It’s been almost a month of no sleeping, helping human rights defenders, and hearing the citizens screaming for help. Every night keeps getting worse. Right now the situation is very difficult, the president is not allowing the international commission for human rights to enter the country, and keeps denying the human right violation committed by the police force. We are witnessing an attack on our democracy and our lives. The best way to help is to make the whole world aware of this. Please share the letter. Thank you! this small action can help us a lot!
–CCL Colombia volunteer
CCL is not just about fixing climate change, it is about empowering citizens in democracy. Today, volunteers in CCL Columbia fear for their lives. They can’t campaign for the climate until they are safe to speak out. You can help them by raising awareness of this plight and by asking the UK foreign office to keep talking with the Columbian government to create an international commission on human rights, in particular for an immediate ceasefire.
Here is the letter to download (PDF): #SOSColombia ENG
The text is also below. Please email this to the following:
- Dominic Raab MP (Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)
and copy in:-
- Wendy Morton MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas)
- Your MP (if you don’t know who they are, click here)
- CCL at this address
If you read Spanish, visit sos-colombia.co
Suggested letter/email text:
CC Wendy Morton MP / [my MP]
We are very worried about our fellow volunteers in CCL Colombia. Citizens’ Climate Lobby works in peace and respect with elected representatives and need to feel safe in their work. They have written to us because they are desperate and in fear for their lives, just because they are exercising their right to protest and freedom of speech.
Please could you talk with the Colombian Government about these deep concerns and their citizens call for an International Commission on Human Rights?
I attach a letter signed by many Colombian organisations.
I would appreciate a reply on the British government’s policy on this and any progress.
Text of the letter to attach (if you can’t download the original #SOSColombia ENG)
Letter to political leaders and international community
Colombia Says: Never back to war.
Since April 28th, 2021, a National Strike in Colombia was reactivated. Since then, there have been many feelings from Colombians who continue to mobilize and insist on the need for the government to guarantee better living conditions in democracy and equity. The State has used excessive force, repression, and censorship as a response mechanism.
Due to the absence of representation for the voices that claim to be heard, citizens continue to send a clear message: in Colombia, violence does not stop and there is so much disagreement with the decisions and reforms promoted by the Government that they have caused indignation of millions of people. people who have come out to protest peacefully and with artistic expressions. However, the constant in the country has been the lack of guarantees and respect for the constitutional right to mobilization and protest.
Every single day, we keep getting serious news of human rights violations in Colombia. From the beginning of the National Strike through May 10th, the NGO Temblores has reported 1,956 complaints of cases of police violence, including 40 homicides that were allegedly committed by members of the Public Force, in addition to complaints related to arbitrary detentions (1003 cases), eye attacks (28 cases) and sexual violence (12 cases). Added to this, the Ombudsman’s Office has identified that at least 548 people have disappeared during the mobilizations. It is worrying that the government has prioritized investment in strengthening organizations such as the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD), in weapons and warfare, instead of investing in other substantial needs for the people.
Despite announcing an opening to dialogue, the language and attitude of the National Government and the Armed Forces is closing any possibility of de-escalation of the critical situation in our Nation. There’s already evidence of restrictions on fundamental rights, limiting the spread of information, suspending communications services on public or private networks, arbitrarily capturing civilians, and other forms of repression that have been exercised.
In addition to this, it is important to mention that on May 9th, President Ivan Duque ordered a full military deployment in response to the mobilizations of ethnic groups (indigenous minga) demanding that they leave the city and return to their reservations. This military deployment has been accompanied by actions in which there are complaints and evidence of participation and complicity of the National Police with alleged groups of armed civilians to attack other civilians.
Therefore, from different organizations we raise the following points, inviting the international community to carry out an urgent oversight, where we request:
To create an International Commission on Human Rights formed by different competent international organizations and articulated with existing local efforts to:
– Make a call to the Colombian State for an immediate ceasefire and to stop all acts of violence, respecting compliance with protocols of order and security in spaces of social mobilization.
– Support the investigation and follow-up of the complaints to clarify the violent acts committed during social protest in the recent mobilizations by members of the Public Force, such as: homicides, threats, harassment, arbitrary arrests, eye attacks, enforced disappearances, torture and sexual violence. The foregoing, seeking due reparation to the victims, with truth and guarantees of non-repetition.
– Generate international pressure before the Colombian State to carry out a police reform that suppresses the policies of repression and dynamics of violence that keep perpetuating the internal armed conflict, guaranteeing that they have a human rights approach according to international agreements.
– Strengthen, support, and guarantee human rights groups, medical brigades and independent media that are present during the social mobilizations and that have been affected and violated by the public force.
– To follow and verify that representation is guaranteed in the national dialogue processes: ethnic groups, farmers, women, sexual dissidents, youth, Afro, Raizales, minorities and vulnerable communities. This is to avoid that the conversations remain between actors who are not representing the core of the civil society that is manifesting.
– Review the international cooperation treaties and programs that are linked to the situation of human rights violations and that have exacerbated social outrage, limiting compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
– Laura Morales, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Colombia
– Laura Restrepo, Alameda Boroló
– Juliana Bohórquez, Meráki
– Aida Quilcué, Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca, CRIC NACIONAL.
– León Valencia, Pares
– Alejandro Lanz, Temblores ONG
– María Susana Muhamad González & Heidy Lorena Sánchez Barreto, H. Concejala de Bogotá D.C H., Colombia Humana – Unión Patriótica