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  • Human rights leaders, including members of Marcha Patriotica, continue to face threats despite a peace agreement in Colombia.

    Human rights leaders, including members of Marcha Patriotica, continue to face threats despite a peace agreement in Colombia. | Photo: Twitter / @MarchaPatriotica

Social leaders and human rights activists in Colombia continue to face threats and intimidation despite a peace deal between the FARC and the government. 

Social leaders in Colombia have suffered at least 317 violations of human rights since the beginning of the definitive bilateral cease-fire between Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, according to a report released by a human rights commission organized by Colombian political and social movement Patriotic March.

Amid Violence, Colombia Rights Activists Need Urgent Protection

The report registered cases of violence against social leaders between August 29, 2016 and January 29, 2017 that were systematic. During this period, 317 violations of human rights were identified, perpetrated by groups related to the paramilitary forces.

The document was produced "in order to demonstrate to the public and the international community the complex situation in several regions of the country based on the actions of paramilitary groups and violations of international human rights," said the Patriotic March in the report.

Civilian casualties, a product of socio-political violence, increased exponentially in Colombia, according to the report. Over the last five years, the increase has had a direct relationship with the progress of the peace process and the refusal of sectors of the extreme right to allow this process to continue.

According to the organization, the information reaffirms the concerns they have repeatedly voiced. However, they have not received answers "that could stop the systematic sociopolitical violence."

The most common actions against leaders, organizations and communities are threats, assassinations and harassment.

Social Organizations Key for Colombia's Second Peace Dialogues

The close relationship between paramilitary groups, politicians and landowners has led to the emergence of a political, socio-economic and territorial dispute in the country, says the report.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights warned in November that the increase in killings of human rights defenders in Colombia is “alarming” and also noted that many activists face reprisals, harassment and threats.

IACHR, an independent branch of the Organization of American States, also reported that at least 50 human rights defenders were killed in Colombia in 2016 alone.

Read the complete report here.


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