PBI-Colombia notes IACHR call for precautionary measures for National Strike medic in Cali and his missing brother

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: National strike street medic John Fernando Marín Marín.

On January 8, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Without protection and with serious #impunity in case of leader of medical missions from #nationalstrike in #Colombia, around death threats and forced disappearance of his brother.”

El Tiempo reports: “The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has granted precautionary measures in favor of John Fernando Marín Marín and Fredemyr Alberto Marín Marín, after considering that they are at risk of irreparable damage to their rights.”

That article further explains:

John Fernando was coordinator of medical missions in Cali, in the midst of the 2021 national strike, and as a result of these tasks, he would be the target of threats and harassment. In addition, his brother Fredemyr Alberto has been missing since November 10, 2021, and it is presumed that said disappearance could be related to the threats against John Fernando.

In the middle of studying the request for precautionary measures, the Colombian State reported that it had received various complaints about these events and that there were already files opened by the competent authorities for their investigation.

However, the IACHR, after assessing this information in light of the current context in Colombia, especially the situation of social leaders and human rights defenders, considered that the available information indicated that no measures had been adopted to protect John Fernando, despite the persistence of serious risk events since the national strike.

Likewise, regarding the disappearance of Fredemyr Alberto, the Commission verified that there is a lack of information on his situation or whereabouts since November 10 and concluded that both brothers are in a serious and urgent situation.

The international organization asked the State to adopt the necessary measures to determine the situation and whereabouts of Fredemyr Alberto, guarantee effective search actions through its specialized mechanisms, and adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and integrity of John Fernando Marín Marín and his family nucleus; and report on the actions taken to investigate the threats that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, and thus avoid its repetition.

Semana adds: “[The IACHR] gave the State a period of 15 days to send a report on the progress of the investigations, the actions taken to clarify these facts, and the protection measures for the two Marín brothers.” The date of that communication was December 31, so the deadline is January 15.

The Organization of American States/IACHR (CIDH) statement on this can be read here.

This past August, PBI-Colombia accompanied Nomadesc and victims of state violence in Cali at a meeting at the Canadian Embassy in Bogota.

Last month, Canadian foreign affairs minister Mélanie Joly tweeted: “Canada always stands up on questions of human rights.”

Given that promise, we look forward to the Canadian Embassy in Colombia supporting the IACHR’s call for precautionary measures in the case of the Marin brothers in line with the Voices at Risk guidelines on supporting human rights defenders.

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