The Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission is an NGO that defends human rights. Its members have been the targets of many security breaches since 1996, including serious threats to personal integrity, illegal surveillance operations, assassination plots, kidnapping and several defamation campaigns.
Claudia Julieta Duque is a correspondent in Colombia for the Internet Radio channel Nizkor, dedicated to human rights advocacy. Duque was one of the journalists illegally monitored by the former state intelligence agency, the Department of Administrative Security (DAS).
Human rights lawyers dedicate their lives to representing victims in cases of forces disappearances, extrajudicial executions and massacres. But working on emblematic cases carries a very high price. In Colombia, where 90% of human rights violations remain in impunity, stigmatisation, threats and persecution form a part of the daily challenges facing these lawyers. In this video, some of the lawyers who are accompanied by PBI speak about the risks they face, and their motivation to continue defending victims of human rights violations.
The Chocó has some of the richest land in Colombia. There is an abundance of water, minerals, and biodiversity. This has also meant significant potential for agricultural businesses. Since 1996, three thousand Afro-descendents and mixed race persons from the Curbaradó and Jiguamiandó River Basins have been displaced by paramilitary groups. About 10 years after being forcibly displaced, these people returned to their land. However, by then, the land was in the hands of others. In order to resist, they established humanitarian zones. Since then, they have had to face threats and murders that attempt to prevent the resistance process of these communities.