26 Feb 2011

Urgent Action, Sandra Viviana environmental researcher disappeared

UA request - Sandra Viviana environmental researcher disappeared

Sandra Viviana environmental researcher was 'disappeared' en route to give a lecture
at National University, Palmira, near Cali, Colombia.

Please see urgent action from Friends of the Earth below

CENSAT 'Agua Viva', Friends of the Earth Colombia

International solidarity needed: Pressure the Colombian authorities to find Sandra Viviana Civil society organisations in Colombia have reported the disappearance of Sandra Viviana Cuellar Gallego, in Cali on February 17. Friends of the Earth International and Censat Agua Viva / Friends of the Earth Colombia need your help to pressure the Colombian authorities to step up the search for her.

Sandra Viviana Cuellar GallegoSandra is a 26 year-old environmental engineer who works on water, basin protection and wetland issues. Her work involves advocating for the equal participation of local communities in the environmental decisions that affect them. She used to work with Censat Agua Viva / Friends of the Earth Colombia on forestry issues.

Her identity card and cell phone were found on February 19, near the place where she was supposed to take a public bus to the National University of Colombia in Palmira.

According to her family's report, the activist might have been approached by criminals in the Belalcazar neighbourhood, close to her parents home. However, political motivations for her disappearance have not been ruled out.

In Cali, Colombian environmental activist Hildebrando Velez, is leading the local efforts in the search for Sandra.

He spoke to us about the need for the international community to know about her case in order to put pressure on the authorities to speed up their search.

Too many environmentalists have been murdered or "disappeared" in Colombia.
We need to send a message to the Colombian authorities to show them that we are monitoring their response.

Please add your name to the letter below which will be sent to the
Director of the Presidential Program for Human Rights, the Ombudsman and
the Attorney General.

*You can send the letter directly from this link:


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