Tag Archives: Colombia

Colombia: Protection of Human Rights Lawyers and Defenders | Oral Statement to the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

September 20, 2018

Organization: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
Date: 20/21 September 2018
HRC section: 39th Session (Agenda Item 6)
Speaker: Mr. Paul Scambler

Oral Statement to the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council Regular Session – Oral Statement Item 6: UPR Outcomes: Colombia

Mr. President,

Lawyers for Lawyers [1] and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada [2] welcome the decision of Colombia to support [3] many recommendations made during its 3rd UPR relating to the protection of human rights lawyers and defenders and the investigation of attacks and threats against them. We welcome Colombia’s voluntary commitment to continue adopting measures required for the protection of human rights lawyers and defenders [4]. We call on Colombia to effectively implement these recommendations [5] without delay.

Despite the November 2016 Peace Agreement,  there has been an increase in threats and attacks against human rights lawyers and defenders in Colombia. Since November 2016, hundreds of defenders have been killed and Colombian’s Ombudsman has stated that a human rights defender is killed every three days [6].

Lawyers who are defending vulnerable communities are the subject of threats, harassment and attacks, and are not always given sufficient protection measures to ensure they can perform their professional activities effectively and safely.

https://www.lrwc.org/columbia-protection-of-human-rights-lawyers-and-defenders-oral-statement-to-the-39th-session-of-the-un-human-rights-council/

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/human-rights-council-holds-general-debate-human-rights-situations-require-councils-0

https://www.ishr.ch/news/hrc39-l-states-largely-decline-cite-specific-cases-during-councils-first-discussion-reprisals

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/joint-oral-statement-on-upr-outcome/

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Colombia: Concern about systematic murder of lawyers and human rights defenders in Nariño: Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo

August 29, 2018

Colombia-Nariño-departamentos

The Caravana sent a letter of concern regarding the murder of Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo, human rights defender and social leader from the department of Nariño. Carlos had previously approached the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office in relation to death threats he had been receiving.
Nariño is one of the most affected areas in Colombia in terms of violence against human rights defenders. We urged the Colombian authorities to take action to stop this alarming pattern.

Read the letter in English and Spanish

http://www.colombiancaravana.org.uk/concern-systematic-murder-lawyers-human-rights-defenders-narino-carlos-jimmy-prado-gallardo/

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13459/colombia-sixth-caravana-internacional-de-jurists/

Brazil/Colombia/Guatemala/Honduras/ Mexico/The Philippines: Stop the Killings

June 21, 2018

Stop the Killings Report.jpg

“Stop the Killings” analyzes the root causes of the killing of HRDs in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines.

The report is based on original research by Comitê Brasileiro de Defensoras e Defensores de Direitos Humanos – CBDDH, (Brazil), Programa Somos Defensores (Colombia), UDEFEGUA (Guatemala), ACI-Participa (Honduras), Comité Cerezo (Mexico) and iDEFEND, Karapatan and Pahra (Philippines).

With a forward from United Natiosn Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst and introduction by Front Line Defenders Exective Director Andrew Anderson, “Stop the Killings” is a vital resource for understanding the current and alarming increase of killings of human rights defenders globally.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/statement-report/stop-killings

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/violation/killing

https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/front-line-defenders-new-report-says-majority-of-human-rights-defenders-killings-in-2017-were-related-to-mega-projects-in-extractive-industry

https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/spike-in-murder-rate-of-human-rights-defenders-472131.html

Colombia/UK: Colombian human rights lawyer Luis Guillermo Perez visits the UK

May 27, 2018

Peter Roth y Luis Guillermo

In April 2018 Colombian human rights lawyer Luis Guillermo Pérez visited Europe in order to submit evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the killings on human rights defenders in Colombia. 2017, the first full year since the signing of the peace agreement in Colombia, was the deadliest on record for human rights defenders, with 121 killed, compared with 60 killings in 2016. The communication argues that the ICC should open an investigation because the Colombian government is failing to investigate the crimes properly and constitute a crime against humanity. In London Luis Guillermo was able to present the ICC communication to different sectors (including members of the Alliance for lawyers at Risk, FCO officials and parliamentarians) and to raise awareness of the situation for human rights defenders in Colombia.

“Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries for human rights defenders. Violent repression of trade unionists, land rights and environmental activists, community leaders,  lawyers, LGBTI activists, journalists and others who stand up for rights is widespread and systematic.” – ICC Dossier from CAJAR and The ECCHR.

Luis Guillermo Pérez Casas is a lawyer with the Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CAJAR), based in Bogotá. For over 30 years, the work of CAJAR’s lawyers has resulted in landmark decisions that have improved access to justice for many victims of the country’s long-running conflict. They have faced many serious threats for this work, including the assassination of their founder Eduardo Umaña Mendoza and being publically identified as “military targets” by death squads. PBI has accompanied the collective since 1995; monitoring the security situation of the lawyers and thanks to PBI’s international networks, members of CCAJAR have been able to raise their security concerns in front of a wide range of stakeholders.

https://peacebrigades.org.uk/news/2018-05-21/colombian-human-rights-lawyer-luis-guillermo-perez-visits-uk

https://www.lrwc.org/colombia-end-violence-against-human-rights-defenders-and-social-leaders-joint-letter/

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/may/01/2017-deadliest-year-on-record-colombian-human-rights-defenders

https://peacebrigades.org.uk/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lu%C3%ADs_Guillermo_Per%C3%A9z

https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/piden-la-cpi-investigar-crimenes-de-defensores-de-derechos-humanos-articulo-754791 (ESPANOL)

https://www.colectivodeabogados.org/ (ESPANOL)

Colombia: Interview with lawyer Rommel Durán

April 9, 2018

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Colombian human rights lawyer Rommel Durán: “A ‘social genocide’ is taking place in my country”

The Colombian human rights lawyer Rommel Durán Castellanos recently spent several days in England and the Netherlands to rally support for his colleagues, who are exposed to threats and violence. Another aim of his trip was to prepare for the international observation mission ‘Caravana Internacional de Juristas’, which will visit Colombia in August for the fifth time. The biennial delegation will consist of a large group of lawyers, judges and public prosecutors from more than ten countries. The ‘Caravana’ is being organized from London, in cooperation with Colombian lawyers. As in previous years, Lawyers for Lawyers will also be represented in the delegation. We spoke with Rommel about the difficult position of many lawyers in Colombia.

Rommel is regularly subject to intimidation and threats and has been arbitrarily detained twice. He seems to speak about this almost light-heartedly but then falls silent: his brother was murdered in 2016. Despite that, human rights lawyer Rommel Durán continues to fight for justice in Colombia.

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13267/nederlands-colombia-interview-met-advocaat-rommel-duran/

https://www.opendemocracy.net/openjustice/emily-soothill/human-rights-protection-at-home-and-abroad-lessons-to-be-learned-from-c-0

Colombia: Soraya Gutiérrez from CAJAR received further threats and harassment

October 2, 2017

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Caravana and other organisations part of the International Caravana of Jurist concerned to hear about aggressions towards human rights lawyer Soraya Gutierrez Arguello.

The Colombian Caravana UK Lawyers Group and other  are very concerned to hear of further threats and harassment towards human rights lawyer Soraya Gutierrez Arguello, member of José Alvear Restrepo lawyers collective (CAJAR). In 2005 Soraya received a dismembered doll painted in red to her house as a message of what repercussions her daughter could face. Again in July this year, her husband found another doll in the car registered in Soraya’s name, after attending a public hearing on security and mobility in Bolívar city.

Read the letter in English here and Spanish here

http://www.colombiancaravana.org.uk/soraya-gutierrez-cajar-received-threats-harassment/

http://www.colombiancaravana.org.uk/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/soraya-gutierrez-arguello

http://www.colombiancaravana.org.uk/caravana-five-international-organizations-concerned-attack-cucuta-premises-luis-carlos-perez-lawyers-collective/

Colombia: Caravana Lawyers Group Calls Upon Colombia to Stop and Remedy Attacks on Members of the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados Luis Carlos Perez and other human rights defenders (HRDs) | Joint Letter

September 12, 2017

LRWC, la Fundación de la Abogacía Española, Lawyers for Lawyers, the Colombian Caravana UK Lawyers Group, Colombia Caravana de Juristas the Netherlandsand the Colombian Caravana Irish Lawyers’ Group joined to call on Colombia to stop and remedy attacks on members of the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados Luis Carlos Perez and other human rights defenders (HRDs), to provide effective protection measures to HRDs in jeopardy and to prevent further attacks.

http://www.lrwc.org/colombia-caravana-lawyers-group-calls-upon-colombia-to-stop-and-remedy-attacks-on-members-of-the-corporacion-colectivo-de-abogados-luis-carlos-perez-and-other-human-rights-defenders-hrds-joint-le/

http://ccalcp.org/ (ESPANOL)