Human rights defenders in Colombia play a key role in defending marginalised and vulnerable communities and exposing abuses committed by legal and illegal armed actors. Consequently they are at particular risk of attack, intimidation, stigmatisation, persecution, displacement or even death. In 2015, 63 defenders were killed in Colombia. The defenders most at risk are those living outside the major cities and often those in rural areas advocating for the return of lands from which they have been displaced. Attacking and silencing defenders has a profound impact on the continuation of the conflict because achieving truth, justice and reparation are essential to building a sustainable peace.
Through an EC funded project CAFOD and our Caritas partner SNPS focusses on four in regions prioritised by the Colombian government under the new land restitution programme. We are very pleased to welcome Nubia, Hildemaro and Liney to our North East Volunteer Forum this Saturday and to Our Lady’s parish, Acomb on Sunday. Grateful thanks are extended to the Carmelite Community for their generosity in offering hospitality to our visitors during their stay.