2004: The challenges of being a Women Human Rights Defender

In a context of high tension and major accusations against human rights defenders,[1] Soraya Gutiérrez, a lawyer from the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CAJAR),[2] received numerous threats and attacks. One day a package was sent to her home, containing a bloody doll and death threats against herself and her daughter.

In this story, Soraya talks about the challenges of being a woman human rights defenders. She explains the fear strategies used to attack her as a woman, mother, and others. She highlights the importance of psycho-social accompaniment and the need to find tools to deal with the “psychological war” that human rights defenders face.

Today, Soraya is the president of CAJAR and continues to fight for the protection of human rights, against impunity, and provides accompaniment to communities in resistance who look to protect their territory from megaprojects and other threats.


PBI Colombia


[1] IPC News Agency: : Situación de defensores de derechos humanos empeoró a lo largo del gobierno Uribe, 5 August 2010 ; ReliefWeb: Colombia: Defensores de derechos humanos en la mira, 10 September 2003

[2] Javier Sulé: Soraya Gutiérrez: “Quisieron neutralizarnos con acciones de guerra psicológica”, 2 November 2014

**Video realized by Javier Bauluz and produced thanks to the support the International Cooperation Agency of Extremadura for the Development (AEXCID)


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