When: Thur. July 30th @ 3 PM (EST)
How: Via Zoom, please register here to receive zoom link.
Translation: Simultaneous translation English-Spanish will be available at this link : https://radios.yanapak.org/englishmilitThe systematic violence faced by Colombians continues despite the pandemic. More than 172 social leaders and human rights defenders have been killed in Colombia so far in 2020, at least 28 of them since the decree imposing a mandatory quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.The Colombian government is using the pandemic as an excuse to re-militarize vast parts of Colombia with the argument it is not militarization but rather military accompaniment. This has resulted in arbitrary detentions and disproportionate use of force and serious human rights violations by the military nationwide.

The UN Office for Human Rights reported an increase in harassment and threats against farmers, Indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombians in Cauca, and an escalation of armed incidents between armed groups and the security forces.

On Sat 26 June, Ovidio Baena, a 68-year-old retired member of the USO oil workers union, was murdered while quarantining at his home in Bolívar, northern Colombia. Ovidio’s death comes days after International Trade Union Confederation again found Colombia one of the world’s most dangerous places for trade unionists.

Join us for a discussion about how community groups in Colombia are being impacted during the pandemic and alternatives to militarization as a solution.

Charo Mina Rojas is a human rights activist, the National Coordinator of Advocacy and Outreach for the Black Communities’ Process (Proceso de Comunidades Negras- PCN), and member of the Afro-Colombia Solidarity Network

Sonia Lopez is a Human Rights activist based in Saravena department of Arauca, from the Joel Sierra Foundation, affiliated to the People’s Congress, she is one of the 40 people that walked as part of the Dignity march in July 2020, denouncing assassination of social leader, persecution and militarization of her territory.

Anthony Dest, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, CUNY-Lehman College. Anthony has worked closely with social movements in Colombia for over ten years.

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