inhibitory decision when there has been no such behaviour, is atypical, is credited a defence of causal responsibility, or criminal proceedings are not legally viable" ... page 3. Supreme Court, Criminal Court of Cassation, Bogot谩, DC May 18, 2011.


A plea for Liliany Obando, Colombian political prisoner

by: W. T. Whitney Jr.

Political prisoners in Colombia now number over 7,500, including 700 captured guerrilla insurgents. The government is accused of violating judicial norms by consigning opponents to prison. Recent publicity on prisoner deaths and hunger strikes highlighted prisoner abuse. This political prisoner catastrophe has contributed to making Colombia a human rights wasteland, as have tens of thousands murder victims, displacement of millions from land, rampant poverty and witch-hunt built on supposed terrorist associations.

As of Aug. 8, Liliany Obando was imprisoned for three years at the high security Buen Pastor Women's Prison in Bogot谩. Her story epitomizes that of other political prisoners. She is charged with rebellion and providing funds for the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, but has been convicted of nothing. Following the nine-month-long investigative phase of her detention, judicial proceedings have proceeded at a snail's pace.

Class conflict, rural - urban divisions, and impunity for criminals created circumstances putting Obando and other political activists at high risk. Murderous paramilitaries associated with the Colombian military, narco-traffickers, mega landowners and multinational corporations control rural areas. Originally fighting for agrarian rights, leftist guerrillas, the FARC in particular, have waged war for almost 50 years. Alvaro Uribe, president from 2002 to 2010, presided over common graves containing thousands of bodies, U.S. takeovers of seven military bases and paramilitary insinuation into Colombian politics. Political resolution of the conflict ran afoul of ongoing slaughter of leftists and former insurgents belonging to the disappeared Patriotic Union electoral coalition, anti-union violence that has taken 27,000 lives since 1986 and terrorist allegations leveled against advocates for a negotiated settlement. Colombia during the past decade has received some $7 billion in military, police, and prison assistance from the United States.

Courageously, Liliany Obando stepped into this maelstrom. She is a documentary filmmaker, the single mother of two children, ages 16 and six, and at the time of her arrest she was a sociology graduate student at the National University. A week before that, she published a report documenting the killing from 1976 on of 1,500 members of the Fensuagro agricultural workers' union. Obando served as Fensuagro's human rights director. She had recently toured Australia, Canada and Europe seeking support for Fensuagro's educational and advocacy work. Along the way, she gained international recognition both as a spokesperson for the rights of women and rural families and as a critic of repression in Colombia.

Fensuagro, with 80,000 members, is the largest peasant and farm worker union in Colombia. Half its members are landless peasants, 30 percent small landowners, 20 percent sharecroppers and 43 percent women. For decades, conflict over land has been center stage in Colombia. Industrial scale agriculture, mining, oil extraction and hydroelectric projects are well ensconced. Multinational mining corporations, for example, hold concessions applying to 40 percent of Colombian land. Those in charge are on guard against the landless, small farmers and agricultural workers who fight for their rights, many of them African-descended or indigenous. The 1928 massacre by the Colombian army of 3,000 banana workers near Santa Marta set the tone. Liliany Obando, unsurprisingly, was targeted.

Obando describes herself as a communist and survivor of the Patriotic Union massacre. She told an interviewer: "My work has to do with bringing human rights tools and legal material to peasant communities ...That's what disturbs governments, all of them: the fact that there are people out there defending the human rights of the most vulnerable populations." In prison she advocates for fellow political prisoners, often protesting prisoner mistreatment.

The Colombian regime came across a tool for rounding up or intimidating enemies. On March 1, 2008, its military, relying on U.S. intelligence, decimated a FARC encampment in Ecuador. In the process, troops seized computers belonging to FARC leader Raul Reyes, killed in the attack. Within days, the government took information allegedly derived from Reyes' email communications to intensify repression that ensnared Liliany Obando. A year later, police functionary Ronald Coy, who handled the seized computer files, testified in court that the alleged material appeared in word documents, not emails, and was thus susceptible to manipulation.

In mid-May, 2011, the Colombian Supreme Judicial Court invalidated prosecution of ex-parliamentarian Wilson Borja, ruling that the government failed to demonstrate a legally valid chain of custody for the disputed computers files. Later, that decision led to the release of political prisoner Miguel Angel Beltran and withdrawal of an extradition request aimed at Chilean communist Manuel Oblate, both charged with supporting the FARC. Liliany Obando and other witch-hunt victims remain in custody.

Judicial proceedings in her case are glacially slow. Ever since prosecutors closed their investigation in April 2009, Obando's trial has revolved around infrequent public hearings. Yet the legally authorized time period for such hearings elapsed in April 2011, and under Colombian law, Obando should have been released. Nevertheless the court, seconded by an appeals judge, ruled that prolongation of the public hearing phase of her trial was "just and reasonable." A habeas corpus plea filed on Obando's behalf was denied in early August. The decision is being appealed.

Reportedly, hearings were delayed by the failure of court authorities to enable witnesses, particularly in Canada, to testify or submit evidence on Obando's behalf. Her lawyers count on such material to show that Fensuagro, not the FARC, was recipient of funds raised in Canada, also to clarify interviews she gave in Canada and emails she exchanged with her hosts. Failure of a prosecution witness to show up prompted the calling off of at least one hearing.

Meanwhile, repression continues in Colombia, unabated during the first year of President Juan Manuel Santos' presidency. In Putumayo, police recently arrested four Fensuagro members accused of "rebellion, narcotrafficking and terrorism." In Sucre, two Fensuagro unionists recently received death threats. Nationwide, one person has been killed every three days during Santos' first year, according to Justice for Colombia.org.

Organizations advocating for Liliany Obando and other political prisoners call for international support in the struggle for the prisoners' release. "Each time the Colombian government is condemned on the international stage, a bit more breathing space is opened up for us as union and social movements," Fensuagro spokesperson Parmenio Poveda last year told an Australian reporter. This campaign is part of a larger mobilization of international support for struggle inside Colombia to achieve a negotiated resolution of conflict there.

Among solidarity groups are those attending to popular struggle in Colombia generally and others focusing primarily on political prisoners. There are several avenues open to persons joining the fight on behalf of Liliany Obando and other political prisoners:聽 One, keep informed and, two, write Liliany Obando. Letters tell her and her jailers that she is not alone. Write to her in English or Spanish.

Her address is:

Liliany Patricia Obando Villota
TD 065593, Patio 7
Reclusorio de mujeres el Buen Pastor
Carrera 47 # 84-25
Entre Rios, Bogota
Colombia聽

Liliany Obando's email address is campaign4freedom@gmail.com.聽

In addition, persons working in support of Liliany Obando are urged to call for her release in letters addressed to Colombian political leaders.聽

Send your letters to:聽

Juan Manuel Santos, Presidencia de la Rep煤blica, Carrera 8 No.7-26, Palacio de Nari帽o - Bogot谩, D.C., E-mail: comunicacionesvp@presidencia.gov.co聽

Juan Carlos Esguerra, Ministerio del Interior y de Justicia, Carrera 9a. No. 14-10 - Bogot谩, D.C. e-mail: ministro@minjusticia.gov.co - reclamos@mij.gov.co

Colombian Office of the United Nations High Commisioner for Human Rights (Officina en Colombia del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos), Calle 114 No. 9-45 Torre B Oficina 1101, Edificio Teleport Bussines Park, Bogot谩, Colombia, E-mail: oacnudh@hchr.org.co.

This article was written for the International Network in Solidarity with Colombia's Political Prisoners.


Three years of unjust imprisonment - letter from Liliany Obando

The following is a letter from Colombian political prisoner Liliany Obando written on the third anniversary of her arrest and detention on politically motivated charges. It is in Spanish only at the moment - an English language version will be posted as soon as possible.

DE LA OPERACI脫N F脡NIX A LA FARC- POLITICA -MEMORIAS BREVES DE UN INJUSTO ENCIERRO-

Por: Liliany Obando

Agosto 8 de 2011

鈥溾 Todo preso pol铆tico debe
agradecer
a sus carceleros que le confirmen,
en los hechos y sobre su persona
la validez de sus convicciones,
la raz贸n de pasos.
Nunca un hombre
est谩 m谩s seguro de lo que hace,
que cuando un dolor prolongado
no logra quitarle el aliento
y derrotarlo鈥︹
(Primavera con una esquina rota
聽Fragmento, pg. 162
Mario Benedetti).



Hoy se cumplen 36 meses desde cuando fui confinada en聽 una prisi贸n 鈥渄etenida preventivamente鈥 mientras se me somet铆a a una investigaci贸n judicial que a煤n no termina.

Soy una mujer m谩s entre los m谩s de 7.500 prisioner@s pol铆tic@s colombian@s quienes padecemos y resistimos con dignidad la dureza de un sistema judicial, penitenciario y carcelario y de un Estado que nos niega y nos descalifica tild谩ndonos de 鈥渢erroristas鈥 y que en prisi贸n busca anularnos como personas y quebrarnos como luchadores sociales y pol铆ticos.

El preludio de esta pesadilla personal tuvo lugar la madrugada del 1 de marzo de 2008, cuando bajo las ordenes del entonces presidente Uribe; del Ministro de Defensa Juan Manuel Santos y del generalato de la Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia se ejecutaba la Operaci贸n F茅nix en territorio ecuatoriano.

LA OPERACI脫N F脡NIX 鈥 SIN VERDAD NO HAY RETORNO DE LAS CENIZAS-

La Operaci贸n F茅nix en la que participaron conjuntamente聽 fuerzas Especiales del Ej茅rcito, la Polic铆a y聽 la Fuerza A茅rea Colombiana, con la posible聽 coadyuvancia de un tercer pa铆s2,聽 Ser铆a desde entonces motivo de una dura pol茅mica. Por una parte, est谩n quienes desde el lado del Estado consideran esta operaci贸n como una proeza de los 鈥淗茅roes de la patria鈥 que arrojo como resultado la eliminaci贸n de un importante 麓enemigo interno麓聽 no importa los costos pol铆ticos, diplom谩ticos y jur铆dicos para el pa铆s; al fin y al cabo, -鈥渆l fin justifica los medios鈥-.

Por otra parte est谩n quienes creen que la operaci贸n F茅nix constituy贸 un exceso guerrerista que devino en la flagrante violaci贸n de una serie de principios de la legislaci贸n nacional e internacional, entre ellos el de la integridad territorial y soberan铆a de otro pa铆s 鈥揈cuador-; el de la autodeterminaci贸n de los pueblos; de tratados y convenios bilaterales y multilaterales en materia de cooperaci贸n judicial y penal3. En lo nacional dicha acci贸n que fue contraria a lo preceptuado en la Constituci贸n Pol铆tica y en la legislaci贸n penal. Pero tambi茅n result贸 contraria a las reglas de la guerra, si, porque hasta la guerra tiene l铆mites y existe un c贸digo de honor del guerrero, seg煤n el cual NO TODO SE VALE.

EL OBJETIVO MILITAR DE LA OPERACI脫N F脡NIX

En materia militar, con la Operaci贸n F茅nix se buscaba dar de baja a quien era considerado como un 麓Objetivo de alto valor麓. La inteligencia militar hab铆a ubicado en la frontera colombo-ecuatoriana, m谩s exactamente en Angosturas, provincia de Sucumb铆os- Ecuador un campamento de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-FARC, en el que se encontrar铆a dicho objetivo: el jefe insurgente e integrante del secretariado de las FARC, Ra煤l Reyes.

La Operaci贸n F茅nix tuvo lugar entonces: Primero vino una fase de ablandamiento del terreno. No import贸 que ese objetivo estuviera por fuera de la frontera colombiana ni que no mediara autorizaci贸n del gobierno ecuatoriano en cabeza del presidente Rafael Correa ni de las autoridades judiciales de ese pa铆s para realizar dicha incursi贸n.

La Fuerza A茅rea Colombiana bombarde贸, con todo su poder de fuego, el campamento ubicado en Ecuador, luego vino el desembarco a茅reo de los miembros de las fuerzas Especiales de la Polic铆a y el ej茅rcito colombianos para inspeccionar y copar el 谩rea bombardeada, corroborar la baja de su 麓objetivo de alto valor麓 e incautar selectivamente, de nuevo, sin autorizaci贸n de autoridad judicial聽 competente de Ecuador ni de Colombia evidencia material, alterando la escena de los hechos.

En la Operaci贸n F茅nix murieron violentamente el jefe guerrillero de las FARC, Ra煤l Reyes y al menos otras 24 personas entre civiles y combatientes rebeldes. Entre los civiles murieron 4 estudiantes mexicanos4聽 y un ciudadano ecuatoriano5.

Entre los sobrevivientes conocidos se encontraron una estudiante mexicana y dos guerrilleras heridas6.

Dos de los cuerpos, los de inter茅s para las fuerzas armadas colombianas, el de Ra煤l Reyes y el de quien cre铆an era el guerrillero Juli谩n Conrado fueron sustra铆dos ilegalmente del lugar y transportados a Colombia sin cumplir los protocolos聽 establecidos para el levantamiento de los occisos. Sus im谩genes-el trofeo de guerra- fueron presentadas de forma grotesca en los medios de comunicaci贸n.

Aun hoy se desconoce la causa real de la muerte del jefe de las FARC, Ra煤l Reyes. Su cuerpo nunca fue entregado a sus familiares. Hoy se encuentra entre los m谩s de 50.000 desaparecidos en Colombia.

El otro cuerpo, result贸 ser el del ciudadano ecuatoriano Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina y no del guerrillero聽 Juli谩n Conrado, este una vez identificado fue repatriado a Ecuador. Hoy cursa ante la Comisi贸n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos una demanda contra el Estado colombiano interpuesta por el gobierno ecuatoriano por el homicidio -ejecuci贸n extrajudicial- de este ciudadano ecuatoriano7.

LA DENOMINADA FARC-POLITICA

El otro componente de la Operaci贸n F茅nix tomo forma en el plano pol铆tico y jur铆dico. En el 2008 el esc谩ndalo de la PARAPOLITICA, que compromet铆a a un gran n煤mero de miembros de la clase pol铆tica, en su mayor铆a asociados al gobierno Uribe, estaba en un punto de cl铆max. Para tender una cortina de humo sobre este asunto, el gobierno fabrico lo que denominar铆a como FARC-POLITICA, basada en la supuesta evidencia material (computadores, discos duros extra铆bles y usbs) ilegalmente obtenida por miembros de las fuerzas armadas que intervinieron en la incursi贸n en el campamento de Ra煤l Reyes en Ecuador.

Dicha evidencia material fue recolectada de forma arbitraria e ilegal por personal militar, y de polic铆a, quienes, contrario a lo que afirman algunos funcionarios del anterior y actual gobierno, no contaban con funciones de polic铆a judicial. Esta fue sustra铆da de facto, en territorio de otro pa铆s y sin la autorizaci贸n expresa de autoridad judicial del Ecuador, afectando la escena聽 de los hechos y violando los protocolos internacionales en materia de recolecci贸n de materiales probatorios en territorio extranjero.

Fue el entonces mayor de la polic铆a Camilo Ernesto 脕lvarez ochoa8, como comandante del Grupo Contra Objetivos de Alto Valor-comando de Operaciones especiales-COPES- uno de quienes recolectaron la evidencia material, la sustrajo ilegalmente y en calidad de primer respondiente de la 鈥渃adena de custodia鈥 transport贸 dicho material hacia territorio colombiano.

Ya en Colombia, en el municipio de Puerto As铆s, Putumayo, el mismo 1 de marzo de 2008, el mayor 脕lvarez hizo entrega del material probatorio al entonces capit谩n de la polic铆a (DIJIN) Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, quien a partir de ese momento y hasta el 3 de marzo, fungir铆a como el segundo respondiente de ese material inform谩tico y su 麓cadena de custodia鈥.

El capit谩n Coy, sin ser perito inform谩tico, del 1 al 3 de marzo de 2008, manipulo dicha evidencia f铆sica sin cumplir con los protocolos establecidos para el tratamiento de la misma. Sin que personal especializado en inform谩tica hubiere creado la 鈥渃opia espejo鈥, necesaria para el an谩lisis de la informaci贸n, accedi贸 directamente a los archivos, de los cuales posteriormente聽 en declaraci贸n juramentada dijo que no se trataban de correos electr贸nicos sino de archivos WORD (documento).

9聽 adicionalmente abri贸, ley贸 y copio en su computador personal dichos archivos. Y no conforme con ello, entrego copias de los mismos, por considerarlos de importancia para la 鈥淪eguridad Nacional鈥 al Ministerio de Defensa Colombiano, todo esto sin que mediara orden de autoridad competente alguna.

El Ministerio de Defensa colombiano, a su vez filtr贸 a los medios algunos de estos documentos, escogidos selectivamente, violando as铆 la reserva sumarial de la supuesta prueba reina que usar铆an en la denominada FARC-POLITICA.

Solo hasta el 3 de marzo de 2008, el capit谩n Coy hizo entrega de la 鈥渆videncia鈥, en la ciudad de Bogot谩, al mayor Freddy Bautista Garc铆a, de la polic铆a Nacional, entonces al frente del Grupo de Delitos Inform谩ticos de la DIJIN. Fue el mayor Bautista quien despu茅s de procesar con su equipo de peritos dicha evidencia f铆sica y crear por primera vez la 鈥渃opia espejo鈥 de la misma, sugiri贸 que la INTERPOL10 certificara dicho procedimiento para validar esa prueba.

EL INICO DE UNA PESADILLA QUE NO TERMINA

Todav铆a con el furor de la Operaci贸n F茅nix que se rebelaba聽 en sus rostros iluminados, en el mes de mayo聽 de 2008, el entonces fiscal General de la Naci贸n Mario Iguar谩n, junto al Ministro de Defensa, Juan Manuel Santos, aparecieron ante los medios de comunicaci贸n para anunciar p煤blicamente la apertura de una investigaci贸n judicial contra vari@s ciudadan@s colombian@s y extranger@s dentro de la llamada FARC-POLITICA, proceso construido sobre la base de la informaci贸n supuestamente obtenida de los elementos inform谩ticos de Ra煤l Reyes en la Operaci贸n F茅nix.

Para mi sorpresa, escuche en boca del fiscal Iguar谩n mi nombre, que aparec铆a junto al de connotadas personalidades de la vida pol铆tica, acad茅mica y period铆stica; entre ellos se mencionaba a l@s congrsist@as del Polo Democr谩tico Alternativo, Gloria In茅s Ram铆rez y Wilson Borja; a la entonces senadora del Partido Liberal Piedad C贸rdoba; al ex ministro 脕lvaro Leyva Duran; a los periodistas Carlos Lozano Guillen, William Parra y L谩zaro Viveros; al acad茅mico estadounidense James Jones y al parlamentario venezolano Am铆lcar Figueroa. Con el tiempo esta lista se ir铆a ampliando con nuevos nombres. El factor com煤n entre quienes fuimos incluidos en esta l铆nea es el compromiso asumido desde los diferentes espacios de trabajo de cada un@, alg煤n@s de nosotr@s desde la oposici贸n pol铆tica, con la defensa de los derechos humanos, la b煤squeda de escenarios de paz y de acuerdo humanitarios.

Despu茅s de esa alocuci贸n vinieron momentos de zozobra para m铆 y mi familia. Mi vida que hasta entonces transcurr铆a entre mi trabajo profesional como soci贸loga; mi compromiso con la defensa de los derechos humanos, de las mujeres y laborales;聽 mi militancia en la izquierda como opci贸n politica11;聽 mi actividad acad茅mica en la maestr铆a en Estudios Pol铆ticos en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia (estaba preparando min tesis de grado), y la crianza de mis hij@s(4 y 15 a帽os) como madre cabeza de familia, cambi贸 radicalmente, aunque no en lo fundamental.

Ante el inminente proceso judicial me dispuse a buscar ayuda legal para asumir mi defensa.

El 8 de agosto de 2008, mientras le铆a noticias en internet hubo una que ocupo toda mi atenci贸n, se trataba de la orden de captura en mi contra. Horas m谩s tarde era allanada mi residencia y yo era conducida a los calabozos de la DIJIN y de ah铆 a la reclusi贸n de Mujeres de Bogot谩, en donde permanezco aun, 36 meses despu茅s, en calidad de SINDICADA a la espera de que se haga justicia en mi caso y en un claro abuso de la detenci贸n preventiva.

En el operativo de allanamiento participaron fuerzas policiales (DIJIN) fuertemente armados, quienes lograron Intimidar a mi anciana madre y a mis peque帽os hijos. En el lugar se incautaron documentos de tenencia legal, incluso algunos de mi madre e hij@s, que figuran entre las pruebas en聽 mi contra.

Al frente del operativo de allanamiento y 鈥渃aptura鈥 se encontraba el capit谩n de la DIJIN, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, el mismo que particip贸 en la Operaci贸n F茅nix.聽 Este me dec铆a con sorna entre muchas otras cosas que 鈥搈e har铆a famosa, nacional e internacionalmente-, mientras otro de los polic铆as filmaba todo a m铆 alrededor,聽 incluso a mi familia y a m铆 en todos los planos. Hubo un instante que me causo curiosidad, cuando el camar貌grafago de la polic铆a fue despachado con tono de urgencia del lugar. A los pocos minutos a煤n sin que el allanamiento hubiera terminado, eran transmitidas las im谩genes del operativo en televisi贸n, mientras los polic铆as hac铆an una pausa para ver el espect谩culo medi谩tico con el pecho henchido por el 鈥減ositivo鈥.

Con mi detenci贸n se iniciaba el proceso de la FARC-POLIT脤CA. Un proceso pol铆tico m谩s que jur铆dico, que hoy parece languidecer dada la arbitrariedad e ilegalidad sobre la que fue construido.

El 11 de agoto de 2008, estando a煤n aislada en los calabozos de la DIJIN, fui conducida al Bunker de la Fiscal铆a para rendir indagatoria ante la fiscal 19 anti-terrorismo, Nancy Esperanza Pardo Bonilla. Hasta entonces me enterar铆a de las razones por las que me encontraba vinculada al proceso de las FARC-POLITICA y de los cargos que se me imputaban.

Antes de regresar al Bunker de la Fiscal铆a algun@s聽 periodistas trataron de obtener de m铆 alguna declaraci贸n. Qued贸 grabada en mi memoria la primer pregunta que me hacia una periodista 鈥溌縀s cierto que usted era la amante de Ra煤l Reyes?鈥

la mir茅 y le respond铆聽 鈥淓so no es verdad y con este tipo de calumnias mal intencionadas vulneran mi dignidad como mujer y como ser humano鈥. En realidad no s茅 que me ofend铆a m谩s, si el ser sometida p煤blicamente a una falsedad que dejaba una marca perenne聽 sobre mi honra, o el saber qu茅 estaba siendo usada como carne de ca帽贸n por quienes desde la `inteligencia militar` s贸lo quer铆an desdibujar la imagen del jefe insurgente.

Ya en la indagatoria la Fiscal me imputo los cargos de Rebeli贸n y Administraci贸n de Recursos con fines Terroristas, cargos soportados en la supuesta informaci贸n obtenida en los dispositivos inform谩ticos del abatido jefe de las FARC, Ra煤l Reyes.

Cargos que no acepte someti茅ndome conscientemente a un proceso de juicio para demostrar mi inocencia. La Fiscal decidi贸 entonces dictar medida de aseguramiento en mi contra en establecimiento carcelario. Fue la primera vez que se me neg贸 el beneficio de la detenci贸n domiciliaria a pesar de haber demostrado plenamente mi condici贸n de madre cabeza de familia. 聽

Luego se me negar铆a dicho beneficio en 9聽 ocasiones m谩s por consider谩rseme un 鈥減eligro para la sociedad鈥 cosa que no ocurre con l@s delincuentes de cuello blanco a qui茅nes se les otorga sin ninguna traba este beneficio.

El 14 de agostos de 2008 fui entonces remitida a la reclusi贸n de mujeres de Bogot谩 鈥 鈥淏uen Pastor鈥 al pabell贸n 6, que es el pabell贸n en el que se encuentran, por calificaci贸n de internas la mayor parte de las mujeres聽 presas pol铆ticas de la reclusi贸n. Me convert铆 entonces en la primera colombiana y la 煤nica mujer privada de su libertad por la denominada FARC-

POL脤TICA.

DE OTRAS ILEGALIDADES PROCESALES

Desde el mismo momento en que fui vinculada con pruebas ilegales 鈥 al proceso judicial de la FARC-PO脤TICA se me someti贸 a una exposici贸n medi谩tica en donde se me atribuyeron desde tener 鈥渓azos afectivos鈥 con el abatido jefe de las FARC, Ra煤l Reyes, hasta de una serie de responsabilidades que nunca he tenido. Dicha situaci贸n no s贸lo afect贸 mi honra y mi buen nombre sino que adem谩s ha desencadenado un sinn煤mero de tratos degradantes, ofensas e incluso amenazas de muerte en mi contra con los consecuentes problemas de seguridad para m铆 y mi familia.

En la reclusi贸n l@s prisioner@s pol铆tic@s debemos cargar con el estigma del `delito` que se nos endilga: REBELI脫N y se nos hace un `perfil` de alta peligrosidad, pues seguimos siendo considerad@s el `enemigo interno`, s贸lo que tras las rejas.

Estas circunstancias m谩s mi continuado compromiso con la defensa de los derechos humanos, ahora de mis compa帽eras@s en prisi贸n me ha valido el se帽alamiento y la continuada persecuci贸n聽 de parte del INPEC12.

Como resultado de dicho se帽alamiento el pasado primero de junio de 2011 fui trasladada聽 dentro de la misma reclusi贸n del pabell贸n 6聽 al pabell贸n 7, donde me encuentro aislada del resto de mis compa帽eras prisioneras pol铆ticas y sometida a mayores medidas de seguridad.

Adem谩s de haber sido vinculada a un proceso judicial con fundamento en pruebas ilegales, con la consecuente detenci贸n arbitraria, el proceso en mi contra ha estado flagrado de irregularidades desde la etapa de instrucci贸n hasta ahora:-fui imputada adem谩s del 鈥渄elito鈥 de rebeli贸n, que es un delito pol铆tico y de la competencia de la justicia ordinaria, con el delito de administraci贸n de recursos con fines terroristas, que es un delito no pol铆tico y del resorte de la justicia especializada.

Ha sido una estrategia de l@s fiscales imputar a l@ opositores pol铆tic@s delitos asociados al terrorismo, conjuntamente al 鈥渄elito鈥 de rebeli贸n, esto con el fin de agravar la situaci贸n jur铆dica con largas condenas , aumentar los tiempos requeridos para el desarrollo de los procesos y entrabar el accesos a beneficios jur铆dicos para imputados y condenados.

Por cuenta de esta estrategia me ha sido negada repetidamente la detenci贸n domiciliaria, se me someti贸 a detenci贸n preventiva que es 鈥搖na medida extraordinaria-y se ha prolongado en el tiempo el desarrollo del proceso.

-despu茅s de que la fiscal 19 profiri贸 la resoluci贸n de acusaci贸n en mi contra y quedo en firme, el 08 de abril de 2009 se inicio lo audiencia p煤blica y la audiencia preparatoria antes del juicio bajo la competencia del Juzgado Noveno Penal del Circuito Especializado de Bogot谩. Durante la audiencia preparatoria solicitamos con mi defensa el acceso a la totalidad de la 鈥減rueba reina鈥, es decir, de los archivos obtenidos en la Operaci贸n F茅nix, pero esta petici贸n nos fue negada. Tanto Juez como fiscal solo nos permitieron conocer res煤menes de los archivos que se consideraban estaban directamente relacionadas conmigo. De esta forma se rompi贸 la unidad procesal de tod@s lo vinculad@s al proceso de la FARC-POLITICA, para quienes 鈥渓a prueba reina鈥 son precisamente esos archivos obtenidos en la Operaci贸n F茅nix.

As铆, se nos impidi贸 a l@s vinculad@s de dicho proceso la posibilidad de asumir colectivamente la defensa. A cada uno de nosotr@s se nos individualizo la investigaci贸n y se nos permiti贸 conocer solo fracciones de la 鈥減rueba reina鈥. De esta forma se afect贸 seriamente la salvaguardia al debido proceso y a un juicio justo.

-por estar sometida a la justicia especializada, los tiempos del proceso en la fase de audiencia p煤blica han sido largos y con interrupciones, a tal punto y cumplido 24 meses desde el inicio de la audiencia publica y 32 meses de mi 鈥渄etenci贸n preventiva鈥, no se ha terminado esta etapa teniendo derecho a聽 mi libertad por vencimiento de t茅rminos.

El 11 de abril de 2011 solicitamos dicha libertad, pero el 13 de abril la Juez Novena Penal del Circuito Especializado la neg贸 excus谩ndose en que la audiencia p煤blica no se ha podido terminar por 鈥渃ausas justas y razonables鈥, debido a que la defensa hab铆a solicitado la pr谩ctica de pruebas en el exterior y que por lo tanto se me estar铆a garantizando el debido proceso.

Ante tal absurdo jur铆dico, a trav茅s de la defensa interpusimos recursos de apelaci贸n y Habeas Corpus13 para pedir la libertad por vencimiento de t茅rminos, pero tanto el Tribunal Superior de Bogot谩, que tuvo conocimiento de la apelaci贸n, como el juez de Habeas Corpus se negaron tambi茅n a otorgarme la libertad inmediata.

-en mayo 18 de 2011, la Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sala Penal, profiri贸 auto inhibitorio14 en el caso del ex congresista vinculado al proceso de la llamada FARC-POLITICA. Con este auto la Corte sentenci贸 que las evidencias f铆sicas obtenidas en la Operaci贸n F茅nix y que han sido usadas como prueba en el caso del ex congresista Wilson Borja es decir la FARC-POLITICA son ilegales y que en derecho no pueden ser usadas ni en el caso de Borja ni en ning煤n otro proceso pues no tienen ninguna validez jur铆dica.

El 1 de agosto de 2011, la Sala Penal de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, de forma un谩nime ratifico la sentencia proferida el 18 de mayo de 2011聽 en la que se declara ilegal la evidencia material obtenida en la Operaci贸n F茅nix y la imposibilidad de que esta sea usada en cualquier proceso judicial como prueba.

Basados en ese fallo recuper贸 la libertad el profesor Miguel 脕ngel Beltr谩n en junio 3 de 2011. El profesor Beltr谩n tambi茅n hab铆a sido vinculado por el proceso de la FARC-POLITICA y permaneci贸 2 a帽os privado injustamente de la libertad. Tambi茅n se freno la extradici贸n hacia Colombia del dirigente comunista Manuel Olate y se pudo esclarecer su situaci贸n jur铆dica en su pa铆s.

-por su parte, mi defensor basado en el fallo de la Corte Suprema de Justicia solicit贸 en el mes de julio de 2011 el Control de Legalidad ante la jueza 9 Penal del Circuito Especializado, Danae Hinestroza Rengifo y la solicitud聽 de mi libertad por haber sido detenida arbitrariamente con fundamento en pruebas ilegales. La jueza de conocimiento una vez m谩s rechazo la solicitud de la defensa.

-el 01 de agosto de 2011 recurrimos a la acci贸n de Habeas Corpus al considerar que no solo fui privada de mi libertad arbitraria e ilegalmente sino porque existe una prolongaci贸n ilegal de dicha detenci贸n. Soportamos nuestra solicitud en la providencia de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sala Penal, de mayo 18 de 2011 y su ratificaci贸n del 1 de agosto de 2011 en la que se declara nula por carecer de validez jur铆dica la 鈥減rueba鈥 obtenida ilegalmente en la Operaci贸n F茅nix que ha sido usada en mi contra.

Inexplicablemente el juez de Habeas Corpus, el juez 30 Laboral del Circuito de Bogot谩, Alfonso Mario Araujo Monroi quien niega por 鈥渋mprocedente鈥 nuestra petici贸n fundado en espurios argumentos jur铆dicos.

Es evidente que durante estos 36 meses mi 鈥渄etenci贸n preventiva鈥 en establecimiento carcelario ha vulnerado innumerables derechos: a la presunci贸n de inocencia, al debido proceso, a la leg铆tima defensa, a las garant铆as procesales, y a mi libertad caus谩ndome da帽os irreparables en lo material y en lo moral. Por tal motivo a trav茅s de mi defensa hemos solicitado Medidas Cautelares de protecci贸n聽聽 a la Comisi贸n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.

Lo cierto es que a tres a帽os de la cuestionada Operaci贸n F茅nix, el monstruo de la FARC-POLITICA languidece. Por fortuna ya muchas de las personas injustamente vinculadas聽 a este proceso han sido inhibidas o absueltas. Aun continuamos privados de nuestra libertad Joaqu铆n P茅rez Becerra y yo.

Entre tanto mis d铆as siguen transcurriendo en una celda de alta seguridad聽 aislada del resto de mis compa帽eras prisioneras pol铆ticas聽 pero con la dignidad, la moral y la frente en alto.

Seguiremos luchando por la libertad de tod@s l@s prisioner@s pol铆tic@s colombian@s.

Alg煤n d铆a ser谩 posible y podr茅 de nuevo en libertad continuar trabajando por una patria verdadera, democr谩tica, inclusi贸n pol铆tica, con justicia social y paz.

Estos 36 meses de injusto encarcelamiento han sido menos tortuosos gracias a la invaluable solidaridad y a las expresiones de cari帽o de muchos y muchas compa帽eros y de muchas otras personas, que aun sin conocerlos se han sensibilizado con mi caso y el de los m谩s de 7500 prisioner@s pol铆tic@s colombian@s.

A tod@s ell@s, a las organizaciones sindicales, de derechos humanos, activistas por la paz y la justicia social, a los medios de comunicaci贸n alternativos, a los partidos pol铆ticos de oposici贸n a los abogados dem贸cratas, y a l@s parlamentarios que han confluido聽 desde distintas latitudes del globo, en la campa帽a por la libertad de l@s y prisioner@s pol铆tic@s colombin@s, mi gratitud y afecto.

Quiero agradecer especialmente a l@s compa帽eros de la Red Internacional de Solidaridad Con los Prisioner@s politic@s colombian@s(INSPP, sigla en ingles); de la Campa帽a de Solidaridad por los Prisioner@s Pol铆tic@s en Canad谩, de Justicia por Colombia en el Reino Unido; de los circulos de Solidaridad por Colombia y de Paz y Justica por Colombia en Australia; de la Alianza por La Justicia Global en Estados Unidos; de la Campa帽a de Solidaridad por l@s prisioner@s pol铆tic@s colombian@s 鈥淐reando Puentes Solidarios鈥, en Cuba; de la Agencia Bolivariana de Asuntos Humanitarios Patria es Solidaridad, en Venezuela; de la Campa帽a por la Libertad de los Prisioner@s pol铆tic@s colombian@s en Francia, de la campa帽a por la Libertad de los prisioner@s pol铆tic@s 鈥淭raspasa los Muros鈥, de la Fundaci贸n Lazos de Dignidad, de la Brigada Jur铆dica Eduardo Uma帽a Mendoza, del Comit茅 Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Colombia.

A las y los abogados que han contribuido con mi defensa Eduardo Matyas Camargo, Gustavo Gallardo, Santiago Ortiz y July Henriquez.

A mi amigo y compa帽ero Ra煤l Arango, siempre solidario con las prisioneras pol铆ticas del Buen Pastor, a Niki, donde quiera que este.

A mi compa帽ero y amigo N茅stor Montilla que siempre me acompa帽贸 mientras estuvo vivo y aun me acompa帽a.

A mi peque帽a pero incondicional y amorosa familia.

A todas y todos muchas gracias y un abrazo fraterno.

LILIANY OBANDO PRISIONERA POLITICA, SOBREVIVIENTE DEL GENOCIDIO CONTRA LA UNI脫N PATRIOTICA. RECLUSI脫N DE MUJERES DE BOGOTA BUEN PASTOR. AGOSTO 8 DE 2011.

NOTAS

1.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Prisionera pol铆tica sobreviviente del genocidio contra la uni贸n patri贸tica. Soci贸loga, defensora de derechos humanos, de las mujeres y laboral.

2.聽聽聽聽聽聽 鈥淓l gobierno de Ecuador鈥 sostiene que de acuerdo a los restos de las bombas encontradas en el campamento estas requieren para ser lanzadas una tecnolog铆a avanzada que seg煤n ellos no disponen la Fuerza A茅rea de Colombia鈥. Informe de la comisi贸n de la OEA que visito Ecuador y Colombia. Vig茅sima quinta reuni贸n聽聽 de consulta de ministros de relaciones exteriores, 17 de marzo de 2008, Washington pg. 7

3.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Colombia es Estado parte de la Organizaci贸n de Estados Americanos OEA, como tal aprob贸 la Convenci贸n Interamericana sobre asistencia mutua en materia penal, suscrita en聽 Nassau, Bahamas el 23 de mayo de 1992 y el protocolo facultativo relativo a la convenci贸n interamericana sobre asistencia mutua en materia penal聽 adoptado en Managua,Nicaragua el 11 de junio de 1998. la Ley 636 de 2001. Colombia tambi茅n aprob贸 el convenio de cooperaci贸n judicial y de asistencia mutua en materia penal entre la rep煤blica de Colombia y la rep煤blica de Ecuador, suscrito en Santa Fe de Bogot谩, D.C, el 18 de diciembre de 1996. Ley 519 de 1999.

4.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Ver贸nica Natalia V谩zquez Ram铆rez, Fernando Franco Delgado, Soren Ulises Avil茅s, Juan Gonzales del Castillo, estudiantes de la universidad aut贸noma de M茅xico UNAM.

5.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina.

6.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Martha P茅rez y Diana Gonzales, guerrilleras de las FARC y Lucia Morett 脕lvarez, encontradas por militares ecuatorianos.

7.聽聽聽聽聽聽 El Estado ecuatoriano acuso al Estado colombiano por el homicidio 鈥淓jecuci贸n extrajudicial鈥澛 de Franklin Aisalla ante la Comisi贸n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. Seg煤n el estado ecuatoriano Aisalla fue asesinado a golpes de fusil que le destrozaron el cr谩neo.

8.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Hoy cursa una investigaci贸n en Ecuador contra altos mandos de las Fuerzas Armadas colombianas quienes participaron en la Operaci贸n F茅nix, entre ellos el entonces聽 mayor de la polic铆a Camilo聽 Ernesto Alvares Ochoa, comandante del Grupo de Objetivos de Alto Valor el Comando de Operaciones Especiales 鈥揅OPES-

9.聽聽聽聽聽聽 El entonces capit谩n de la DIJIN- Polic铆a Nacional, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz quien fue custodio de las evidencias f铆sicas obtenidas en la Operaci贸n F茅nix declar贸 bajo juramento que dichos archivos no eran correos electr贸nicos sino documentos Word

10.聽聽 De acuerdo al informe de la INTERPOL sobre la validez de los procedimientos usados en el tratamiento de los dispositivos obtenidos en la Operaci贸n F茅nix del 1 al 3 de marzo de 2008 se manipularon unos 48.000 archivos sin el lleno de los protocolos establecidos para tal fin.

11.聽聽 Un Estado que como el colombiano se autoproclama democr谩tico y de Estado Social de Derecho debe garantizar la inclusi贸n y participaci贸n de la oposici贸n pol铆tica.

12.聽聽 Instituto Penitenciario y carcelario.

13.聽聽 Derecho fundamental y acci贸n constitucional, art铆culo 30 de la Constituci贸n Nacional.

14.聽聽 De acuerdo al art铆culo 327 del c贸digo de procedimiento penal ley 600 de 2000 鈥溾 se torna imperativo emitir decisi贸n inhibitoria, cuando el comportamiento no ha existido, es at铆pico, est谩 acreditada un causal eximente de responsabilidad, o no es viable legalmente la acci贸n penal鈥濃 pagina 3. Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sala de Casaci贸n Penal,聽 Bogot谩, D.C. mayo 18 de 2011