Threats and harassment continue against War on Want partner in Colombia
Following a human rights verification mission organised by the Human Rights Subcommittee of the Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic and Popular Summit in February, War on Want partner, The Social Corporation for Community Counselling and Training (COSPACC) has recently received a series of threats and harassment made against its leaders.
Human right defenders (HRD) have been repeatedly followed around the offices of COSPACC by unknown men, who have also photographed the building. Furthermore, one HRD was attacked in an attempt to steal his belongings, which included a computer with key information about the region's social movements. He also received verbal threats to his life during the altercation.
The systematic nature of these events, which COSPACC has publicly denounced and brought to the attention of the relevant authorities since 2004, is a matter of concern. It is worth recalling the events that occurred on January 23, 2013, when information corresponding to investigations of serious of human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law was stolen.
COSPACC, in coordination with the Foundation Committee of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CFSP), has documented cases of extrajudicial executions through "false positives" in Boyacá and Casanare for more than a decade; which resulted in the penalisation of several soldiers, including General HENRY TORRES ESCALANTE of the Colombian National Army.
DEMANDS BY COSPACC
To the Colombian state:
Guarantees for the life and integrity of all the people who are part of COSPACC and the other processes that accompany it; and to carry out the necessary actions through the relevant institutions, in order to thoroughly investigate the reported events and provide guarantees for the exercise of the promotion and defence of human rights.
To national and international human rights organisations:
To follow up on this serious situation that is presented in the current context of violence against social movements, especially against its leaders and defenders of Human Rights. And to demand that the Colombian government comply with its constitutional obligations and demonstrate a real will for peace, by thoroughly investigating the claims and punishing those responsible.
The Colombian government must guarantee a basic right to life if there is to be any hope of building long-lasting peace in Colombia.
*COSPACC is a human rights organisation and a member of the Peoples' Congress, the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) and the Colombia Europe United States Coordination (CCEEU).
Click below to download COSPACC's Public Statement