Posts Tagged ‘peace process’

New Death Threats to Human Rights Defenders aim to weaken Colombia’s peace process

September 25, 2014

Two weeks ago I referred to reports about efforts to destabilise the Colombian peace process [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/death-threats-to-human-rights-defenders-linked-to-peace-process-in-colombia/]. Now new threats have been made public – hard to imagine by coincidence – on the eve of the September 22 reopening of negotiations in Havana. Nine human rights defenders in Colombia have been declared “military targets” by criminal group Los Rastrojos.

The latest list includes Marco Romero, director of human rights NGO Codhes who also forms part of the National University of Bogota’s team accompanying the peace process. Also on the list were Leon Valencia and Ariel Avila of NGO Paz y Reconciliacion, and Luis Emil Sanabria of NGO Redepaz.

A pamphlet labeled the nine on the list “guerrilla bureaucrats and human rights defenders dressed as civilians,” appearing to accuse many of them of having links to guerrilla group the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), before stating, “Los Rastrojos reserve our right to continue in the struggle for a country free of slags like you, the only thing you do is cheat people, teaching them communist doctrines against our ideas and the responsibilities of the country in favor of the most needed class.

For Luis Emil Sanabria, the threats issued by the Rastrojos and Aguilas Negras only serve to prove that the paramilitary demobilization process of 2006 was an abject failure, demanding a full disarmament process as part of any effective post-agreement phase of the peace negotiations ongoing in Havana: “This effort made by the Colombian government and the FARC, and other guerrilla groups to advance a peace process must bring us to the full deactivation of all of the armed actors, including the criminal groups (a term used by the government for post-2006 paramilitary groups),  including the drug traffickers and of course including the guerrillas groups,” Sanabria told teleSUR.

New Death Threats to Human Rights Defenders Latest Attack on Colombia’s Peace Process | News | teleSUR.

Death Threats to Human Rights Defenders linked to peace process in Colombia

September 11, 2014

Alberto Yepes has been told he will be murdered for his human rights work. (Photo: teleSUR)

(Alberto Yepes has been told he will be murdered for his human rights work. Photo: teleSUR)

Telesur News reports on 10 September that a paramilitary group historically linked to state agents in Colombia has issued death threats to 91 human rights defenders, in a move that could be linked to the advances made in the country’s ongoing peace process. Sent by email to various NGOs and social organizations, the threat was directed at the 91 people and their families and signed by the “Aguilas Negras” [Black Eagles].

According to Alberto Yepes, one of the human rights defenders named in the email, it is in the context of the peace process that the threats must be understood, because the powerful figures that stand behind the work of the country’s paramilitary groups are fearful of what may emerge from any truth commission set up following an agreement. “They sense the imminence of a peace process that will demand things be cleared up. These criminal organizations have been terrorizing the population and social organizations that will in some way have to discover who is behind all of that, and these groups see that as a threat,” said Yepes. Though the links between the threats and the peace process remain speculative, it appears emblematic that the 91 activists were told to leave the country by September 18 – the date set for a Senate debate into ties between paramilitary groups and elected officials.

via Death Threats to Activists Point to Fear Over Imminent Peace in Colombia | News | teleSUR.

Afghan women human rights defenders in the picture today

February 11, 2014

Human rights of women in Afghanistan were at the forefront of the international agenda after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Thirteen years later, nine Afghan women human rights defenders working at the front line reflect on the progress that has been made over the last years, as well as on the risks they have faced because of their work. Today, new challenges arise, as the lack of commitment at national and international level endangers past achievements and the continuation of progress in the near future. Dublin-based Frontline Defenders published the following video in 2 parts:Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

part 1:

part 2: