Colombia will not sign the Escazú Agreement that protects environmental defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

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In a worrisome development, Contagio Radio reports, “The Colombian government announced it will not sign on to the Escazú Agreement despite the increasing dangers environmental activists face in the country.”

That article highlights, “This news comes as a blow for those who demand more commitment from Colombia when it comes to the protection of environmental activists, given that 24 of the 164 environmental defenders killed last year were Colombian.”

The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project comments, “Worrying decision against the increase in attacks by environmental defenders.”

Last week, El Espectador had reported, “If Colombia were to ratify its participation, it would have to take concrete actions to protect the environmental leaders in the country.” has commented, “The Escazú Agreement is a ground breaking multilateral agreement … that could – if implemented successfully – be a crucial tool for climate and environmental protection in the years to come.”

Mongabay further explains, “The commitments related to the protection of environmental defenders are set forth in Article 9 of the Escazú Agreement.”

The article, titled ‘Human Rights Defenders on Environmental Issues’, specifies that each country “guarantee a safe and propitious environment in which individuals, groups and organizations that promote and defend human rights in environmental matters can act without threats, restrictions and insecurity.”

Mongabay adds, “It also indicates that adequate and effective measures will be taken to recognize, protect and promote all the rights of human rights defenders in environmental matters. It commits to appropriate, effective and timely measures to prevent, investigate and punish attacks, threats or intimidation.”

ZIZ reports that 20 countries have now signed the Escazú Agreement. Those countries include Mexico and Guatemala.

The first meeting of the signatories to the Escazú Agreement will be taking place on October 11-12 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Photo: The murder of land rights and environmental activist Hernán Bedoya in December 2017 has been linked to the expansion of the palm oil industry in Colombia. The writing in the photo reads: “Sin olvido (we will not forget you) Hernán Bedoya.”

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