Political prisoner in Colombia: Carmelo Agámez

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

Colombian human rights activist Carmelo Agámez was detained in November 2008. Five men raided his house in San Onofre without a warrant.


[media:factfile]Representing MOVICE (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado – Movement of Victims of State Crimes), Mr Agámez has been denouncing human rights violations in Colombia's Sucre region for years.

He has also exposed links between local public officials and paramilitary forces. As a result, he received death threats.

Conspiracy charges
Now, however, he has been accused of conspiring with the very paramilitary squads he has been denouncing. He is being held in prison together with paramilitaries.

Given the lack of evidence against him and his wrongful arrest, it had been expected that Carmelo would be released quickly, but this has not happened. He has not yet been sentenced.

His daughter, Sandra (35), visits her father every week and brings him clean clothes and food. She has begun studying law because, she says, “I want to rectify the injustice done to my father”.

-- In an official statement, the Colombian Foreign Ministry denies that Mr Agámez is held in arbitrary detention --

More on political prisoners:
RNW dossierAmnesty International, Human Rights Watch