The Luis Carlos Perez Lawyers’ Collective (CCALCP) won the Prize for the collective experience or process of the year – NGO / Accompanier category.
Javierana University hosted the fifth annual “Prize for the defence of human rights in Colombia”. The awards, organised by Diakonia Sweden, recognise, raises awareness and reward the work of individual defenders, processes and non-governmental human rights organisations who work in dangerous and vulnerable conditions. There were 49 nominees, in four categories: human rights defender of the year; collective experience or process of the year – grassroots category; experience or process of the year – NGO / Accompanier category; and the lifetime commitment award.
CCALCP, which is accompanied by PBI, won the award for Collective experience or process of the year – NGO / Accompanier category. Julia Figueroa, the organisation’s director, was very moved as she accepted the award.
“When I heard that we were the winner I was proud and moved. CCALCP is our life’s work, of some women who one day decided to say, no more human rights violations, no more land theft, no to impunity, no to the economy they impose on us.
I want to thank Diakonia, the judges, the Swedish Embassy, Christian Aid and PBI for having listened to us at times when we felt alone and distant. This prize has great meaning, our name will be heard by people who perhaps didn’t know what we do. The jury has read the testimonies of those we accompany in the region (farmers, indigenous peoples, victims) and with whom we have worked for over 15 years and lived through very strong threats. At least today, other voices heard us, got to know us, and know that there is an organisation that is determined to radically defend human rights. That is why we must continue this task, to show the country how important it is for human rights defenders to exist.
This will raise our profile, but recognition will help to raise awareness about our work and to do more advocacy.
And now that peace is coming, we will keep working on the issue of impunity just as intensely. Peace needs to be real, it needs to be made real through every single action taken by farmers, victims, traditional miners, environmental oversight committees, community groups…
We dedicate this prize to all those who have lost their lives to defend human rights, who’ve put so much of their willpower into transforming this country. I know that when we say CCALCP, it is hope personified in women.