PBI-Colombia accompanies Peace Community at meeting with Canadian Embassy in Bogota

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On October 25, PBI-Colombia posted: “Thanks @CanadayColombia for receiving the @cdpsanjose of the #Uraba #Colombia accompanied by @dhColombia @OpColombaApg23 and PBI. There were serious risks in San José de #Apartado, impunity and breaches of international standards in serious violations of #DDHH [human rights].”

Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders notes: “Missions should seek to build and maintain relationships with HRDs and civil society organizations… Contact with HRDs can help missions better understand their situation and the local context in which they work and facilitate response should an emergency situation arise.”

Those guidelines also highlight: “To demonstrate the importance of the work of the defenders, missions can, for example, conduct field visits, either independently or accompanied by other diplomatic missions, to meet with HRDs in the variety of settings where they conduct their advocacy. Such visits can sometimes take place in remote regions, often within sight of local authorities and security forces.”

Last week, PBI-Colombia also accompanied the Peace Community at meetings with the British, Norwegian, French and Swedish embassies.

The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó is located more than 700 kilometres northwest of Bogota in the mountainous northern region in the department of Antioquia.

They have posted this update about their situation.

Once again, our Peace Community of San José de Apartadó sees the need to record before the country and the world the latest events of which we have been victims by paramilitarism that continues to act at ease in our region without being disturbed by any competent authority, because it has its economic and political support, which makes it strong to subject the peasantry to its projects.

The paramilitaries, as since the beginning of 2017, are forcing the civilian population to meet with them and to instill terror in those meetings, groups of them participate in camouflaged uniforms and with long weapons; thus they believe that their orders and directives are obeyed by the civilian population.

San José de Apartadó has become a scenario of yoke and dictatorship by politicians, businessmen, military forces and paramilitaries since all of them coexist in this region and each other is not harmed because the damages are suffered by the peasant who has to submit to all these actions of oppression.

The Peace Community was formed in 1997 and PBI-Colombia began to accompany it in 1999.

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