May 19, 2016 | Washington, DC

The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights expresses alarm at the lack of protective measures being afforded to Erlendy Cuero Bravo, noted Afro-Colombian human rights defender and Vice-president of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (Afrodes).

Ms. Cuero Bravo, who coordinates Afrodes’ activities in Cali, Colombia, has received repeated death threats since 2008 because of her human rights advocacy and community organizing work. She is the survivor of several assassination attempts. The most recent of these took place on March 24, 2016, which also targeted Ms. Cuero Bravo’s 18-year old son. In this instance, a member of the Buenaventura-based “Tureños” paramilitary group attacked Ms. Cuero Bravo’s son and attempted to shoot him, before he was luckily able to escape.

Ms. Cuero Bravo has submitted formal requests for risks assessments of her situation and that of her family members to Colombian authorities on numerous occasions. However, their response has consistently been that she and her family members are not suffering from an elevated level of risk. Ms. Cuero Bravo has not been provided with any explanation as to how Colombian authorities have reached this conclusion. Given the well-documented series of threats against Ms. Cuero Bravo’s life, the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights calls upon the Colombian authorities to reconsider Ms. Cuero Bravo’s case and provide her with appropriate protective measures to ensure her safety and that of her family.