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Armed groups operating in the eastern Colombian state of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure control people’s everyday lives through threats, kidnappings, forced labor, child recruitment, murder, and extortion. In Venezuela, they…
People disembark in Colombia after fleeing Venezuela's Apure state due to a Venezuelan military operation against armed groups in the region, as well as egregious abuses by Venezuelan security forces.
News
José Fernando Reyes Cuartas Colombian Constitutional Court Palace of Justice Bogotá, D.C. – COLOMBIA   Case: T8018193, 11001310304520200002500 Subject: Human Rights Watch Amicus Curiae on abuses against human rights defenders…
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Even before her 15-month-old daughter, Yamilet, died of malnutrition, María Clara Palmar Fernandez would sometimes have days when she could not provide any food for her children. “I’d hug them and cry because I could only give them water,” she told us…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
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A case pending before Colombia’s Constitutional Court, brought by Causa Justa, creates a landmark opportunity to end an approach to abortion that violates the rights of women and health workers by decriminalizing this critically important health care…
News

As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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It happened again on Sunday: Six young Colombians killed on a sidewalk in broad daylight, in an attack that reportedly involved rifles and grenades, in the troubled department of Cauca. There have been dozens of such mass killing nationwide this year…
A member of the security forces aims during a demonstration against police brutality in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 13, 2020.
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Colombia is facing the most critical stress test for its rule of law in the last decade. The international community should pay attention. On August 4, the country’s Supreme Court announced that it had ordered the pretrial house arrest of Senator…
Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe arrives at the Supreme Court for questioning in a case about his alleged involvement in witness tampering in Bogotá, Colombia, Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
News

Vulnerable, Poor Communities at Risk of Further Abuse

  In parts of Colombia, armed groups exercise a frightening amount of control over the population. Now, some groups are threatening to brutally enforce measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Armed groups have issued threatening…
Colombia ELN soldiers
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The Reality for Refugees in the EU-Turkey Stand-Off

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cynical move to open his western EU borders to allow refugees and migrants to leave - while keeping his southern border to Syria shut to asylum seekers desperate to escape the onslaught there - poses an enormous…
Refugee being taken away by Greek police
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Washington, D.C., January 30, 2020 Honorable Alejandro Linares Cantillo Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia Bogotá, D.C. – ColombiaCase: D-13255Subject: Human Rights Watch amicus curiae brief Introduction…
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"I was deported with about 35 Syrians on a large bus. They handcuffed us and…they beat some of the men on the bus with truncheons when they asked to go to the toilet or for water. We all spoke with each other [and] no one wanted to go back to Syria…
Turkish authorities have used the Cilvegözü border crossing, pictured here on March 3, 2015, to deport Syrian refugees. © 2015 Getty Images
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Venezuelans fleeing crisis at home have now become victims of armed conflict in Colombia

ARAUCA, Colombia – Colombia has opened its doors to Venezuelans fleeing the government-created human rights and humanitarian crisis next door. But as tens of thousands cross the border in search of relief, many have instead found themselves in the…
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(Berlin) — Osman Kavala appeared calm on Monday when he emerged from 600 days in pre-trial detention to take the stand in a landmark trial in which he faces a possible life sentence. “I’ve never been someone who sees overthrowing the government as…
2017112_ECA_Osman Kavala_ENG
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A reported 30% drop in killings under Duque may be a mirage

The murder of human rights defenders and community leaders in Colombia continues unabated – despite government spin otherwise. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has confirmed 285 cases of human rights…
José Jair Cortes, a community leader from the southwestern municipality of Tumaco who was murdered on October 17, 2017.
News
A group of men showed up at Natalia’s house in rural Tumaco one day in July 2017. The men forced Natalia and her husband out of their home. One of the men took Natalia to a hill, where he raped her. When he left her, she staggered back…
Colombian Marines patrol the waters around Tumaco municipality, Nariño Department, in the Pacific coast of Colombia, on April 14, 2018 as Ecuador and Colombia launched a military operation against renegade Colombian rebels who kidnapped and killed two