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Colombia: President Duque Should Consolidate Peace and Guarantee Political and Civil Rights
Following mass protests by labor, human rights, and indigenous peoples’ groups to highlight growing concerns about human rights abuses and economic reforms in Colombia, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Freedom House calls on President Duque to listen to Colombians who took to the streets in support of the Peace Plan and against the killing of social leaders” said Deborah Ulmer, director for Latin America and the Caribbean at Freedom House. “The Colombian government must take necessary steps to enforce accountability for the killing of human rights defenders, particularly those from marginalized indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, many of whom campaigned in favor of the peace process.”
Despite a history of active civic engagement, Colombia is one of the most deadly nations in the world for human rights defenders. Armed groups, including those with ties to the Colombia security services, as well as FARC insurgents, have committed multiple massacres of grassroots community leaders. So far, in 2019, more than 115 indigenous leaders were killed. During the last week of October 2019 alone, 17 more were assassinated.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.