PBI-Colombia accompanies the Inter-Church Commission on Justice and Peace to the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space

Published by Brent Patterson on

On February 15, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project posted on its Instagram page: “Last week brigadistas accompanied members of [the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace – CIJP] and Orlando Castillo, member of the Coordinating Committee of the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space in Buenaventura.”

The Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space is situated in the La Playita neighbourhood in Buenaventura. The CIJP advises the families who live there on protection, provides legal representation, and documents human rights violations.

In this short video posted on the PBI-Colombia page, Orlando Castillo claims the right of the population to search for their missing relatives.

Opposition to port expansion

The PBI-Colombia post adds: “Social organizations, including the ‘Nydia Erika Bautista’ Foundation for Human Rights (FNEB) accompanied by PBI, are fighting against the port expansion [in Buenaventura], reporting that it would destroy areas where they report common and watery graves.”

On February 12, PBI-Colombia tweeted that it had accompanied the Association for Research and Social Action (NOMADESC) at a march in Cali calling attention to the situation of escalation of violence and violations of human rights in Buenaventura.

El Pais reported: “A large group of people took to the streets in Cali this Thursday [February 11] to support the inhabitants of Buenaventura, reject the violence in the port and ask for more social investment.”

PBI-Colombia has also previously noted that NOMADESC has undertaken research “to show how the current port expansion and infrastructure development are linked to the human rights violations.”

Canada in the GRUC

The Government of Canada has noted: “Since 2015, alongside the Embassy of the Netherlands to Colombia, Canada has chaired the Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the Donors’ Group (GRUC) in Colombia, which consists of foreign embassies and multilateral organizations that provide international assistance to Colombia.”

In September 2019, PBI-Colombia accompanied a visit by the Canadian Embassy to Buenaventura along with embassy representatives from Norway, Spain and France to hear testimonials from residents, NOMADESC and CIJP.

The port in Buenaventura accounts for about 60 per cent of all Colombian imports and exports by sea. Given the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement implemented in 2011 and the $1.73 billion in two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Colombia in 2017, Canadian goods undoubtedly pass through this port.

Social leaders who lead a civic strike in 2017 called for social investment, a local hospital, and access to clean drinking water in Buenaventura rather than the further militarization of the city and continued expansion of the port.


Orlando Castillo is a social leader, human rights defender, coordinator and co-founder of the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space in Buenaventura.

Categories: News Updates


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *