On March 26, PBI-Colombia posted: “Today PBI accompanied COSPACC in Casanare where social organizations express their support to social leaders and defenders of human rights judicialized and deprived of liberty.”
Judicialization can be understood as the criminalization of defenders through the misuse of criminal law by state and non-state actors with the aim of controlling, punishing, or preventing the exercise of the right to defend human rights.
The person on the banner above is Miguel Daza, human rights defender with COSPACC. He was arrested in Aguazul, Casanare on February 23 this year.
Colombia Informa has reported: “Daza has promoted mobilizations for the defense of its territory and for the rights of communities in the area of influence of oil projects.”
COSPACC, the Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP), and allies have produced the report Criminalization of the defense of human rights in Colombia: The judicialization of defenders of land, territory, environment, and peace.
The report documents that 74 percent of the human rights defenders prosecuted between January 2012 and July 2019 were environmental defenders.
That report highlights the case of the eight social leaders in San Luis de Palenque, Casanare criminalized by Toronto-based Frontera Energy for protesting their oil operations.
The full report can be read here.
PBI-Colombia has accompanied COSPACC since 2009.