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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 07 Human rights defender at risk Human rights defender life in danger
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Aktiv seit 12. August 2019 | Noch 29 Tage Laufzeit
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13.08.2019: Correction

Please note that we have corrected this UA confirming the 6 July as the date of the latest security incident faced by Danelly Estupiñán.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued support.

Human rights defender life in danger

AI-Index: AMR 23/0874/2019

On 6 July unknown men broke into Danelly Estupiñan house violating its door security while she was not at home. Various human right organizations reported that unknown people made a payment to kill her. The Black Community Process and other organizations alerted the Prosecutor’s Office about the attack and the information about Danelly’s life been in danger requesting its immediate action. We are urging national authorities to swiftly and fully investigate all these security incidents to identify the attackers and stop them from further threatening Danelly’s physical and psychological integrity.


Danelly Estupiñan is part of the Black Community Process (PCN) in Colombia, an organization working to defend the rights of the afro-descendent population in the country. Since 2015, she has been beneficiary of National Protection Unit protection measures and during 2018 she formed part of the Basque temporary protection program for human rights defenders at risk. Danelly runs workshops about human rights and collective protections in different communities in Buenaventura, as well as implementing campaigning and advocacy actions to protect afro communities affected by the development of large infrastructure projects on their territory.

The situation for Human Rights Defenders in Colombia is critical. In January 2019, Frontline Defenders reported that Colombia was the most dangerous country in the Americas for Human Rights Defenders in 2018. According to the organization Somos Defensores (« We are Defenders»), there were 234 attacks against Human Rights Defenders between January and March 2019, of which 207 were threats and 25 were killings. The same organization reported that between 1 January 2016 and 31 July 2018, there were 336 killings and seven enforced disappearances of HRDs and social leaders.

In particular, between 24 November 2016 (date of the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia and the government) and 31 July 2018, Somos Defensores reported 253 killings and four enforced disappearances. Data analysis provided by the organization SISMA Mujer showed that since 2016, there has been a marked increase in killings of women human rights defenders and female social leaders: 13.3% from January 2016 to July 2017, and 14.3% from January 2017 to July 2018. The groups of HRDs and WHRDs that are attacked most frequently are: community leaders, territory defenders (mostly indigenous and afro-descendant), and land claimant leaders. At the same time, threats against defenders continue and little progress is made on related criminal investigations. Violence against HRDs and social leaders continues to be one of the biggest challenges to the effective implementation of the Peace Agreement.


Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 23 September 2019.
  • Preferred language: Spanish. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Dear Mr. Fiscal,

I write you concerned for the safety of Danelly Estupiñan, a human rights defender from the Black Community Process (Proceso Comunitario Negro) in Buenaventura.

Danelly had been under surveillance since December 2018, these activities increased in recent months, after she reported them to the Office of the Prosecutor.

On 6 July 2019, unknown men broke into her home violating its door security while she was away. This latest incident came as local organizations received reports indicating that a payment for her killing was made.

Therefore, I urge you to run at national level an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation on the surveillance activities against Danelly, the forced entry into her house and the reported payment done for her killing, considering her role as a human rights defender, to identify and stop the attackers to pose any further risks to Danelly’s physical and psychological integrity.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

Sr. Fabio Espitia Garzón
Fiscal General de la Nación (e)
Diagonal 22B No. 52-01
Bogotá, D.C.


Salutation: Dear Mr. Fiscal,


Copies to

Ambassade de la République de Colombie
Zieglerstrasse 29
3007 Berne

Fax: 031 350 14 09

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