Neither in times of war nor in times of peace: May the defense of human rights not cost us one more life

The insecure situation of human rights defenders in Colombia is alarming, particularly since December 1, 2016, the initiation date of the implementation of the Final Agreement for Ending Conflict and Building a Stable and Long-Lasting Peace, signed between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP.

The Ombudsman1, in her Risk Report N. 010-17 A.I of March 30 of the present year, as well as the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, in his 2016 annual report on the human rights situation in Colombia of the past March 14, and the nongovernmental program Somos Defensores, in its 2016 Annual Report of the System of Information on Aggressions Against Human Rights Defenders, agree in recognizing, despite some differences in the data, that the situation is worrisome.

The reports highlight that the work on peace and defense of the territories, in the current conjuncture of reorganization of armed actors in the places where the FARC-EP has begun the process of reintegration into civilian life, as well as the weak presence and effectiveness of the State and the persistence of levels of impunity in these cases, have complicated the situation of human rights defenders, increasing the risk in which they find themselves.


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