The national strike of 21 November 2019 for many people was a symbol of democracy and the hope of being able to change the status quo in which Colombian society live. For this reason, on November 21, 2019, 253,000 Colombian citizens, according to registered government figures, took to the streets to express their disagreement with the Colombian reality and to demand respect for human rights.
However, that hope was shattered amid riots, abuses and violence experienced by the population on the day itself; the Ministry of Defense reported “122 civilians injured and three dead”. However, these violent events were not just evident that day, but became the norm in the way that the Armed Forces reacted to protestors with violence during the national strike. The Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP), an organization supported by PBI, represents the family of Dilan Cruz, a young man shot dead by a police officer on November 23. The case has been sent to the military justice courts, a decision that led Human Rights Watch to recently request that the Colombian Supreme Court take into account that, according to international law, human rights and international standards, Dilan Cruz’s case should be referred to the ordinary justice system.
Continue reading Social protest in Colombia: the hope for a dignified life for all
Buenaventura is a region inhabited by an Afro-descendant, indigenous and mixed ethnicity population and is the largest urban and economic hub on the Colombian Pacific Coast. Continue reading Defending the voice of the Afro communities: Leyla Arroyo
On 29th August the Popular Training Institute (IPC) celebrated 35 years of work in defence of human rights and the construction of a peaceful society. It was an important moment to commemorate this difficult struggle in a context of armed conflict and stigmatisation against defenders, to pay homage to those who have suffered threats and persecution for their work in support of human rights. Continue reading Celebrating 35 years in favour of human rights
Equipo Juridico Pueblos (EJP) believes that it is fundamentally important to accompany communities which have autonomously decided to exercise their right to social protest, as a way for them to be listened to and respond to the situations they are going through. In this case, the organisation is demanding justice for the murder of the professor and leader of the La Sierrita, El Cruce and La Estacion Council of Black Communities (Consesice), Naimen Augustin Lara, who died on 11th July 2016. Continue reading Right to social protest in Chiriguaná, Cesar
In Colombia, 2013 was marked by important demonstrations at which grave human rights abuses were committed, and the police and military authorities used excessive force. At the initiative of the Foundation Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (FCSPP), a hearing was held on 31st October at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the situation of social protests in Colombia at which the petitioners (FCSPP, Asociación Campesina del Catatumbo (Ascamacat), Corporación Reiniciar, the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR), the Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CPDH), and the Luis Carlos Pérez Lawyers’ Collective (CCALCP)) expressed their concern for the repression of social protest in Colombia. Continue reading Criminalisation of social protest