Colombia

Colombia: attacks on HRDs and journalists amid increasing violence

According to data from the Observatory of Human Rights, Conflict and Peace of the Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz (Institute for Development and Peace Studies - INDEPAZ), 59 social leaders and human rights defenders were killed between the beginning of 2022 and 19th April 2022. Read more

Colombia: attacks on HRDs and journalists amid increasing violence

Colombia: surveillance of civil society and detention of protest leaders

2022 began with astounding violence in the north-eastern department of Arauca along the Colombia-Venezuela border. Over 60 homicides were recorded in the region in January 2022, attributed to the escalating dispute over narcotrafficking routes between armed groups ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) and dissidents of the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). Read more

Colombia: surveillance of civil society and detention of protest leaders

Colombia: four months since the beginning of National Strike

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, at the end of April 2021, a tax reform bill sparked nationwide anti-government protests in Colombia. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 68 people had died during the protests by the beginning of June. Over a thousand were injured and detained, and hundreds were reported missing. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Colombia: four months since the beginning of National Strike

Protests against tax reform lead thousands to the streets in Colombia, face brutal police repression

Since 28th April 2021, nationwide protests sparked by a proposed tax reform have been brutally repressed by Colombian law enforcement. Mobilisation has continued after nearly three weeks, with protests growing to encompass multiple grievances and demands for social justice. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Protests against tax reform lead thousands to the streets in Colombia, face brutal police repression

A deadly January in Colombia

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) warned that January 2021 had been the most violent start to a year since the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian State in 2016. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

A deadly January in Colombia

Social leaders and journalists at increased risk during COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Colombia’s government declared a sanitary emergency and banned public gatherings on 12th March 2020. On 22nd March 2020, a new decree established a nationwide mandatory quarantine which was subsequently extended into May 2020. Despite the obligatory isolation measures, several protests have taken place since the beginning of the public emergency – often mobilised by people denouncing the lack of food, financial aid and access to medical services. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Social leaders and journalists at increased risk during COVID-19

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

The Colombia National Indigenous Organisation reported that 115 Indigenous people have been assassinated so far in 2019. On 28th October 2019, rural workers association Asociación Nacional de Zonas de Reserva Campesina (National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones - ANZORC) reported that 16-year-old social leader Flower Jair Trompeta Pavi had been tortured and murdered. On 29th October 2019, an illegal armed group in the Cauca region attacked members of the Nasa people, killing indigenous authority Ne’h Wesx Cristina Taquinas Bautista and four Indigenous Guards. Six other people were wounded.

On 21st November 2019, over 200,000 protesters took to the streets of Colombia for a 12-hour nationwide strike. Initially called by unions, the strike was joined by pensioners, students, indigenous groups and other social sectors. The killing of 18-year-old Dylan Muricio Cruz during a protest for education on 23rd November 2019 in Bogotá has mobilised more protests. Read more

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

Violence escalates during Colombia's elections

Between August and September 2019, 7 political candidates were killed during the municipal and regional election campaign in Colombia. According to news reports, at least 62 others have been threatened or attacked. In separate incidents, community organiser Yunier Moreno was killed in Caquetá, and two members of the Pueblo Nasa del Norte del Cauca Indigenous Guard were killed in an attack against a number of members of the community.

At the end of September and throughout October, the police acted to repress protests by students in Bogotá resulting in violent clashes.

On 18th October 2019, Javier Córdoba Chaguendo, a journalist and host with community radio station Planeta Stereo, was killed while working in the station's studio in Tumaco, Nariño. Read more

Violence escalates during Colombia's elections

Mass protests in Colombia demand response to persistent violence against social leaders

The spiral of violence against HRDs in Colombia has continued. In June 2019, human rights organisation Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) stated that it had received 70 reports of murdered social leaders or members of vulnerable ethnic communities in 2019. At the end of June, WOLA declined to publish the number of cases recorded due to the huge variation in the figures published by different organisations. On 26th July 2019, thousands of demonstrators gathered across Colombia to protest the alarming violence against social leaders in the country, and to demand government action in protecting community leaders, human rights and environmental defenders. Marches took place in over 50 Colombian cities. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Mass protests in Colombia demand response to persistent violence against social leaders