PBI-Canada observes the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

Published by Brent Patterson on

Friday August 30 is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

The United Nations has explained, “On 21 December 2010, by its resolution 65/209 the UN General Assembly … decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, to be observed beginning in 2011.”

The United Nations has also highlighted of particular concern “the ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses and legal counsel dealing with cases of enforced disappearance.”

Peace Brigades International marks this day and accompanies human rights defenders working toward a world without enforced disappearances.


On August 27, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted, “Today in Pasto we accompanied the ‘Nydia Erika Bautista’ Foundation for Human Rights at an important ‘We Recognize Your Search’ event organized by the Truth Commission and UBPD Search Unit in tribute to women and relatives who look for their loved ones tirelessly.”

For more, please read our article PBI-Colombia accompanies Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation at Truth Commission event.

On August 17, PBI-Colombia tweeted that it accompanied Sister Maritze Trigos with AFAVIT (the Association of Relatives of Trujillo Victims) and Father Javier Giraldo (who founded the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission) at the Trujillo Monument Park. The Massacre of Trujillo refers to multiple and successive human rights violations committed between 1988 and 1994 including enforced disappearances.

For more, please read PBI-Colombia accompanies remembrance at Trujillo Monument Park.

And on June 14, PBI-Colombia posted this article about accompanying the Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights (CREDHOS) to the dense forests of San Pablo in the San Lucas mountain area of the Sur de Bolívar region to locate the grave of a young man killed by an armed group likely 15 years ago.

For more, please read PBI-Colombia accompanies CREDHOS to find grave site.


The Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project has joined with other groups to create an online platform called Missing Voices, with the aim of providing facts, figures and increased visibility on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

For more on the situation in Kenya, please read PBI-Kenya accompanies human rights defenders in Nairobi’s informal settlements.


The Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project has posted, “In Saltillo, Coahuila, PBI accompanies groups of families in search of missing persons.” PBI-Mexico quoted relatives of the disappeared who say, “There is a lack of response from the government to the pain.”

For more, please read PBI-Mexico accompanies the search for the disappeared.

On May 29, PBI-Mexico posted, “Comité Cerezo is participating in a sit-in as part of the commemoration of the International Week of the Disappeared Detainee and the National Campaign against Enforced Disappearance in Mexico.” That international week this year was from Monday May 27 to Friday May 31.

For more, please read PBI-Canada and PBI-Mexico meet with Comite Cerezo and our Facebook post on the sit-in.


On June 21, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project observed a ceremony in which Indigenous Achi Mayan women commemorated the National Day of Forced Disappearance. An estimated 45,000 men, women and children were disappeared during the 36-year-long internal armed conflict in Guatemala.

For more, please read PBI-Guatemala observes National Day of Forced Disappearance ceremony.

PBI-Guatemala also accompanies the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) in seeking justice relating to the violence and enforced disappearances that took place at CREOMPAZ/Military Zone 21, a military base located about 220 kilometres north-east of Guatemala City.

For more, please read PBI-Guatemala accompanies BDH at CREOMPAZ hearing.

On this day, as noted in the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, let us be “aware of the extreme seriousness of enforced disappearance, which constitutes a crime and, in certain circumstances defined in international law, a crime against humanity.”

And let us recommit “to prevent enforced disappearances and to combat impunity for the crime of enforced disappearance” and respect “the right of any person not to be subjected to enforced disappearance, the right of victims to justice and to reparation.”

#EnforcedDisappearances #StopDisappearances #DesaparicionForzada 


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