A new briefing published by Justice for Colombia has revealed for the first time the shocking figure of 534 political activists murdered in Colombia between 2011 and 2015. The briefing highlights that more than 90 activists were killed every year and on average two activists were killed every week for five years.
The briefing, titled Silenced: The murder of political activists in Colombia was released during an event in the British Parliament organised by various MPs who form part of the group Parliamentary Friends of Colombia.
The murders took place in 26 of Colombia's 32 Departments. Antioquia (capital city Medellin) was the region with most violence with 94 murders over the five years. Cauca was in second place with 59.
The Justice for Colombia briefing joins together for the first time information from five Colombian organisations that register and investigate violence committed against activists. Those organisations are CINEP, CUT, ENS, Marcha Patriotica, and Somos Defensores.
Mariela Kohon, the Director of Justice for Colombia commented:
"It is unacceptable that activists continue being killed in Colombia, particularly by paramilitary groups. The figures from this briefing are terrifying, and it is particularly worrying that more than 300 activists have been killed since the start of the peace talks in 2012."
The briefing reveals that those targeted include community activists, peasant activists, indigenous activists, LGBT activists, land rights leaders, victims’ leaders, peace campaigners, environmental campaigners and trade unionists.
Download the report
►Colombian activists Gustavo Rengifo, a trade union activist from the FENSUAGRO Agricultural workers union, and Deivin Hurtado, a leading human rights defender in the south western region of Cauca, are visiting the UK until 29 April 2016. For further information, please contact: Hasan Dodwell, on hasan [at] justiceforcolombia.org