IACHR draws attention to the persistence of violence in Colombia – Services – Justice

For this reason, he called on the State to reinforce all actions to confront the structural causes of violence in the country.

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The agency highlighted that in 2021 there has been an increase in murders, since 11,509 had been registered as of November 4, compared to 9,962 in the same period of 2020.

In particular, the Commission noted with particular concern the increase of approximately 20 percent of the femicides. According to information from the Prosecutor’s Office, the entity cited, between January and September 2021 1,074 complaints were registered: 555 for fait accompli and 519 for attempts.

These departments, the IACHR said, are characterized, among other aspects, by the presence of non-state armed groups in dispute over control of the operation of illicit economies and by a limited presence of the State that impacts on the substantial increase in displaced and confined persons.

The organization also launched an alert for the persistence of a “scenario of extreme violence against human rights defenders, leaders and social and community leaders.”

In that sense, he mentioned that according to the Ombudsman’s Office, in the first half of the year 78 people who exercised these types of leadership were assassinated; and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights received 180 complaints of homicides of defenders, between January 1 and October 31, 2021, of which it has verified 67 and 83 are pending, while 30 were found in study.

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In addition to the homicides, the Commission cited that the Ombudsman’s Office reported another 407 behaviors such as threats and attacks against human rights defenders, leaders, and leaders in the first six months of the year.

The IACHR also stated that violence against journalists continues to be one of the main challenges for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression in Colombia, and attacks, threats, and intimidation of journalists continue to be documented.

Despite the calls for attention, the IACHR highlighted that the State has implemented measures to prevent violence against defenders and leaders, such as the early warning system of the Ombudsman’s Office, the integration of the Inter-institutional Table for monitoring homicides against people defenders, and measures aimed at protection through the National Protection Unit. “Through these actions, 67 percent clarification of the homicides was achieved,” said the entity.

“The IACHR expresses concern at the magnitude of violence in Colombia and its high impact on the number of people who lost their lives violently, and urges the State to comply with its international obligations as part of the American Convention on Human Rights and other international instruments. It reminds the State of its duty to protect and guarantee life and personal integrity in a practical and effective manner, and urges it to reinforce the investigations and punish the material and intellectual perpetrators, “said the entity.

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He added: “The Commission observes the accumulation of human rights violations in social groups that have historically suffered violations of their rights and calls on the State to redouble efforts in the implementation of public policies that mitigate the structural causes of these affectations.”

In the midst of the call for attention, the Commission also reaffirmed its “full conviction on the need to strengthen the comprehensive implementation of the Peace Agreement” and offered its technical cooperation tools to contribute to this process.

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