PBI-Colombia accompanies finalists for the National Human Rights Defence Award

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Human rights defenders who are accompanied by the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project are finalists for the National Human Rights Defence Award.

The website for the award notes, “Annually, and since 2012, the National Human Rights Defence Award celebrates the lives of women and men who work in the defence and promotion of human rights in Colombia.”

Those who are nominated “are leaders because they are defenders of life, of women, of children, of water, of territory, of natural resources, of common interest.”

The 2019 finalists include:

Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

“Since its formation, in May 1996, the Campesino Association of the Cimitarra River Valley (ACVC) has been working on the promotion and defense of the human rights of the peasant communities of the Cimitarra River Valley. But not only that. It also develops social, community and political work, seeking an alternative model of social development in a region where interests in extractive megaprojects mark the economic agenda.”

Asociación Campesina del Valle del Río Cimitarra (ACVC)

“For more than 30 years the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission has promoted and defended the rights of urban and rural communities mired in oblivion and affected by armed confrontation. It was formed in 1988 by 45 Catholic congregations. Currently, it has 55 members from various departments in the country that support processes of truth search, justice and comprehensive reparation of victims; of negotiated political exits to the internal armed conflict; and defense of territories and the environment.”

Claudia Julieta Duque Orrego

“Journalist, defender of human rights and freedom of the press. For her journalistic work of denouncing in favour of the victims of the Colombian conflict, her life and that of her relatives have been in constant danger for more than 17 years. The Press Freedom Coalition places her in the list of the ten most attacked journalists in the world for pursuing the truth. The abuses suffered by this journalist mark a milestone in legal matters in Colombia, among which are to investigate aggravated psychological torture as an autonomous crime and declare it a crime against humanity, as the Prosecutor’s Office did.”

The award ceremony will take place on September 4.

It is presented by Diakonia (an international, faith-based cooperation organization founded by Protestant churches in Sweden that is active in 30 countries around the world) and the Church of Sweden (an Evangelical Lutheran church with 6.1 million members, 3,500 churches and 13 dioceses in Sweden).

Peace Brigades International-Canada congratulates all the nominees of this award.

For more on the meaning of this human rights award, please read PBI-Colombia’s article Recognition and Support for Human Rights Defenders.

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