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 →
August 2020 brought a ruling without precedent; the Supreme Court of Justice ordered an arrest warrant against Álvaro Uribe Vélez for alleged procedural fraud and witness tampering. PBI spoke with Reynaldo Villalba of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective about the background on this case, the pressure and threats against the Court, Uribism’s proposal to unify the courts in Colombia, and other open cases against ex-President Uribe. Continue reading “What we see is a permanent attack on the administration of justice,” Reynaldo Villalba →
The hugs and words of gratitude from those who come to him with hope of justice, are what give the most significance to Reynaldo Villalba’s life. Continue reading “Our Political Commitment Keeps Us Alive” –Reynaldo Villalba →
In traditional educational methods we have been told that in order to commit something to memory, it is necessary to repeat over and over again what we hope to learn. This rote learning method, Continue reading 2016: Memory Schools – so that History never repeats itself →
In a context of high tension and major accusations against human rights defenders, Soraya Gutiérrez, a lawyer from the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CAJAR), received numerous threats and attacks. One day a package was sent to her home, Continue reading 2004: The challenges of being a Women Human Rights Defender →