The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia

The Oidhaco General Assembly calls for guarantees for peaceful public demonstration in light of the Social and Community March

The Oidhaco General Assembly calls for guarantees for peaceful public demonstration in light of the Social and Community March in South-Western Colombia for the defence of life, territory, democracy and peace (La Minga), set to take place on 10 October 20

On 7 and 8 October 2020, the Oidhaco network of 35 European and international organisations working for the defence of human rights and peace in Colombia, held its General Assembly. We learned that indigenous people are planning to hold a public demonstration known as a Minga starting on 10 October. Due to past experiences, we would like to express our concerns about the risk of violent repression by the state security forces against the protesters. The General Assembly would like to call for respect for all the rights related to freedom of expression and peaceful public demonstration[1] during the protests planned for this Saturday 10 October, known as the Social and Community March in South-Western Colombia, for the defence of life, territory, democracy and peace (La Minga).

International civil society organizations reject the excessive use of firearms and police abuse

International civil society organisations reject the excessive use of firearms and police abuse in the city of Bogotá that caused the death of 13 persons and 400 injured, 72 of them with firearms, and 3 women sexually harassed

The Cooperation Space for Peace, the International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia, and the civil society international organisations that have signed this statement, would like to express serious concerns about the killing of Colombian citizen Javier Ordóñez during his arrest, on the early morning of September 9, 2020. Mr. Ordóñez allegedly died after receiving blows to the head inflicted by members of the national police force. We would also like to express serious concerns about police abuses and the excessive use of firearms during protests that took place in reaction to this serious incident. According to a report from Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 13 people in Soacha and Bogotá were killed during these protests and, according to figures from the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, more than 400 people were injured, 72 of them due to firearms. In particular, we would like to highlight three cases in which three women were victims of sexual abuse and harassment, verbal abuse, arbitrary detention and bribery, reported by Colombian NGO Temblores to have been committed in a police station or CAI in the city of Bogotá.

OIDHACO sends alert about repressive measures used by State Security Forces during National Strike protests and calls for guarantees for those who are still protesting

On 21 November, mass protests began as part of the National Strike in Colombia, convened by wide-ranging and diverse sectors of society, and attended by hundreds of thousands of Colombian citizens. The protests are still ongoing in different parts of the

In a statement on 20 November, the International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia (OIDHACO) warned about the risks of excessive use of force by members of the state security forces during the demonstrations, as had occurred in previous protests, committed in particular by the National Police Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios – ESMAD). On 23 November, a young 18 year-old student named Dilan Cruz was shot at close range by a member of the ESMAD in Bogotá, and later died of his injuries. There have also been reports from citizens in different parts of the country regarding the disproportionate use of force against people protesting peacefully, by members of the ESMAD and other police squads.

The International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia asks for guarantees respect for protesters rights during the National Strike

Today, 25th April, a  National Strike will begin in Colombia, called for by various social sectors, to denounce the failure to implement the f commitments agreed upon  by the Colombian government in roundtables following previous protests, and that have not been included in the Government’s National Development Plan (PND). Additionally, the Strike calls upon the Colombian government to fully implement the Peace Agreement with the Farc-Ep.