Some of these unfounded accusations develop into legal proceedings against human rights defenders and a few of these cases are even pointed out as having a week judicial base or in “many cases this judicial base does not even exist”.[1]

The last report about Colombia from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), points out that “often more attention and resources are devoted to investigate if activists have links with the insurgency than investigate cases where the victims are the activists themselves”.[2] In this regard the ex Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders recommended that states should make safeguards so that “human rights defenders can carry out their work in a favourable legal, institutional and administrative context (…) to abolish all administrative and legislative dispositions that restrict the rights of human rights defenders and to assure that internal legislation respects the basic principles of law and the international norms of human rights”.[3]

David Ravelo Crespo

DROn the 14th of September 2010 David Ravelo was arrested for aggravated murder.[4]  National and international entities have pointed out the lack of guarantees during the legal procedures that culminated in his 220-month prison sentence.  Amongst the many irregularities denounced during the legal process, David Ravelo’s lawyers highlighted the fact that the district attorney who directed the investigation was illegitimate. Before becoming a district attorney, William Pacheco Granados of the 22nd District Attorney’s Office of the National Anti-Terrorism Unit, was a lieutenant in the National Police Force in Armenia (Quindio, Colombia) and was investigated by the attorney general’s office and later relieved of his position because of his involvement in the forced disappearance of Guillermo Hurtado Parra in Armenia (Quindio, Colombia), in events that occurred in 1991.[5]

Furthermore, the Office of the Attorney General, recently placed charges against Mario Jaimes Mejía alias “The Baker”, one of the main witnesses against David Ravelo, for giving false testimony in the case. [6] 

Ana Vicente


[1] We are Defenders Program: Special Report “Protection on the Table”, February 2014

[2] ONU: Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), pg. 17, 23rd of January 2015

[3] United Nations Human Rights Committee Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, 23rd of December 2013.

[4] [4] Although he was also a suspect for a conspiracy to commit a crime charge this was left out of the process.

[5] Delegate for the Attorney General for Human Rights: Resolution 015, 10th of July 1992, Resolution 017 of 22

[6] El Espectador: The Lies of “The Baker”? 16 of September 2014

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