Diakonia - People change the world

Colombia: Mission investigates human rights situation

The armed internal conflict in Colombia severely effects the civil population and human rights defenders. In 2012, Diakonia co-financed an International Verification Mission to get and external and objective assessment of the situation of human rights defenders in Colombia.

The Mission verifies a severe human rights situation

The Mission was able to verify that assassinations, threats and attacks against human rights defenders continue, while impunity for these crimes is the norm.

In the regions Chocó and Bucaramanga, the Mission heard different testimonies of afro-colombian and indigenous leaders, women, displaced victims and members of associations and human rights organizations, as well as from local authorities.

About the mission: The mission is composed by more than 40 personalities from 15 different countries, visited 8 regions in the country, at the invitation of the National and International Campaign For the Right to Protect Human Rights.

Patterns of aggression

From the regional visits the Mission was able to identify different patterns of aggression against defenders that range from assassinations to stigmatizations by public officials and members of the armed forces linking them and their organizations to the guerrillas, collective and individual threats by paramilitary and guerrilla groups, and baseless prosecutions.

Human rights defenders often denied protection

The mission was also able to observe that in many instances protection is denied for defenders that are at high risk, or the measures offered do not correspond to the level of risk or the differentiated needs of the defenders, as in the case of women, afro-colombian and indigenous defenders.