Colombia saw the murder of 32 human rights defenders in 2009, while a further 142 faced various forms of aggression and oppression, according to a Colombian NGO dedicated to the protection of rights workers, reports Adn.
In its annual report for 2009, the Non-governmental Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders stated that 99 workers were threatened, 17 were the victims of attacks, 15 were arbitrarily arrested, three were wounded, and one was tortured.
Of all the attacks on human rights defenders, 47% were conducted by paramilitary groups, 18% by state institutions, 9% by leftist guerrillas, while 26% of the incidents were by unknown attackers, according to the report.
The total of 174 victims in 2009 was the highest recorded by the NGO since 2003.
In April, Colombian NGO, CODHES, reported that they and 60 other NGOs, senators, and human rights activists received death threats from the paramilitary group “Los Rastrojos.”