PBI-Colombia notes serious threat against CSPP human rights defender Adriana Lizarazo

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On November 13, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Alert! Serious threat against human rights defender of our accompanied organization @CSPP_ in Santander.”

Earlier, the CSPP tweeted: “Human Rights Defender of the @CSPP_ and the @coeuropa [a network of 285 social and human rights organizations] received several threatening messages by WhatsApp from a profile that identifies with the letters AGC, acronyms of the armed group calling itself the Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.”

CSPP president Franklin Castañeda has also tweeted: “We reject the threats received today by Adriana Lizarazo, human rights defender and coordinator of @CSPP_ in Santander. We ask @FiscaliaCol [the Attorney General’s Office] to promptly investigate and clarify this fact and @UNPColombia [the National Protection Unit] to provide the necessary protection to Adriana and her family.”

The CSPP further explains:

“At 12:26 p.m. [on Saturday November 13], human rights defender ADRIANA LIZARAZO, coordinator of the Santander branch of CSPP and recently appointed as Spokesperson for the Northeast Node of the Colombia-Europe-United States Coordination, received several messages by Whatsapp from the number 313 879 3816, a subscriber who in his profile is identified with the letters AGC, acronym of the name of armed group calling itself Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, also known as Clan del Golfo.”

One of the threatening messages says: “On Tuesday wait at the office of… a little package that we are going to send you.”

Among the requests made by the CSPP in response to this situation: “We call on the international community, the IACHR, and the Inter-American Human Rights System to provide follow-up and accompaniment to human rights defender ADRIANA LIZARAZO, her family and the people who make up the Committee of Solidarity with Political Prisoners foundation, particularly in its Santander branch.”

Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders outlines the actions the Embassy of Canada in Colombia could take at this time. That can include making public statements and using social media:

“Los llamamientos públicos comunes incluyen instar a las autoridades a realizar investigaciones prontas e imparciales de las presuntas violaciones de los derechos humanos y a tomar todas las medidas necesarias para garantizar la protección de todas las personas contra la violencia, las amenazas, las represalias, la discriminación, la presión o cualquier otra acción arbitraria como consecuencia de el legítimo ejercicio de sus derechos.”

Founded in 1973, the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) was Colombia’s first human rights defence organization.

One of the cases CSPP supports is that of the municipality of San Luis de Palenque in the department of Casanare, in which it defends social leaders who have been subjected to judicial proceedings for having led protests against the activities of the Calgary-based oil company Frontera Energy.

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the CSPP since 1998.

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