Human rights defender jailed

Last week David Ravelo Crespo, secretary general for the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) in Barrancabermeja, was detained by Colombian authorities at CREDHOS’s office. From there he was taken to the Public Prosecutor’s office in Bogotá where he was charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and agravated homicide. David is currently at the La Picota prison in Bogotá waiting to see if his case will go to trial.

These charges are based on the testimonies of demobilised paramilitaries Mario Jaimes Mejía (alias ‘El Panadero’), Fremio Sánchez and Rodrigo Peréz Alzate (alias ‘Julian Bolivar’). Mario Jaimes Mejía accused David Ravelo of having ties to guerrilla groups and of having planned the killing of political leader David Nuñez Cala, assassinated by the guerrilla in 1991. As a result of these accusations, David Ravelo presented himself voluntarily in the Public Prosecutor in Barrancabermeja in order to contend his innocence with his own testimony.

Social movements in Barrancabermeja have resoundingly declared their support for David, as has the Mayor of the city. Two months before David was arrested, PBI traveled to Barrancabermeja to make a short film about David’s work and the staggering number of threats he was receiving at the time. We share this video with you, as well as the reflections of Bianca Bauer, our Communications specialist who interviewed David for the film and was present when he received word of another threat against him.


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