PBI-Colombia accompanies Peace Community of San José de Apartadó march commemorating Huber Velasquez

Published by Brent Patterson on

On December 23, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted: “PBI accompanies @cdpsanjose that #today march in defense of life and protest the murder of leader Huber Velásquez.”

Their tweet adds: “This year closes with more than 160 human rights defenders murdered in Colombia. #Urgent guarantees to defend #DDHH [human rights].”

The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó had previously expressed “its strongest protest against the execution of HUBER VELÁSQUEZ, who maintained close relations with our Community, always supporting our cocoa marketing.”

Velasquez, who had complained about irregularities and the corruption of the paramilitaries, was murdered on December 17.

In this article, PBI-Colombia’s Urabá Team reports on the march that took place just a few days after he was murdered. They highlight:

On December 23 in the early hours of the morning dozens of people gathered in front of the Community to walk in a march for life and the defense of the territory to the door of the house of the social leader Huber Velásquez.

People of all ages attended: children, young people, adults and the elderly, some on foot and others by mule. All cried out for respect for life in homage to a murdered comrade, but they also marched as another example of active resistance against those who still today try in vain to silence their voices in a violent way. And they did it precisely by covering the morning with colorful protest posters that showed neighbors in their path, and that later, they would place at the entrance of the house where Huber was murdered.

Despite the pain, there were also words of hope and fraternal solidarity, because as expressed by those who spoke at the event, although today it is an empty and desolate place, that has always been a house inhabited by a smiling family that believes in the possibility of building a more just world, and there is no greater tribute than ‘continuing on the path of defending life, fighting against the silencing of the truth and for the memory of those who had the courage to defend the principles of justice and solidarity’.


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

PBI-Colombia began accompanying the Peace Community in 1999.

“#Read our new article: “Huber Velásquez: today we march for respect for life and living in our territory”. Faced with the serious security context, the @cdpsanjose once again shows courage and dignity in defense of memory and justice.”


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