Race and Equality Condemns attack against Afro-colombian leaders

Photo by:  Verdad Abierta

Colombia. May 6, 2019. The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights strongly denounces the attack on the Afro-Colombian organization Black Communities Process (PCN, for its initials in Spanish) that occurred on Saturday, May 4th, in the North of Valle del Cauca. Social leaders of organization were attacked by armed men with gunshots and a grenade while they were holding a meeting in La Trinidad, Vereda Lomitas.

As an organization working on the defense of human rights, we condemn any aggression on human life, especially assaults that systematically threaten and end the lives of human rights defenders in Colombia.

During the first four months of 2019, 35 leaders were killed in Colombia. However, the State has not issued a strong response against many of these crimes.

We are aware of the valuable work for the defense of human rights carried out by Afro-Colombian organizations and their essential contribution to the construction of a peaceful and equal country. Therefore, we believe that the protection of Colombian leaders is necessary for a society that defends life, territory, equality, and justice.

We urgently call on the international community to continue speaking out and demanding that the Colombian State protect social leaders who face serious security threats throughout the country.

May 21st  of this year marks the 168th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Colombia. This date is not only a good time to exalt the Afro-Colombians in a mediatic way, but a motive to take all necessary measures to make Colombia a truly inclusive country where the human rights of all citizens are guaranteed and where exercising the defense of life and peace is not a crime.

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