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Colombia Massively Violating Rights of Human Rights Defenders: Court

Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that the ongoing violence against community leaders and human rights defenders constitutes a mass human rights violations.

According to think tank Indepaz, which monitors violence, 176 social leaders have been assassinated so far this year.

The government increases protection mechanisms for community leaders and rights defenders as part of a peace process agreed with the now-defunct guerrilla group FARC in 2016.

However, the government policies failed to address ongoing stigmatization of social leaders, which often justifies violence.

The protection measures also failed to take regional, cultural, gender and racial dynamics into account.

The persistent threats against social leaders is a consequence of “the lack of a plan articulated in a clear and precise instrument has contributed to the infringement of rights.”

“In addition, there are serious deficiencies in the organization of available human and material resources, as well as probably insufficient budgetary allocations,” said the ruling.

The court ordered State authorities to improve communication with social leaders that would allow an adequate response to threats and “structural failures.”

The court additionally ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office to “adopt the necessary measures to prioritize investigations into threats against the population of leaders and human rights defenders in an urgent, efficient and adequate manner.”

Source : Colombia Reports