Human rights defenders in Colombia still face grave danger despite an improved public discourse, according to an international report released Monday, July 9, 2012. The report calls on the Colombian government to take concrete, effective steps to reduce the levels of impunity and effectively dismantle the illegal armed groups that are responsible for the majority of the aggressions against human rights defenders in Colombia.
Human rights defenders continue to face threats, attacks and stigmatizations at alarming levels, and impunity for such crimes is extremely high.
The Somos Defensores (“We are Defenders”) database shows that there were 239 acts of aggression against human rights defenders in Colombia in 2011, including 49 assassinations.
The report, issued by the US Office on Colombia (USOC) and the Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF), is the result of a 40-person mission comprised of jurists, journalists and human rights activists from 15 different countries, visiting eight regions of Colombia in late 2011. See the English version here and the Spanish version here.