CAHUCOPANA human rights defender Carlos Morales and his wife shot in Barrancabermeja

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Still from PBI-Colombia video.

On February 28, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “#ALERT Carlos Morales, human rights defender with @Cahucopana accompanied by PBI, was shot along with his wife last night in Barrancabermeja. In the midst of a very serious context of violence #NoHayGarantías [no guarantees] and it is #URGENT that the authorities take measures.”

And CAHUCOPANA has now tweeted: “Faced with the events that put the integrity of Carlos Morales at risk and his wife, we express our gratitude for the solidarity. We report that the attack was carried out with a traumatic weapon and the injuries were minor. He and his partner are out of danger.”

The CAHUCOPANA statement on the attack can be read here.

Blu Radio reports: “Carlos Morales, a social leader from Remedios, was the victim of an armed attack in Barrancabermeja, Santander, where he was relocated by the National Protection Unit because his life was in danger in Antioquia.”

The article adds: “The legal representative of the Humanitarian Corporation for Coexistence and Peace of Northeast Antioquia was approached by armed men while he was riding his motorcycle with his wife and five-year-old son. The gunmen, who have not been identified, fired at the two adults, causing them injuries by bullet impacts. Both are out of danger and the leader believes that the attack is due to his political activity.”

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Humanitarian Action Corporation for Coexistence and Peace in Northeast Antioquia (Cahucopana) since 2013.

In June 2020, CPT Action noted:

Carlos Morales is a 33 year old Barrancabermeja native, and one of the founders of the Corporation for Humanitarian Action and Peaceful Coexistence of the Northeast of Antioquia – CAHUCOPANA, an organization that works for the defense of human rights, permanence in the territory and dignified life.

Since 2005 CAHUCOPANA has been working with subsistence farmers and miners in the municipalities of Remedios and Segovia in the Northeastern Antioquia region that was suffering from a severe economic blockade by paramilitary groups and military operations. Historically abandoned by the government, this region is in a constant territorial dispute between different legal and illegal armed actors, trapping their civilian population in the middle.

In 2013 he coordinated the Grassroots, Agrarian, and Ethnic National Strike in the municipalities of Remedios and Segovia. Because of their work to defend human rights, Morales and other CAHUCOPANA leaders have received threats against their lives and wellbeing. CAHUCOPANA today is a nationally recognized human rights organization and plays a key leadership role in advocating for human rights at the highest levels of government.

On September 29, 2015, Carlos was wrongfully accused of a crime by the Attorney General’s office and spent eight months imprisoned. Historically, this is a standard method used by the Colombian government to harasses and weaken the leadership of human rights activists.”


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