PBI-Colombia present at the “march for life and the defence of social leaders”
On July 26, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project was present for the “march for life and the defence of social leaders” in Bogota, Barrancabermeja and Apartado, the three cities where PBI-Colombia volunteers are based.
An Al Jazeera article reports, “Thousands have marched in cities across Colombia to protest against the alarming rate of killings of activists and human rights defenders since the country’s 2016 peace deal.”
La Jornada adds, “According to statistics from the Ombudsman’s Office, between January 2016 and June 2019, at least 486 social leaders and defenders were killed in Colombia. But the Attorney General’s Office maintains that the deaths only total 292, while organizations such as the Institute for Peace and Development Studies document 734 homicides in the same period.”
From the rallies, PBI-Colombia tweeted:
Barrancabermeja: “All the flowers may disappear but the spring cannot disappear. And the first one is the social organizations” … An impression from the stand for life and against the murders of social leaders in Barrancabermeja in which PBI was present.
Apartado: #26deJulioDespertemos PBI present in the #Apartado plant for the defense of the lives of defenders of #ddhh and social leaders.
Bogota: #26JMiGritoEs for the defense of life, the right to defend human rights in #Bogota; the mobilization is huge with a single shout towards a true society in peace with democracy and social justice.
El Espectador reports, “Hundreds of protesters gathered in the oil port [Barrancabermeja]. From the Camilo Torres square, the Truth Commission and social organizations like Poderpaz spoke in favor of the defence of social leaders.”
The Al Jazeera article noted above continues, “Protesters in Bogota blew horns and pleaded with President Ivan Duque’s government and the international community to take action over the killings. …Local media estimates 10,000 protesters arrived in Bogota’s main public square, Plaza Bolivar, during the march.”
Colombia Reports adds, “The event [in Bogota] was attended by the leftist opposition and the center right parties that have supported the peace process, victims organizations, labor unions and students. The crowd in Bogota was [also] accompanied by foreign embassies and the United Nations, which monitors the peace process and on multiple occasions has criticized the government’s failures to implement the peace deal.”
Last year, 27 PBI-Colombia volunteers accompanied members of 13 organizations and 2 individual human rights defenders working on business and human rights and forced disappearances.
#DefendamosLaVida #26deJulioDespertemos #26JMiGritoEs