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Colombia: Release of human rights defender, Mr Andres Gil
Front Line welcomes the release of human rights defender, Mr Andres Gil after almost 2 years of detention on 31 August 2009. Andres Gil is a leader and a member of the Executive Committee of the Cimitarra River Valley Peasant Farmer Association (ACVC), which works for farmer and peasant rights in the Magdelena Medio region of Colombia.
On 29 September 2007, Andres Gil was detained by the Colombian secret police and members of the Army in the village of San Lorenzo in the municipality of Cantagallo, Bolivar department along with 5 other members of the ACVC. All of those detained were accused of 'rebellion' while the evidence against was provided by a paid informant of the Colombian Arm whose testimony was later proved to be fabricated at which time the judges ordered the release of four of the six detained ACVC members. Andres Gil had been held in jail since that time without ever having been convicted of any crime.
Front Line welcomes the release of Andres Gil, and calls on the Colombian authorities to end the judicial persecution of human rights defenders in Colombia.