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Human rights defenders in Colombia: The context after the peace agreement

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world.


For human rights defenders in Colombia, doing their work means on many occasions receiving death threats, being killed, or being obliged to flee the country as their only option to protect themselves and their families. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world. Indeed, in 2019, every 72 hours a human rights defender was killed. Has violence against human rights defenders reached a state of emergency? This is exactly what Marcela Cabrera (an anthropologist and human rights defender in Colombia), has considered in her talk on ‘Human rights defenders: the context after the peace agreement’.


In 2019, every 72 hours a human rights defender was killed in Colombia.

Exploring how violence against human rights defenders is perpetrated by both state authorities and private companies, with a particular emphasis on environmental issues, Marcela draws on her years of experience as an activist and her work in the NGO ‘Red por la Vida y los Derechos Humanos del Cauca’ (‘Network for the Life and Human Rights in Cauca’) to advocate for a holistic understanding of violence against them. The talk was organised by Prof Dr Clara Burbano-Herrera and Prof Dr Yves Haeck (Human Rights Centre, Ghent University), together with the NGO Broederlijk Delen and Amnesty International. The conversation took place at the Faculty of Law and Criminology on 12 March 2020.