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Colombia: Killings of Human Rights Activists Increase by 27%

By Alexandre Bachet | The Argentina Independent | August 5, 2013

heroesanonimosThe non-governmental programme ‘Somos Defensores’ published a half-yearly report on Sunday showing a 27% increase in killings of human rights defenders and social leaders in Colombia.

Between January and June 2013, 37 human rights activists were murdered, according to the programme, which is supported by national and international NGOs. This represents a 27% increase compared with the same period of last year, when 29 activists were killed.

The report, called ‘Héroes Anónimos‘ (‘Anonymous Heroes’), states that most of the activists killed, 32 men and 5 women, were leaders of social and farmers’ organisations.

Diana Sánchez, spokeswoman for the programme, stated that “there is a lower number of aggressions [153 cases] compared to the same period last year [163 cases]” but “paradoxically, murders have increased, which is more serious.”

Sánchez explained that the first half of the year was marked by “a constant tension in political and human rights issues,” referring to the numerous protests that have taken place in Colombia this year. She also denounced that “there are armed groups and gangs (heirs to the paramilitary groups involved in drug trafficking) that when they feel that a [social] leader or an NGO threaten their mafias or their territories, they have no qualms about killing them.”

(photo courtesy of ‘Somos Defensores’)

August 5, 2013 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , ,

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