Human Rights Lawyer Survives Assassination Attempt

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 27 December 2010

William Cristancho Duarte, a lawyer representing victims of extrajudicial executions by the armed forces, narrowly escaped being killed on 10th December 2010 while on his way to the Palogordo Prison in Giron.

He had previously received death threats in October 2010 on the day of a hearing against several military personnel. Mr Duarte was followed, and after the hearing, received a phone call which said “what are you doing, you son of a whore lawyer, enemy of the army?” Shortly afterwards he was accosted in the street by a young man with military a style haircut who blocked his path and said “you son of a bitch defender of guerrillas, we’ve got you in our sights!” The relevant authorities were informed of these threats but no action to provide protection was taken (deleted ‘by them’).

Mr Duarte’s car was fired on twice while driving to the Palogordo prison. The shots shattered the rear windscreen, and bullets were later found lodged in one of the car doors, and the victim’s seat.

Among the cases being worked on by Mr Duarte is that of a child who was sexually abused by members of the police, and others linked to the Justice and Peace Process.

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