Defending territory is one activity that generates risk for human rights defenders in Colombia; during 2013 alone, 37 human rights defenders were murdered, and at least 30% of these deaths were related to land restitution.
The majority of these assassinations are the responsibility of paramilitary groups, now named the “anti-land restitution army”, which operate in areas of high strategic value to the development of economic mega projects.
The peasant community of ASOCAB provides an example of the struggle, resistance, and persistence of a community to defend their territory, their culture, and their identity.
“We ask the government for no more than a piece of land to work. In order not only to survive, but also to live peacefully, in dignity and peace” said a member of the ASOCAB community.
Protection International’s Protection Desk in Colombia (PD-COL) supports the resistance of these communities and recognizes the legitimacy of their claims and struggles.