May 9, 2018
Deadline for signatures: May 17th!
The situation for human rights defenders and social leaders in Colombia is extremely grave. Every 36 hours, on average, a human rights defender has been killed. At the end of January, Front Line Defenders published a report that found Colombia to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for human rights defenders in 2017. The security crisis includes not only killings but also death threats and assassination attempts against members of rural communities. According to a report by the Colombian Human Rights Ombudsman, 282 human rights defenders were murdered between January 2016 to February 2018.
On March 27, 2018, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights denounced the continued rise in killings, noting that, according to the Colombian Human Rights Ombudsman, 22 human rights defenders were assassinated in the first months of 2018. The IACHR has urged the Colombian government to adopt immediate measures to protect defenders and to carry out investigations into the attacks against them.
In the U.S. Congress, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and other members of Congress are circulating a dear colleague letter, calling on the State Department to take action to stop the rising violence and threats targeted towards human rights defenders in Colombia.
Here's how you can help!
Click here to find contact information for your representative in Congress.
Ask your representative to sign on to the dear colleague letter. Deadline for signatures: May 17th!
Sample Script: Hello. My name is [BLANK] and I am a constituent of Rep. [BLANK] living in [BLANK]. I'm calling to urge Rep. [BLANK] to sign on to the dear colleague letter sponsored by Rep. McGovern regarding the rise in killings and threats against human rights defenders in Colombia. The deadline to join the letter has been extended to Thursday, May 17th. Rep. [BLANK] can sign on by contacting Cindy Buhl at email@example.com. Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter.
Thank you for standing in solidarity with human rights defenders in Colombia by taking action before May 17th!