PBI-Canada Board member Heather Neun reports back on visit to Colombia, August 24

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Peace Brigades International-Canada Board member Heather Neun participated in the International Observation Mission for the Guarantees of Social Protest and Against Impunity in Colombia (#MisiónSOSColombia) this past July 3-12.

She will be reporting back on that mission this coming Tuesday August 24 at 7 pm on Denman Island, British Columbia.

The promotion for the event notes: “Denman resident and human rights/labour lawyer Heather Neun will speak about her recent visit to Colombia as part of an international observation and verification mission organized by Peace Brigades International (PBI).”

It adds: “The human rights mission followed reports of widespread, extreme violations of the right to social protest in that country, especially the brutal state response to ongoing country wide protests that began in April 2021 and are still continuing, and the Colombian state’s impunity in the face of abuses of power, authority, assaults and police violence.”

And it highlights: “Heather’s talk will include the Canadian connections to the upheaval and ongoing violence in Colombia.”

Some of those connections could include the sale of Light Armoured Vehicles (manufactured in London, Ontario) to the Colombian Army and Huron armoured vehicles (manufactured in Toronto) to the Colombian National Police; a bilateral policing initiative between Canadian and Colombian police; and Canadian oil and gas companies – including Calgary-based Parex Resources and Toronto-based Frontera Energy – that have been involved in the criminalization of human rights defenders concerned by their environmental impacts.

The preliminary report from the Mission can be read (in Spanish) here.

For more on the current situation, please see this 12-minute France 24 video titled ‘Colombia: Silencing a Revolt’ (available in English).

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