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
On 8 October, ex-president and current senator for the Centro Democrático party, Álvaro Uribe Vélez was questioned by the Supreme Court of Justice about alleged witness manipulation and bribery in relation to declarations against him for possible ties to paramilitary groups. Continue reading “We need guarantees for our lives and to carry out our work”: Franklin Castañeda
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
The Foundation Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (FCSPP) also provides integral accompaniment and legal representation for farming communities in land restitution cases. The case of Hacienda Bellacruz, now known as Hacienda La Gloria in southern Cesar, is perhaps its most emblematic. Continue reading Land restitution: the case of Hacienda Bellacruz