On 20 December 2017, following the killing of over 78 Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in eleven months in Colombia, Ann Clywd, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights (PHRG) tabled Early day motion (EDM) 718 in the UK Parliament. This was to coincide with the first anniversary of the signing of the Colombian Peace Accord (November 2017) with the FARC. Colombia is an extremely dangerous country for human rights defenders, the EDM was tabled just after the killing of two community leaders, partners of ABColombia member Christian Aid. The EDM states:
That this House notes with concern the increased risks faced by human rights defenders and community leaders in Colombia since the signing of the peace agreement with the FARC, and in particular the recent killings of land restitution leaders, Mario Castaño Bravo and Hernán Bedoya; is deeply disturbed that according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 78 defenders have been killed in the first 11 months of this year; further notes the vital importance of the work of human rights defenders in Colombia, and elsewhere; and calls on the Government to strengthen its efforts, bilaterally and through the EU, to protect human rights defenders and civil society leaders in Colombia, and to support and monitor the implementation of the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC.
Please encourage your MP to sign this EDM. It is essential to highlight the critical situation faced on a daily basis for community leaders in Colombia. If you want to hear more about this situation then please register for ABColombia Event in the UK Parliament 31 January 2018 at 18:00 in Committee Room 2 when we will have two human rights defenders from Colombia speaking about the current situation: Father Sterlin Londoño Palacios (from Quibdó, Chocó) and Bernadino Mosquera Palacios (Community Leader from Río Quito).