COVID Update: Colombia

Colombia – NOMADESC (Association for Research and Social Action)

Killings and Serious violations to Human Rights worsen during lock down in Colombia

The COVID-19 crisis in Colombia as in other countries in Latin America, has had a serious impact on the health system and an already ailing economy. However, as the virus continues to spread in Colombia and with preventive measures being extended, there is a worsening food crisis and violence is on the rise with assassinations of social leaders, human rights defenders and former guerrilla members.

The Colombian Government has extended the State of Emergency until August 31 and mandatory preventive isolation until May 31st. As of May 19, Colombia has 16,935 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 4,050 have recovered and 613 have died in this world pandemic1.

Jorge Enrique Oramas Vásquez. Social Leader assassinated on May 17, 2020.

In Cali, Valle del Cauca, CoDev’s Colombian Partner NOMADESC, has been monitoring and denouncing the human rights situation. In May 16, NOMADESC condemned the violent displacement of 70 families by the anti-riot squad of the Colombian forces – ESMAD from uninhabited terrain in the area known as Piedra, the neighborhood of Siloe. The ESMAD and the police used tear gas against the families who settled in that area as a result of the humanitarian crisis unleashed by the spread of the COVID-19.

One day later on May 17, NOMADESC and the Intercultural University of Peoples expressed condolences for the assassination of Jorge Enrique Oramas Vasquez, a land defender and who openly opposed mining operations in the zone of Los Farallones in Cali.

[1] https://www.telesurtv.net/news/colombia-duque-amplia-cuarentena-hasta-mayo-20200519-0049.html

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