WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
7 Feb 2014 | Commentary | News

Afro-Colombians Targeted for Standing Up for Their Rights

To: CBC Aides
From: WOLA
Friday, February 7, 2014

On February 1, 2014, Carlos Arturo Ospina Cordoba was assassinated in Medellin. Carlos was the son of Ana Fabricia Cordoba, an Afro-Colombian leader who was well known for her work organizing displaced persons until she was killed for her work in 2011. At least four members of the Cordoba Ospina family have been murdered; it is presumed due to their having denounced crimes committed by paramilitaries. We ask you to urge Colombia to investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators responsible for killing the members of the Ospina Cordoba family and to guarantee the safety of this family’s surviving members.

This murder is emblematic of the security situation faced by many Afro-Colombian IDP leaders, activists and families located in marginalized neighborhoods of Colombia’s cities and rural areas. We remain concerned about the lack of progress in the implementation of effective protection measures (both individual and collective) for Afro-Colombian populations. In the case of the 140 members of AFRODES seeking protection measures, the design and implementation of collective measures remains stalled and there continue to be problems with individual measures for the leaders at highest risk of being harmed. The intellectual and material perpetrators of threats and attacks against AFRODES leaders should be brought to justice. We strongly encourage U.S. officials to act in order to rectify this situation and guarantee protection for AFRODES leaders.

Click here to read a statement from AFRODES (English and Spanish)

Click here to read a statement from MOVICE (Spanish only)

Click here to read a statement from CIMARRON (Spanish only)

Click here to read a statement from Centro Popular Afrodescendiente (Spanish only)

Photo: Ana Fabricia Cordoba, slain mother of Carlos Arturo Ospina Cordoba. Courtesy.