Who is Fabián Laverde?

Fabián Laverde started working as a human rights defender in 1994 whilst he was still at school, in response to the coffee crisis that year. He went on to become a member of ASOPEMA (Asociación de Pequeños y Medianos Agricultores del Tolima) and because of his leadership suffered harassment and threats, which forced him to leave his home and go to Bogota. In the capital, suffering from having to leave the countryside under duress, he came into contact with other organisations which helped him in his case. This enabled him to continue training as a defender and discover other fields relating to human rights. He started working with COS-PACC in 2004, accompanying different processes and people who were suffering what he had experienced first-hand. Working with the victims of multinational companies, with indigenous people or with relatives of the disappeared has caused COS-PACC and its members to be the target of surveillance and numerous threats. It had to turn to PBI’s international accompaniment, both to raise awareness of its work and to engage in dialogue with the Colombian State . At present, being able to work in reconstructing the social fabric with Asopema is very gratifying for him because it means returning to his roots and his land.

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