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After his meeting with Gustavo Petro, the leader of the political opposition in Colombia, on Thursday, EP Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) Chair Antonio Panzeri stated:

“The increase in incidents against human rights defenders and political opposition representatives in Colombia, who face all kinds of restrictions in their daily work, is alarming. This situation seriously endangers the peace agreement, including the implementation of the special jurisdiction for peace (JEP in Spanish).

I support Gustavo Petro’s call to protect human rights defenders and opposition leaders in a more efficient way. I urge the Colombian authorities to implement the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ recommendations on Colombia.”

Background

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court H.R.) in Case 11,227, Officials and members of the Patriotic Union (Unión Patriótica, UP by its Spanish acronym), with regard to Colombia.

The civil society organisation Somos Defensores, in 2018, registered 805 attacks and 155 assassinations of social leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia. This is the highest figure ever registered in the history of the information system. During the first semester of 2019, there were over 29 assassinations of social leaders documented in the country.