Elkin Ramírez was one of the founding members of the Corporation for Judicial Freedom (CJL) in 1993. More than two decades later he continues in the daily struggle to defend land against new models of development being implemented in Antioquia.For Elkin, supporting these resistance initiatives is the most gratifying work he has experienced as a human rights defender. In fact, in addition to being the treasurer for CJL’s board of directors, he is responsible for accompanying community organizing processes.
This work has had consequences for his personal life. For six years, Elkin, Father Javier Giraldo, and the ex-Human Rights Ombudsman for Urabá, Miguel Angel Afanador, were under legal investigation for bringing the denunciations made by campesinos from the San Jose de Apartado Peace Community before the of Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which alleged abuses committed by the Carlos Bejarano Muñoz Engineers Battalion (17th Brigade).
This work, critical to his role as a human rights defender, provoked Coronel Nestor Iván Duque, the Battalion commander, to accuse the three men of perjury, slander and false accusation, resulting in legal proceedings against them.
In 2011, the Prosecutor General terminated the investigation, but over many years the possibility of a conviction hung over their heads and they had to dedicate time and energy to their own defence, limiting their work accompanying victims.