An international delegation of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals, including members from Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, met in Colombia last week as part of the annual Columbia Caravana. The Caravana was in Colombia to show concrete support for at-risk Colombian human rights lawyers and other defenders, and to ensure that the Caravana’s ongoing solidarity work after the trip is over is informed, focused and has a clear, well-defined direction.
The timing of the 2016 Caravana coincided with the historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC rebels. Lawyers Without Borders Canada released a full report in Spanish, as well as an English report summarizing the process of peace.
While in Colombia, LRWC and other delegates met with judges, human rights lawyers, and their clients in 7 regions of the country, as well as the capital, Bogota. Delegates then used the knowledge and experience gained from these meetings to jointly address pressing needs and issues related to human rights in Colombia. The Caravana culminated with a ceremony to honour the work of Colombian human rights defenders who risk their lives to uphold the rule of law.
While the human rights situation in Colombia looks to be improving, LRWC and the other Caravana members will continue to monitor and offer support to those defending human rights in Colombia.
Video: International Caravana of Jurists in Columbia (Spanish)