Write to your MP and ask them to

Sign #EDM 4 (tabled MAY 2021)

MPs have public contact details so that you, as their constituents, can get in touch. To see who your MP is, go to https://www.theyworkforyou.com and enter your postcode. 

You can find a template letter here 

You can then copy and paste the letter we have drafted into email format, amending as you would like, asking your MP to sign EDM #4

Protests in Colombia

That this House expresses profound concern on reports of excessive use of force by the Colombian police, against overwhelmingly peaceful social protests as confirmed by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights across Colombia from 28 April 2021, as part of a national strike; believes the right to peaceful protest and freedom of assembly are essential tenets of democracy; condemns serious human rights violations allegedly carried out by the police, including the use of live ammunition resulting in the deaths of over 30 protesters, numerous cases of sexual violence and serious injuries, over 100 people reported disappeared, over 800 arbitrary arrests, and targeted attacks on civil society organisations and human rights defenders, some of whom were trying to monitor the police; also condemns the small minority who infiltrated the peaceful protests and perpetrated violence; notes with alarm the Colombian Government’s order to militarise the cities and urges them instead to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the protest organisers to address their legitimate grievances; calls on the Government to review its training of the Colombian Police, suspend the sale of riot control materials and review all other arms exports to Colombia in light of the current situation; and further calls on the Government as pen holders for the Colombian peace process at the UN Security Council to promote substantive reform of the Colombian security services and full implementation of the Peace Accord.

Previous ACTIONS

Write to your MP and ask them to #SignEDM1660 (tabled March 2021) 

Please write to your MP. You can find a template letter/email here.  

MPs have public contact details so that you, as their constituents, can get in touch. To see who your MP is, go to https://www.theyworkforyou.com and enter your postcode. 

You can then copy and paste the letter we have drafted into email format, amending as you would like, asking your MP to sign EDM #1660.  

EDM 1660

That this House is concerned by the intensification of violence in rural areas in Colombia, with 76 massacres and a 65 per cent increase in armed conflict in 2020, and against human rights defenders there, with Colombian defenders representing 50 per cent of the global total killed in 2020, which threaten to undermine the peace process; notes that communities on the Pacific coast of Colombia are experiencing a humanitarian and environmental crisis; further notes that Indigenous Peoples in Alto Baudó and other communities in Choco are increasingly caught in crossfire between illegal armed groups who are expanding their territorial control, forcibly recruiting children, perpetrating sexual violence, using antipersonnel mines and creating an atmosphere of terror; is also disturbed by reports of illegal gold mining in the Rio Quito region involving armed groups, which is exacerbating violence and resulting in biodiversity destruction; is alarmed by the death threat received in February by CAJAR lawyer, Sebastian Felipe Escobar, who spoke to UK Parliamentarians at an on-line event in June 2020, as well as by serious threats directed at other human rights defenders in Colombia; and calls on the Government, further to its responsibility as the penholder on Colombia, to request the UN Security Council to create a Group of Experts with technical expertise on organised crime to examine the impact of the illegal armed groups in Colombia and provide technical advice, in order to strengthen the work of the UN Mission of Verification in Colombia.

If possible, we would be grateful if you could let us know by email: abcolombia@abcolombia.org.uk once you have written to your MP, so that we can monitor which MPs are more responsive. 

We invite you to spread the word on Twitter and Instragram using the hashtag #SignEDM1660. Thank you in advance! 

Background information 

Colombia will complete an important anniversary in November 2021, that of five years since the signing of the Peace Accord. Unfortunately it has entered into a very fragile state as the country faces increasing violence and threats against rural communities, human rights defenders and former combatants. In 2020, over 50% of the HRDs killed in the world were killed in Colombia. Attacks against HRDs are mainly carried out by neo-paramilitary and other criminal groups. However, state-enacted illegal intelligence activities against human rights defenders, magistrates, journalists, and the political opposition, have also allegedly led to serious crimes, including assassinations.

Rural areas of Colombia have experienced a reconfiguration of the conflict, with armed actors expanding territorial and social control, contributing to an exacerbation of violence as well as the destruction of biodiversity. For example in Alto Baudó, Chocó, Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities are victims of social and territorial control, forced recruitment of children, selective assassinations, confinements, combats and increased use of antipersonnel mines, amongst other violations; all of which are intensifying terror and hunger. Furthermore, increased illegal gold mining in the Rio Quito, protected by illegal armed groups, is exacerbating violence and biodiversity destruction.

Although all illegal armed groups are perpetuating violence, those most responsible are the neo-paramilitary groups, ELN and dissidents of the FARC. We are therefore asking that the UK, who is responsible (holds the pen) on the UN Security Council for the Verification Mission to Colombia, request that the Security Council appoints a group of Experts in organised crime to examine the situation in Colombia. 

Please also see also our most recent briefing document with recommendations to the UN Security Council

Support ABColombia members’ campaigns

One way you can get involved and take action for human rights in Colombia is by supporting the campaigns of our members and observers.

ABColombia campaigns at a glance

Support ABColombia’s Social Media Campaigns

You can support ABColombia by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and by sharing our posts on social media. We also encourage you to follow & share ABColombia’s social media posts under the following hashtags:

  • #ColombiaWomenPeace: posts & campaigns related to Women & Peace in Colombia
  • #GuardianAtrato: Information on the Atrato River & Guardianes del Atrato
  • #DefendTheDefenders: International campaign in support of Human Rights Defenders at risk
  • #PorUnaColombiaEnPaz: International information and awareness campaign led by Espacio de Cooperación para la Paz, a network of 29 international civil society organisations working on Colombia.
  • #10k4Peace: ABColombia fundraising campaign for the 2017 International Women’s Conference (this campaign has ended now)

Mark International Days for Human Rights

Keep an eye out for ABColombia’s posts related to International Days for Human Rights and tag ABColombia in your posts on human rights!

  • 8 March: International Women’s Day
  • 22 March: World Water Day
  • 24 March: International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
  • 9 April: Colombian National Day to commemorate the victims of the armed conflict
  • 21 May: Día de la Afrocolombianidad (Colombia)
  • 19 June: International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
  • 9 August: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
  • 30 August: International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
  • 21 September: International Day of Peace
  • 25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
  • 10 December: Human Rights Day