Human Rights First’s report, Baseless Prosecutions of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia: In the Dock and Under the Gun, examines the use of politically motivated criminal charges to harass, stigmatize, and endanger human rights defenders in Colombia. It is based on an analysis of 32 cases using primary documents as well as extensive interviews with government officials and human rights defenders. The first thorough review of the problem and its root causes, the report reveals a clear pattern of judicial mistreatment and persecution.
Baseless prosecutions have drastic consequences on the lives and work of defenders. Even when the charges are dropped or defenders are released – sometimes after months or years, the label of “terrorist” or “guerilla” remains. This stigma has led to violent retaliation and even murder by paramilitaries and others. And while these defenders regularly face numerous unfounded criminal investigations, those responsible for threatening and persecuting them are rarely brought to justice.
The report includes case summaries and a rich analysis of the charges and methods of falsifying evidence. It also includes recommendations, both to the Colombian authorities and to the U.S. government, to help end the persecution of defenders in Colombia.
Demand Release of Colombian Activists, Victims of Baseless Prosecutions
Four Colombian human rights defenders are in prison, among dozens who have faced unfair trials in recent years. Take action to urge the authorities to release these men now and end this dangerous practice.
The Report / El Informe:
- HTML: English / En español, formato HTML
- PDF: English / En español, formato PDF
- Overview: English / En español, formato PDF
- Executive Summary / Resumen Ejecutivo
- HTML:Table of Individual Cases / Cuadro de casos individuales
- PDF: Table of Individual Cases / Cuadro de casos individuales
- Overview of report launch and mission to Colombia
- Press release / Comunicado de prensa
- Photos from the Launch in Colombia
- Press Coverage
- Audio (Click the right arrow in the black box to play)
Radio Contagio interview with Andrew Hudson (Espanol)
Radio WBAI Pacifica 99.5 FM – Wake Up Call Interview with Senior Associate Andrew Hudson, March 13, 2009 (English)
Radio Palenque interview with Senior Associate Andrew Hudson (Español)
BBC World News Radio – March 16(Spanish)
- Video of press conference and report launch
- Telesur TV News — Coverage of Press Conference (Español)
- RCN TV “La Mañana” interview with Senior Associate Andrew Hudson (Español)
- Television Ciudadano Bucaramanga interview with Senior Associate Andrew Hudson (Español)
- Webcast of Panel at American University Washington College of Law ? March 24 2009
Read more about HRF’s work in Colombia