On June 16, José Alberto Tejada (first on the left), Danilo Rueda from the Justice and Peace Commission (third from the left) and Javier Garate (in the middle with the green PBI vest) met with Embassy officials from several countries to discuss attacks on press freedom in Cali during the national strike.
On August 31, Contagio Radio reported: “The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [IACHR] has responded to the request of the N21 Legal Team and the Justice and Peace Commission, to protect the lives of Alberto Tejada and Jhonatan Buitrago of Channel 2 of Cali, given the seriousness of the threats and harassment against them for the journalistic work they carry out and have fulfilled in the framework of the National Strike.”
That article adds: “In the IACHR communication, they resolve that the Colombian State must guarantee the protection of the lives of Channel 2 journalists, in addition to taking the necessary measures so that they can continue to develop their journalistic work without being subjected to threats and harassment by agents of the State or third parties, in addition to the protection measures must be agreed with the victims to ensure that they are suitable and correspond to the needs of Tejada and Buitrago.”
The media statement from the IACHR and Resolution 69/2021 can be read in full here.
Context from Amnesty International
In this report issued on August 26, Amnesty International highlighted: “Since the beginning of the national strike, Tejada has denounced the irregular and improper actions committed by the public forces against those who demonstrate peacefully in the city of Cali, epicenter of the national strike.”
It further notes: “On 9 July, Tejada requested precautionary measures to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and protection measures from the National Protection Unit (UNP) for him, his team, and the premises Channel 2. On 23 August, the UNP partially responded to the request. Nevertheless, the scheme proposed does not meet the security needs of Jose Alberto, his family, and his team.”
The IACHR decision announced on August 31 requests that the Government of Colombia inform the IACHR within 15 days of this decision of the adoption of the precautionary measures agreed upon and to update this information periodically.
On August 23, PBI-Colombia accompanied a meeting between Tejada and the IACHR Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. And on June 16, PBI-Colombia accompanied meetings Tejada had with the Canadian, European Union, Norwegian and UK embassies.
PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Justice and Peace Commission, one of the two organizations that brought the request to the IACHR for precautionary measures for Tejada and Buitrago, since 1994.
PBI-Canada welcomes the IACHR decision and looks forward to the full implementation of the precautionary measures requested.