Hear Colombian human rights defender Ivan Madero speak this coming Thursday April 29
Click here to register to hear Ivan Madero speak on a webinar this coming Thursday.
Ivan Madero joined the CREDHOS (the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights) Board of Directors in 1993.
He was already an experienced political activist at that point.
Ivan says: “In 1988, I was detained by the army in a demonstration. I was detained for various days. I was assaulted, tortured. There was a high chance that they would assassinate me. In this moment, there was a searching committee. They saved my life.”
He would have also known that joining CREDHOS would be dangerous. Seven CREDHOS activists were killed between 1991 and 1992 following the investigation by CREDHOS into the murder of Leonardo Posada Pedraza by paramilitary forces.
In this PBI-Colombia video about the armed conflict in Colombia in 1995, Ivan tells the story of having to spend Christmas at the PBI house for safety reasons. Ivan says: “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.”
PBI-Colombia has also noted: “Ivan and his wife, after sleeping in different places every night accompanied by PBI, decided to leave [in 2000].” That meant ten years of exile in Spain, with part of that time spent in Calgary, Alberta.
In 2010 Ivan returned to Colombia and became the president of CREDHOS.
Ivan has experienced numerous security incidents since then.
In November 2013, Ivan, who was residing at the CREDHOS headquarters at that time for security reasons, had to take shelter on the second floor of the building to evade a man who had forcibly entered the building.
Ivan and his family also received death threats in January 2014 and June 2015. And in July 2016, Ivan received a death threat both via a call on his cellphone, a text message, and a call to the CREDHOS office telephone.
And when Ivan was in Vancouver during our speaking tour in November 2019 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 CAD $2,000 bounty on his head and that a grenade had been ordered to be planted in his car.”
Most recently, on March 24 of this year, following a death threat against CREDHOS, Ivan and his family received a death threat via a voicemail sent to his personal phone that gave details of his movements and planned travels.
Hear Ivan speak this Thursday April 29
This coming Thursday at 2:30 pm COL/3:30 pm EDT, Ivan will be speaking about his fight against fracking in the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia and the threats environmental defenders experience due to this activism.
To register for this webinar, click here.
Ivan in 2012: “The political deterrence that PBI creates is fundamental. Receiving the accompaniment of Peace Brigades has been important in the life of CREDHOS. It allows you to move, it allows you to continue doing this work.”