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78 Social Leaders Assassinated in Colombia in 2021: UN

According to Human Rights Watch, government authorities in Colombia don’t exercise effective control over several areas previously controlled by illegal groups

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Liz Dayan Blandon Munoz
Liz Dayan Blandon Munoz
Student of social communication and journalism, Universidad del Quindio, Colombia

COLOMBIA: The United Nations Office for Human Rights in Colombia, issued its annual report where it warned that during 2021 it received a total of 202 complaints about the murders of social leaders in the country. Out of the complaints, 78 cases have been confirmed, 39 are in the verification process and 85 still remain undetermined.

It is stipulated that this was one of the most violent cases recorded within the South American country. As per the reports, an increase of 35% has been seen as compared to the complaints made in 2020.

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Human rights violation in Colombia

Colombia has been experiencing Human Rights Violations from guerilla groups, government forces, and paramilitary organizations since a long time. The violations includes massacres, torture and extortion that are inflicted on citizens.

It is important to highlight that at least 17 of the homicides were provoked against those who defended the interests of indigenous or Afro-descendant communities. It is in this way and based on the violent events that have been taking place, that Colombia was classified as one of the countries where it is most dangerous to be a social leader.

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According to Human Rights Watch, government authorities in Colombia don’t exercise effective control over several areas previously controlled by illegal groups, which has allowed violence against human rights defenders to continue.

On the other hand, the UN also stated that within the judicial system they have not carried out exhaustive work to maintain control of the situation, affecting the justice system itself, taking into account that there have been no guarantees of adequate access to economic, educational and public service opportunities.

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Although the Colombian Government currently has two mechanisms for the protection of human rights, the National Protection Unit (UNP) and the Early Warning System of the Ombudsman’s Office, Human Rights Watch in its report from last year, assured that, although these generate the impression that measures are being taken, in reality, most of them practically do not work or have serious shortcomings to carry out their work.

Along with this, Colombia is also notorious for the danger faced by land and environmental defenders. For two years in a row, in 2019 and 2020, Colombia was the most dangerous country in the world for such activists.

Also Read: United Nations Seeks $5 Billion Humanitarian Aid to Avoid Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan

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