EL TIEMPO, October 15, 2021

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Departments like Antioquia and Nariño are the places where the highest number of cases is concentrated.

A study by Indepaz (Institute for Development and Peace) has stated that so far this year, 136 social leaders have been murdered in this country.

The report also points out that 38 former guerrillas that signed the Peace Agreement have been murdered or disappeared so far in 2021.

The organization stated that the register “was prepared using direct and immediate information from the social organizations throughout the length and breadth of Colombia. They identified these people as social leaders and/or human rights defenders.”

According to the report, the greatest number of attacks took place in cities like Tumaco, Cali, Caldono, Santander de Quilichao, and Dabeiba.

It also refers to the activities of the people that were killed, as follows: 42 were indigenous leaders, 37 were former combatants, 29 were civic leaders, and 23 were community leaders.

85.5 percent of the leaders were men, and 13.5 percent were women.

The situation is so delicate that national and international organizations have warned about the risk that human rights defenders are running in this country.

The draft of the Conpes (National Council on Political and Social Economics) document on guarantees and protection for social leaders and human rights defenders was presented in Cúcuta one month ago. The document is focused on the protection, prevention, and promotion of people who exercise some kind of social leadership in this country.

Alejandra Botero Barco, Director of the National Planning Department (DNP), indicated at the time that the final document would be signed in November.

“This is the first face-to-face event that we are having on a two-week project where we will be going all over Colombia to carry out the work of protecting human rights. What we will do with these components is put them together and analyze them to include them in the Conpes,” Botero said.

The first area chosen to begin the discussions of the document was Cúcuta. The objective is to hear about the problems and concerns of the entities, organizations, and human rights defenders in Norte de Santander.

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