WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
22 Jul 2016 | News

WOLA and the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights Condemn Assassination Attempt against Afro-Colombian Leader

Washington, D.C.— The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights condemn the recent assassination attempt against Bernando Cuero Bravo, a lead attorney for Colombia’s Association of Internally Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES).

On July 8, Cuero Bravo was walking in public in the community of Malombo, Atlántico when a gunman on the back of a speeding motorcycle fired multiple shots at him. Cuero Bravo has also faced harassment and continuing threats from his attackers in the days since the attack. The same men who fired at him have been seen outside his residence on July 9, 10, and 11, and have made threats to his family. Most recently, Cuero Bravo’s daughter received a call from an unknown man, who told her, “next time they will kill him.” While he has filed a formal report to the Colombian Attorney General’s office, Cuero Bravo’s case has been met with a lack of professionalism and thorough investigation on the part of the Malombo police department.

We denounce the ongoing death threats and attacks against Cuero Bravo, AFRODES, and all Afro-Colombian leaders. As Colombia transitions from violence to post conflict, protecting the security of social leaders and ethnic minority advocates should be a priority. For the past three years our organizations have urged Colombian authorities to put in place protective measures for more than 100 AFRODES members who face death threats. In 2013, Mr. Cuero Bravo made the same request himself at a hearing in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Sadly, despite the Colombian government’s promises to do so, these have yet to materialize.  Additionally, we request an investigation of this case to be conducted in order to identify and arrest the material and intellectual authors of the assassination attempt. WOLA and the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights will continue to closely follow this case.


Kristel Muciño
WOLA Director of Communications
+1 (202) 797-2171
[email protected]

Carlos Quesada
[email protected]