Next week Colombian human rights ngo Programa Somos Defensores will launch a new report, entitled Agúzate, which documents the killing of human rights defenders in Colombia for the period January – June 2017.
The report highlights the fact that despite the peace process and despite the fact that overall levels of violence have decreased, the number of targeted killings of human rights defenders has actually increased.
The report documents the fact that since January 2017, 51 HRDs have been killed up to the end of June. This figure represents a 30% increase over the same period last year. The response of the Colombian government to date has been to maintain the position that these are isolated incidents rather than part of a consistent pattern of paramilitary activity. The basic premise of the report is that given the failure of the state to take action, the only option is for HRDs to organise to protect each other.
Somos Defensores has produced a short video to promote the report which paraphrases the words of a popular song to state – “Wake up – they’re watching us – they’re listening – they’re hunting and killing us”.
Please distribute this video as widely as possible to create awareness of the forthcoming report. Please do what you can by sending it to your media contacts and partner organisations.