During the same period 111 human rights defenders reported threats against their lives and work, while 37 were the victims of displacement.
According to the Colombian daily, the Aburra valley region (see map below), just east of Medellin is one of the areas where human rights activists have been most vulnerable, with 58 of the 111 registered threats coming from the area.
The continued threats to human rights defenders have not been confined to Antioquia. In July, the U.S. Office on Colombia and the Latin America Working Group Education Fund issued a report on the matter, which concluded that the national situation was critical.
“Defenders continue to suffer attacks, aggressions, threats, assassinations, systematic stigmatization, spying and wiretapping, and unfounded criminal proceedings,” said the report.
For his part, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has recently stepped up the rhetoric on human rights protection. Human rights is “not a matter for discussion, ambiguities or musings, it is the very heart of our democratic system,” said the president in late August. “Colombia is firmly and genuinely committed to human rights.”