When human rights defender Ivan Madero spent Christmas with Peace Brigades International

Published by Brent Patterson on

As the Christmas season approaches for many people, the risks faced by human rights defenders unfortunately continue.

This past November, Peace Brigades International organized a cross-country speaking tour in Canada with human rights defender Ivan Madero of the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) based in Barrancabermeja, Colombia.

We were moved to hear him tell the story about how the security situation was once so intense for him that he spent Christmas with Peace Brigades International.

Ivan tells the story in this video that CREDHOS members “sought refuge, each of us with our respective families, in the PBI house and spent Christmas there.”

As noted in the still above, he adds, “It was a very special moment, there was a high risk, but in PBI we found fraternity, affection, a good reception, and this was very important.”

When Ivan was in Vancouver during our speaking tour he was interviewed by The Voice. That article reported, “Madero, speaking through an interpreter, said he recently found out that a paramilitary leader had put a 5 million peso (or $2000 Canadian) bounty on his head and that a grenade had been ordered to be planted in his car.”

The risks remain high for Ivan and other human rights defenders in the countries where PBI provides protective and political accompaniment.

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