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Monday, 26 December 2016 00:00

Colombia establishes mechanism to handle risks against Human Rights defenders

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According to the report of Human Rights organizations, the mechanism was set up in order to deal with the serious situation of threats and risks against the lives of Human Rights defenders during these Christmas and New Year holidays.

On this past December 25, 2016, Anuar José Álvarez Armero, a community leader was assassinated by two men in motorcycles, this is another death due to political persecution perpetrated by paramilitary groups and death squads who tend to also take advantage of the holiday season to commit these acts of violence without much media coverage.

"Taking into account the grave situation against Human Rights defenders and leaders of social movements, a mechanism of temporary and agile communication was conformed between the National Government and the Human Rights movement during these dates. In this group, there are delegates of the Subcommittee on Guarantees and Human Rights of the Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic and Popular Summit and the National Guarantees Committee" notes the document that was released on Friday, December 23 in the Colombian capital city of Bogotá.

Also read: US Congressmen worried about assassinations of leaders in Colombia

The five delegates of the Human Rights defenders will be communicating and interacting on the urgent situations that may occur and that involve risks to the lives of leaders of the social movements, these delegates are Jael Quiroga, José Humberto Torres, Zoraida Hernández, Cristian Delgado, and Rocío Martínez. On the part of the State there are: Representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Presidential Counseling for Human Rights, Ministry of Defense, National Protection Unit and the Ombudsman's Office. In addition to these entities, the Office in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will also participate in this mechanism.

Also read: United Nations presents details on violence against social leaders in Colombia

The situation is so serious against the exercise of Human Rights defenders and social leaders in the country, that the Office in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern about the increase in attacks that have left 52 dead as of November 30, 2016.

References:

Prensa Rural: “En Colombia crean mecanismo de emergencia temporal para afrontar riesgo de los defensores de Derechos humanos” taken from: http://prensarural.org/spip/spip.php?article20726 on Dec, 26, 2016

Contagio Radio: “En Cauca es asesinado un nuevo líder campesino” taken from http://www.contagioradio.com/en-cauca-es-asesinado-un-nuevo-lider-comunitario-articulo-34086/ on Dec. 26, 2016

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