Colombia: US Congressional Black Caucus asks Colombian govt. to increase protection of human rights defenders, incl. ethnic groups defending land rights

Author: Washington Office on Latin America, Published on: 12 January 2018

U.S. Lawmakers Ask Colombian Government to Increase Protection of Human Rights Defenders – 11 January 2018

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) released a letter addressed to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, expressing concern over the ongoing security threats facing human rights defenders. The letter specifically requests that the Colombian government reevaluate the measures employed for protecting threatened individuals from marginalized Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities. In place of these ineffective protective measures, the letter calls for a new strategy protecting the lives, interests, and safety of these groups…The letter, first published on December 21, 2017, was sponsored by Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Keith Ellison (D-MN) and is co-signed by five other Members of Congress. Signatories to the letter cited their concern over the security threats faced by ethnic and social activists in Colombia’s Chocó department, including various Afro-Colombian community councils, such as La Larga council and Tumarado-COCOLATU. Four community leaders were recently killed in Chocó’s Bajo Atrato region.

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