The Colombian state is failing to protect human rights defenders despite making a commitment to do so, according to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), a body of the Organization of American States (OAS).
In a statement released on Monday, the IACHR referred specifically to the case of two women, Mery Naranjo and Maria del Socorro Mosquera Londoño, who work as human rights defenders in the Comuna XIII neighbourhood of Medellin.
Despite both women being under an IACHR precautionary measure since 2006, a request for the state to provide protection to individuals, three relatives of the women have been killed.
In addition, threats and harassment of them have continued, including an illegal raid on the house of Naranjo last August.
In its closing paragraph, the IACHR says that “the state is obliged to officially investigate such acts and punish those responsible. The Commission also reiterates once again its call for the State of Colombia to adopt measures immediately and urgently so as to guarantee the right to life, integrity and security of human rights defenders and their families.”
This statement continues the argument presented last week by the organization, “Colectivo de Abagados,” who highlighted the fact that last year saw the detention, investigation or initiation of judicial processes against 130 human rights defenders in Colombia.