Tag Archives: Colombia

PBI-Colombia accompanies CCAJAR lawyers collective at Inter-American Court of Human Rights hearing

16/05/22

On May 16, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Last week PBI accompanied @Ccajar during the public hearing held in @CorteIDH [the Inter-American Court of Human Rights] in the case Members of the “José Alvear Restrepo” Lawyers Corporation v. Colombia. See more information about the audience here.”

[…]

The hearing took place on May 12-13 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

On May 11, PBI-Colombia also tweeted:

“@CorteIDH [the Inter-American Court of Human Rights] calls #Colombia to judge surveillance and illegal intelligence against human rights defenders @Ccajar whom we have accompanied since 1995. We express our deep admiration and solidarity for their tireless work in defense of human rights and search for justice so that #NoSeRepita [there is no repetition].”

[…]

Last month, CCAJAR explained:

“For the first time, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will try a case involving illegal surveillance and intelligence on human rights defenders.

This is the case brought by the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (Cajar), which has denounced being a victim of persecution practices for more than 30 years, in which its members have been the focus of illegal intelligence activities by different State agencies, stigmatizing speeches, threats, attacks, exiles, smear campaigns, psychological torture and harassment.”

On the first day of the hearing, CCAJAR tweeted:

“In the worst years of persecution we felt that the organization was going to end. Half of the lawyers of @Ccajar had to go into exile. We always appeared on lists of threats from paramilitary groups.”

[…]

https://www.escr-net.org/member/corporacion-colectivo-abogados-jose-alvear-restrepo-ccajar

https://www.omct.org/en/network-members/corporaci%C3%B3n-colectivo-de-abogados-jos%C3%A9-alvear-restrepo-cajar

https://www.dw.com/es/las-fuerzas-de-seguridad-de-colombia-atrapadas-en-la-guerra-fr%C3%ADa/a-61794328 (ESPANOL)

https://zonacero.com/generales/corteidh-escucho-colectivo-de-abogados-jose-alvear-por-caso-de-persecucion-en-colombia

https://www.abogacia.es/actualidad/noticias/la-fundacion-abogacia-muestra-su-apoyo-a-un-colectivo-de-abogados-de-colombia-objeto-de-escuchas-ilegales/

https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/cortes/corte-idh-juzgara-a-colombia-por-persecucion-ilegal-al-colectivo-cajar-671408

https://www.corteidh.or.cr/index.cfm?lang=pt

https://www.colectivodeabogados.org/

(FRANCAIS)

Paraguayan anti-mafia prosecutor killed on Colombia honeymoon

11/05/22

A high-profile Paraguayan prosecutor who fought against organised crime in his home country has been shot dead during his honeymoon in Colombia.

Marcelo Pecci was on a beach on the idyllic tourist island of Baru when he was killed by two gunmen.

Hours before the shooting, Mr Pecci’s wife had announced on Instagram that she was pregnant.

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez described the shooting as a “cowardly murder”.

His wife, journalist Claudia Aguilera, said that they were approached by two men on a private beach before her husband was shot. She said he had not received any threats.

“Two men attacked Marcelo. They came in a small boat, or on a jet ski, the truth is I did not see well,” Ms Aguilera told the El Tiempo newspaper.

One of the assailants got out and “without a word he shot Marcelo twice, one (bullet) hit him in the face and another in the back”, she said.

The Decameron Hotel, where the couple was staying, said in a statement that “assassins arrived on the beach… and attacked and murdered one of our guests”.

[…]

Mr Pecci specialised in organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and terror financing.

In 2020 he worked on a case against former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho, who was arrested trying to enter Paraguay with a fake Paraguayan passport.

[…]

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-61403318

https://elpais.com/america-colombia/2022-05-10/asesinado-en-colombia-un-fiscal-paraguayo-especializado-en-crimen-organizado.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-61401244

https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/le-procureur-anti-drogue-du-paraguay-assassine-en-colombie-20220510 (FRANCAIS)

Colombia: Day of the Endangered Lawyer – Wrap up

24/01/22

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "24 January 2022 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE LAWYER IN DANGER COLOMBIA"

Along with the workaday perils of practising law that they share with their male counterparts, such as being gunned down in the street, Colombia’s women lawyers face threats that are particular to them. They could be raped, for example, or suffer another form of sexual assault that aims to intimidate and discourage them from doing their job – which is representing and protecting the vulnerable through the rule of law. Also, women lawyers’ children may be threatened with violence or press ganged into a guerrilla army, where the only subject on the curriculum – Marxist precepts apart – is how to kill.

These are some of the stark truths to emerge from this year’s Day of the Endangered Lawyer (24 January) panel discussion chaired by Law Society international human rights adviser Doctor Marina Brilman. Previous discussions have looked at other countries where the rule of law no longer holds sway, such as Azerbajan, Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt. This year’s focus is on the South American republic of Colombia, where the 2016 peace agreement was supposed to have ended the 60 year conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the state.

The conflict claimed around 262,000 lives, displaced 6.9m people, saw around 18,000 children forced to join armed groups and many thousands more people ‘disappeared’, raped or tortured. The optimism engendered by the agreement has failed to bear fruit, as the three Colombian lawyers on the panel report.

Dora Lucy Arias Giraldo is a member of Colombia’s leading human rights lawyers’ collective. She begins: ‘The Colombian constitution states that it is the duty of lawyers to promote human rights and represent the vulnerable. And yet the government, working through its own intelligence organisations, has an active strategy of diminishing and weakening our operations through attacks on our children and sexual violence against our (women lawyers’) bodies.’ She concedes: ‘There are protection measures in place regarding gender, but they are under-funded – a particular problem when trying to bring powerful economic players to justice.’

Ana Maria Rodriguez, who is also a human rights lawyer, warns that Colombia’s ‘entire existence as a social justice state’ is under threat. She points to recent ‘reforms’ that were designed specifically to weaken the remit of both public prosecutors and the ombudsman, while increasing the power of the executive to turn a blind eye to government corruption.

[…]

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer/5111266.article

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2022/01/statement-of-aba-president-reginald-turner-re-day-of-the-endange/

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/auvergne-rhone-alpes/rhone/lyon/journee-internationale-des-avocats-en-danger-le-barreau-de-lyon-denoncent-la-situation-de-leurs-conferes-colombiens-2431921.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.leprogres.fr/societe/2022/01/24/journee-de-l-avocat-en-danger-a-lyon-une-tradition-de-defense-des-droits-de-l-homme

https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/11306/24_gennaio_2022_-_giornata_dell_avvocato_minacciato.html (ITALIANO)

May be an image of text that says "HANDS ELAWYERS CONVEGNO MB Golombia DIFENDERE minacciati OGNI COSTO Colombia nel mondo WEBINAR Venerdì gennaio 2022, ZOOM Saluti Federica SANTINON Presidente Presidente Renato Avv. STELLA Dott.ssa Avvocati Venezia Fondazione Feliciano Benvenuti NOLI Avv. Tiziana CESCHIN, Consigliera Campus Human Introduce delega diritti umani Consiglio Presiede Federico CAPPELLETTI Consigliere Coordinatore Commissione Avvocati Venezia dell'Ordine Intervengono Dott.ssa generale Colombia" Colombia testimonianza Ilruolo Droits processi Diritti Presidente Trarieux" Go-responsabile Osservatorio Avvocati CANESTRINI Committee European Criminal Italia Association Video-testimonianza Premio Rommel formativi CASTELLANOS, avvocato CONILPATROCINIODI colombiano, fini della ormazione obbligatoria Avvocati con riconoscimento lin. 3 obbligatorie. Prenotazione obbligatoria attraverso portale della Fondazione Feliciano EyBA"

Colombia: Day of the Endangered Lawyer – select tweets

24/01/22

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Colombia/UK etc: At risk for upholding the law: Day of the Endangered Lawyer

24/01/22

Lawyers are being arbitrarily arrested, prosecuted and convicted, as well as forcibly disappeared and even killed in countries across the world because of their work upholding the rule of law, the Law Society of England and Wales said to mark the day of the endangered lawyer on 24 January.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “We honour the courage and commitment of lawyers around the world who put their lives at risk so that people’s rights are protected and those who violate them are held accountable.

“Today we think particularly of our colleagues in Afghanistan who helped build the justice system and bring stability to the country under the former government. Since the Taliban took power some have tragically been killed because of the work they did, a few managed to escape, but far too many are in hiding, at risk from not only the Taliban but also from terrorists and criminals they convicted since released from prison.

“The Law Society stands in solidarity with legal professionals around the world. We will continue to work to support them and to contribute to building strong, fair justice systems everywhere.”

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/contact-or-visit-us/press-office/press-releases/at-risk-for-upholding-the-law

https://www.uianet.org/en/actions/12th-day-endangered-lawyer-focus-colombia

https://www.naiz.eus/en/info/noticia/20220124/colombia-entre-los-paises-mas-peligrosos-para-los-abogados (ESPANOL)

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.avocatparis.org/actualites/journee-internationale-de-lavocat-en-danger-en-colombie

https://protect-lawyers.org/es/colombia/

www.defendre.eu/pdf/RapportObservatoireCOLOMBIE240122.pdf

https://actu.fr/auvergne-rhone-alpes/lyon_69123/lyon-pourquoi-les-avocats-vont-ils-manifester-en-robe-devant-le-nouveau-palais-de-justice_48090635.html

https://lesaf.org/journee-de-lavocat-en-danger-mobilisons-nous-massivement-sur-les-reseaux-sociaux-le-24-janvier-a-11h-en-publiant-une-photo-de-vous-avec-le-protectcolombianlawyer/

(ITALIANO)

https://www.jrf.org.tw/articles/2208%E2%80%8B (MANDARIN)

https://www.icab.cat/ca/actualitat/noticies/noticia/Les-Comissions-de-Defensa-i-de-Justicia-Penal-Internacional-de-lICAB-sadhereixen-al-manifest-del-Dia-de-lAdvocacia-Amenacada-2022/ (CATALON)

No photo description available.
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May be an image of 3 people, people standing and text that says "JOURNÉE DE L'AVOCATEN DANGER APPEL À MANIFESTER LUNDI 24 JANVIER 2022 À 13H DEVANT L'AMBASSADE DE COLOMBIE Cette année, pour la deuxième fois la Journée de l'Avocat en Danger est dédiée la Colombie, où la persécution des avocats continue, empêchant nos confrères d'exercer librement leur profession. a. AVOCATS.BE"
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May be an image of text that says "JOURNÉE MONDIALE DE L'AVOCAT EN DANGER COLOMBIE 24 JANVIER 2022 CONSEIL NATIONAL LES AVOCATS B BARREAU AVOCATS .PARIS OBSERVATOIRE INTERNATIONAL DES AVOCATS A Española Abogacía CONSEJOGENERL GENERAL CNF 1 Forense"
May be an image of 1 person, outdoors and text that says "24 de enero de 2022 DIA DE LA ABOGACÍA EN RIESGO COLOMBIA"

Colombia/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Threat against the CCAJAR lawyers collective, MOVICE movement of victims of state crimes

06/12/21

On December 6, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Attention: Yesterday, December 5, the #DDHH [human rights] organizations accompanied by PBI @Ccajar and @Movicecol victims of state crimes. Urgent progress in investigations into those responsible and guarantees were threatened for political participation.”

CCAJAR has also tweeted: “We demand that @FiscaliaCol investigate, prosecute and punish the authors of this pamphlet. Never until today have the so-called ‘Black Eagles’ been identified. There are serious indications that these threats are acts of illegal intelligence from state agencies.”

El Espectador lists the 20 people named in the pamphlet. And Infobae quotes the pamphlet that states: “We continue with the civic and patriotic work of cleaning our homeland of leftist garbage, environmentalists and human rights defenders who intend to change the government from social networks and through indoctrination to the masses as they could not take power by arms…”

Contagio Radio further reports: “On Sunday morning, a pamphlet was released in which the so-called ‘Black Eagles’ associated with far-right sectors threatened several members of the Historical Pact and Victims’ movements such as MOVICE and the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective, as well as members of the First Line [Primera Linea].”

[…]

IBAHRI keeps spotlight on key issues raised at 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council

25/11/21

With a constantly evolving and fast-paced news agenda, human rights issues do not always make the front page. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is committed to highlighting human rights abuses across the world and holding those accountable to justice. At the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC48), the IBAHRI joined other non-governmental organisations in statements condemning international human rights violations, with a particular focus on lawyers under attack, facing arbitrary detention or suppression of their professional activities.

Afghanistan: Since the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021, gross and systematic human rights violations continue to occur in Afghanistan, including attacks against female lawyers and judges. In partnership with a number of other NGOs, the IBAHRI released a joint open appeal to UN Member States to urge the adoption of a resolution creating a Fact-Finding Mission, or other independent investigative mechanism, for Afghanistan. The IBAHRI welcomes the new agreement of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to appoint a special rapporteur on Afghanistan to probe human rights violations by parties to the conflict, including the Taliban, as an important first step towards achieving oversight, accountability, justice and reparation for the ongoing crisis.

...

Belarus: The legal profession in Belarus is under threat, with attacks against lawyers on the rise. Most recently, Maxim Znak, lawyer for a former candidate for the Belarusian Presidency, was sentenced to a ten-year prison term following a closed-door trial. During the UN Interactive Dialogue the IBAHRI delivered an oral statement on behalf of several NGOs on the human rights situation in Belarus. The IBAHRI condemned the deterioration of the situation on the ground and stressed that the HRC must take action to prevent a further decline. The IBAHRI would welcome full support for the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus through adequate funding, as well as an examination of the situation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

[…]

https://www.ibanet.org/IBAHRI-keeps-spotlight-on-key-issues-raised-at-48th-session-of-the-UN-Human-Rights-Council

Colombia/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Country File: The use of justice as a persecution mechanism (EN/ES/FR)

07/21

Country File / Colombia: The use of justice as a persecution mechanism
(ENGLISH)
(ESPANOL)
(FRANCAIS)

Colombia/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Death Threats Against a Member of CAJAR and the Father of a Victim of the Massacre of Mondoñedo

22/06/21

On the afternoon of June 11, 2021, following the hearings scheduled to provide testimony on the case of the Massacre of Mondoñedo, which took place over a two-week period within the preliminary proceedings for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), Yessika Hoyos Morales, member of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CAJAR), received the following two text messages :

“Motherfucking Guerrilla Fighter Asking ‘Bout Things That Don’t Matter to You That’s Why We Got More Gas to Burn You Like We Did Your Dead Son That’s What’s Waiting For You You Old Motherfucking Snitch”

“Keep Snitching And You’ll End Up Dead ‘Cause You’re Defending Guerrilla Fighters”

Mr. Alfonso Mora León, the father of Jenner Alfonso Mora Moncaleano, a victim of the Massacre of Mondoñedo, who is represented by Yessika Hoyos Morales, also received these same text messages. Mr. Mora, who in the past has been the target of harassment and other serious threats, took part in the victims delegations participating in the meetings held in Havana, Cuba, as part of the peace dialogues with the former guerrilla group FARC-EP. Likewise, he has been a tireless advocate for truth, justice, peace and guarantees for the non-repetition of such horrific acts as those subjected upon his son.

The massacre of Mondoñedo, which was perpetrated by members of the national police (DIJIN) on September 6 and 7 of 1996, resulted in the deaths of the university students Vladimir Zambrano, Arquímedes Moreno, Jenner Alfonso Mora Moncaleano, and Juan Carlos Palacio Gómez. On September 7, 1996, the students’ bodies were found in the city dump in the town of Mondoñedo, located on the Hacienda “Fute”, near the road from Mosquera to Soacha. Martín Alonso Valdivieso and Federico Quesada, who were from the districts of Fontibón and Kennedy in Bogotá, were also murdered.

Allegedly through the use of witnesses, a unit from the DIJIN had previously identified these students as members of the Antonio Nariño urban network of the FARC guerrilla group. In 1995, this guerrilla unit set off an explosive device in the police station located in the district of Kennedy, Bogotá, which resulted in the death of three members of the police. This police unit took matters into their own hands and murdered the students and incinerated their bodies to evade their recognition. It is for that reason the threat stated they would “burn” him like they did his son.

[…]

(ESPANOL)

https://www.fidh.org/es/temas/defensores-de-derechos-humanos/colombia-amenazas-contra-de-abogada-del-cajar-yessika-hoyos-morales-y

Colombia: Lawyer Sebastián Escobar threatened again in the course of his work

03/03/21

Sebastián Escobar Uribe

On February 22nd, Sebastián Escobar Uribe, lawyer, member of CAJAR, representative of Díaz Chamorro family – who were recognised as victims before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) – was threatened in a phone call.

Sebastián Escobar Uribe is one of the CAJAR lawyers who participated in the documentation of extrajudicial executions known publicly as “false positives”. Crimes that have been qualified by judicial operators as crimes against humanity committed by members of the security forces. As a lawyer, in addition to the presentation of reports, he also brought action before the International Criminal Court regarding the preliminary examination of Colombia, which, among others, focuses on this type of crimes.

Sebastián Escobar Uribe received a short call (33 seconds) on his mobile phone, in which a man threatened to kill both him and Juan David Díaz Chamorro. The latter is the son of Edualdo Díaz Salgado, mayor of El Roble (Sucre), who was assassinated on 10 April 2003.

Sebastián Escobar Uribe believes this threat is related to the recent actions he carried out on behalf of the Díaz Chamorro family before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). These proceedings came after the voluntary submission, as a third party, of the former governor of Sucre, Salvador Arana Sus. Whom had already been convicted in 2009 by the Supreme Court of Justice for the murder of the mayor of El Roble (Sucre).

On 11 February 2021, Juan David Díaz Chamorro was recognised as a victim, by the Legal Definitions Chamber of the JEP, after submitting his application in search of truth and justice.

[…]

https://pbicanada.org/2021/03/08/pbi-colombia-accompanied-cajar-lawyer-sebastian-escobar-uribe-receives-death-threat/

(ESPANOL)

https://www.eluniversal.com.co/colombia/amenazan-a-abogado-y-a-hijo-de-exalcalde-asesinado-en-sucre-KY4221862

https://www.eluniversal.com.co/regional/amenazan-a-abogado-y-al-hijo-del-asesinado-ex-alcalde-tito-diaz-YI4219540

https://www.elheraldo.co/sucre/amenazan-familiares-y-abogado-de-tito-diaz-796956

(FRANCAIS)