High profile human rights leader threatened at gunpoint

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 10 May 2013

As Harry Caicedo, a recognised human rights defender and Director of CPDH in the Department of Nariño, returned to his home by river, a second man travelling on the same boat pulled out a gun and pointed it at him for several minutes. The incident took place close to El Charco.

Harry was returning from a meeting with the government agency responsible for authorising protection measures. He has been the victim of threats and attacks for several years as the result of his human rights work. He has been detained twice on false charges of “rebellion”, held for over a year with no conviction ever being made, and in January his house was set on fire and shots were fired as he was inside with his family.

Local residents have reported a growing presence from the paramilitary group Los Rastrojos. In a recent human rights report paramilitaries were shown to be behind increasing attacks against human rights defenders.

The National Movement for Victims of State Crimes has called on the state authorities to guarantee the safety of Harry Caicedo and to fully investigate the paramilitary presence in the region.

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