International Caravan of Jurists releases preliminary findings of its mission to Colombia
Photo: PBI-Canada Board member Heather Neun (sitting second from the right in the front row) with the International Caravan of Jurists.
On August 21, the PBI-Colombia accompanied José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR) posted:
“From August 20 to 28, 2022, 18 international jurists, human rights experts from eleven countries will be in Colombia for an intense week to undertake a fact-finding mission and advocate for the protection of lawyers, human rights defenders and their communities, to guarantee access to justice and truth.”
Heather Neun, representing Lawyers Rights Watch Canada and Peace Brigades International-Canada, participated in this VII International Caravan of Jurists.
Among many activities, Neun met with the PBI-Colombia accompanied the Luis Carlos Pérez Lawyers Collective Corporation (CCALCP).
On August 30, Colombian Caravana, the British non-profit civil organization that has been organizing these Caravans biannually since 2008, tweeted about the preliminary findings of this delegation.
It summarizes: “One starting point is the concern about the lack of implementation of the Peace Accord, the continuity of the armed conflict, as well as the serious and increasing levels of violence perpetrated by illegal armed actors involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities in the regions. Other key elements of the complex current situation include the high and rising levels of poverty and unmet basic needs of the communities, as well as the conflicts surrounding access to water, land and the presence of extractive projects that threaten water and other natural resources.”
Its findings include:
- Repression and criminalization of political participation and social protest.
- Attacks against the work of lawyers.
- Conditions in prisons and centres for temporary detention.
- Lack of access to justice for rural, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities.
- Lack of judicial independence.
- Alarming increase in illegal armed actors.
- Insufficient implementation of the Peace Accord.
The 3-page document with these findings can be read in English here.
The overview notes: “These are the preliminary reflections of the VII Caravana, and the final report will be presented in due course.”
Photo: Neun along with other members of the VII Caravana meet with the Luis Carlos Pérez Lawyers Collective Corporation (CCALCP).