Fifteen human rights defenders killed in Colombia so far this year

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Colombian human rights organisation “We are Defenders” has lamented what it called a ‘growing tendency’ of human rights defenders being killed. In spite of the changed human rights discourse of the Colombian President, and the peace talks taking place between the government and the guerrilla insurgency, the rate at which human rights defenders are being killed has increased in the first four months of 2013.

According to the human rights organisation the peace process and a new land restitution law have caused the increase, which has been seen since 2011, as reactionary forces who have benefitted most from the violence of the armed conflict react to oppose any possible losses that they may incur as a result of a peace agreement and particularly as a result of more equal land distribution.

In addition to the killings, 20 threats and six attempted murders were recorded. Most attacks are carried out by right-wing paramilitaries.

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