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Call to protect Colombian human rights defender

On 10 October 2012, a man pushed a gun into the chest of Alfamir Castillo and told her that both she and her lawyer were going to die.

May 7, 2013
2 min read


Jenny NelsonJenny Nelson is a Red Pepper web editor.


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Alfamir Castillo’s son was murdered by the Colombian army on 8 February 2008. Darvey, at just 23 years old, was killed along with his friend Alex, in a ‘false positive extra-judicial execution’. This term is used in Columbia when the army kills civilians and then falsely claims them as fallen guerilla fighters to seek reward.

Berenice Celeita, Director of human rights charity Nomadesc, explains ‘The more high ranking the military officer, the higher the level of danger to the victims. That is one aspect of the mechanisms of impunity in Colombia: the intimidation and murder of witnesses.’

Last year, seven soldiers were convicted of the murders. Since the court case began in 2010, Alfamir, President of the Women Sugar Cane Cutters Committee, and her family have been subject to persecution, attacks and repeated death threats. This situation has left them in a permanent state of terror.

War on Want is campaigning for the Colombian government to take immediate action to protect the lives of Alfamir and her family and they urge you to write to the Colombian embassy in the UK.

Read the update from War on Want following recent death threats.


Jenny NelsonJenny Nelson is a Red Pepper web editor.