PBI-Colombia expresses concern about explosive device placed five metres from CREDHOS office in Barrancabermeja
News photo of police at scene of explosive device near CREDHOS office.
On April 10, PBI-Colombia tweeted:
“We express our great concern about the installation of an explosive device in front of the office of @Credhos_Paz [the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights] in #Barrancabermeja. Security measures are urgently needed to protect the lives of human rights defenders.”
The Canadian Embassy in Colombia also tweeted:
“We reject the threats against @Credhos_Paz, an organization that has been tirelessly fighting for peace in Magdalena Medio. The safety of human rights defenders must be guaranteed, otherwise peace will be further and further away.”
On April 11, CREDHOS also tweeted:
“#CREDHOS – PUBLICLY DENOUNCES AND CONDEMNS THE INSTALLATION OF AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE in front of our facilities, where people, victims and vulnerable population and communities of Magdalena Medio are attended, while our team of #HumanRights defenders works.”
This statement from the CREDHOS) further explains: “On Monday 10 April 2023, at around 05:30 in the morning, an alarm was raised in the vicinity of the Camilo Torres Restrepo Park … due to the presumed installation of an explosive device just five (5) metres in front of the headquarters of the CREDHOS Corporation.”
“Subsequently, in statements given to the media, the National Police confirmed the presence of an explosive device that had an explosive device with a communiqué inside, presumably self-acknowledged by the National Liberation Army (ELN).”
“This is in response to the repeated and constant public denunciation by CREDHOS of human rights violations and breaches of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) committed by various legal and illegal armed groups in Magdalena Medio, as well as the relationship of these armed groups with economic and political sectors in the region.”
It adds: “It should be noted that the Corporation and its members have experienced systemic and repeated threats, harassment, forced displacement and assassinations of its members and workers in the last period.”
Among the demands CREDHOS raises “We demand respect for the right to defend human rights. As well as the recognition of the work of human rights defenders and respect for their life and physical and mental integrity.”
The full statement can be read at DENUNCIAMOS LA INSTALACIÓN DE ARTEFACTO EXPLOSIVO FRENTE A SEDE DE LA CORPORACIÓN CREDHOS!
PBI-Colombia has accompanied CREDHOS since 1994.
Video stills from Enlace Television.