The Plenary of the Assembly of Extremadura has approved the ‘Institutional Declaration on the occasion of the Peace Agreement in Colombia’ in which the parliamentary groups commit to “urge the Government of Spain to work with the Colombian government to adopt more effective measures to guarantee the security of the groups and communities in special situations of risk, such as indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant and peasant communities, as well as human rights defenders.”
Likewise, the parliamentary groups have agreed to “support that the observation mission of the HIM is endowed with a human rights component that complements the function of the Office in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rightswhose monitoring and reporting role must be strengthened.”
This declaration is an initiative of International Amnesty with which it aims to make visible “a problem of the Colombian reality, which is that the beginning of the peace process and the ceasefire does not mean the end of violence and there are many defenders of Human Rights who are being murdered, tortured and mistreated “, as the secretary of Amnesty International in Extremadura explained to the media, Antonio Gordillo.
In that sense, Gordillo added that “around 80” Human Rights defenders were murdered in 2016 and “in January 2017 alone there was evidence of 10 murders with everything that comes with threats and coercion.” “It is a problem that we must take into account, Colombia being also a priority country for Spanish cooperation and we must know where money is being given and with whom we are collaborating,” he defended.
The representatives of Amnesty International in Extremadura attended the Plenary Session also accompanied by the Human Rights defender in Colombia, Martha Lucia Rojaswho has narrated her experience as president of the Community Action Board of the Oasis Neighborhood, in the municipality of La Tebaida, Department of Quindío, and as an activist who was the victim of attacks and threats on several occasions.
In statements to the media, Martha Lucía Rojas Giraldo explained that during her period as president of said Community Action Board she undertook different actions to improve the situation in her neighborhood, such as the recovery of a sports center, as well as improvements in housing, the management of public lighting and street paving.
In that sense, she has been “proud” of all the achievements achieved, such as the organization of a soccer school and a community kitchen “for street children” who used drugs to “get them out of drug addiction and give them a plate.” of food”.
According to him, when he had been in office for a year, the “problems” began because the children “no longer wanted to sell drugs, but rather eat and play,” so the mafias wanted him to resign from his position, which is why his family received “constant” threats. “and attacks.
On one occasion, according to what she said, they sent an armed 15-year-old boy “that she had raised” herself to kill her, who had been given 200,000 Colombian pesos, a motorcycle and a revolver, and who warned him to leave. of the neighborhood since if he didn’t do it, “someone else” was going to do it.
For this reason, she was displaced to the Colombian city of Armenia where she continued her work and where the mafias found her and she was the victim of various attacks, torture and physical assaults, as well as rape.
However, the case of Martha Lucía Rojas, she explained, reached the Colombian Ministry of the Interior, which protected her with two bodyguards and a surveillance car and later the Colombian Attorney General’s Office welcomed her as a “protected witness, but that “It only remained in the document.”
Finally, the Colombian’s situation reached Amnesty International through the organization Somos Defensores, which she thanked for bringing her to Spain as well as the psychological treatment they provided her and her recovery since “now” she is “fine.” .
In addition, Martha Lucía Rojas, who will return to Colombia in six months, has thanked the entity because she can tell her testimony since “this news is not taught” by the media and “help other fellow community leaders,” as well as “to the people who need it.”