On December 13, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), led a group of 37 House lawmakers in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry expressing deep concern about the escalation of violence in Colombia against human rights defenders, and social leaders. In the letter, the lawmakers call on Secretary Kerry to take strong and immediate steps to address the increased violence and support protections for groups under attack.
Among its request, the letter asks Secretary Kerry to urge Colombian authorities for the prompt implementation of point 3.4 and 5.2 of the Peace Accord. These points include a High Level Commission on Security Guarantees and robust Special Investigation Unit within the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and commits the Colombian government to establishing policies and strategies of protection for human rights defenders.
The letter also asks Secretary Kerry to condemn murders and intimidation against human rights defenders and social activist and highlights the invaluable human capital that they represent for the successful implementation and development of the Peace Accord in Colombia.