In 2016, 72 human rights defenders and 18 leaders of the social and political movement Marcha Patriotica were assassinated, in addition to the large number of leaders and human rights defenders who were threatened.
The existence of paramilitary structures in the country, is a problem that has never ceased to exist and lurks as a shadow over all social leaders and human rights defenders.
Barrancabermeja, has always been a focus of paramilitary structures that make their way through its neighborhoods, turning the life of the inhabitants into hell. Human rights defenders have represented an obstacle to these structures’ political and economic interests.
The Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights (CREDHOS) announced the publication of ‘CREDHOS Weighs In’, their annual report, at a press conference on Tuesday, November 15 with the presence of president Iván Madero and other members of CREDHOS leadership.
The report highlights the worrisome security and human rights conditions in the municipality of Barrancabermeja. Using figures collected during the first half of 2016, the socio-economic analysis of the region focuses on the paramilitary structures that are present throughout the seven districts of the city.
Due to the non-expansion of the Ecopetrol oil refinery, the city is experiencing an unemployment rate of more than 23%, causing a severe economic crisis.
It is not the same thing, having land and a safe place to live, and being forced to flee to a dirty and dangerous city–a place you did not choose.
How can a campesino continue to be a campesino far from her or his land? How can one still be a farmer amidst the pain and anguish of a city? How can one be a campesino among paramilitaries, guerrillas and the army?
In Micoahumado (a small town located in the southern Bolivar province) we witness a reality very different from the official one. The government portrays the campesinos as guerrilla members.