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Human Rights Lawyer in Danger in Colombia

On 10 October 2012, a man pushed a gun into the chest of human rights defender Alfamir Castillo and told her that both she and her lawyer were going to die.
You can help protect her now
Alfamir’s son was murdered by the Colombian army on 8 February 2008. Darvey was 23 years old when he was killed along with his friend Alex. The case is what is known in Colombia as a 'false positive' extra-judicial execution, where the army kills civilians and then falsely claims them as fallen guerrilla fighters.
Last year, seven soldiers were convicted of the murders. Two other officers are currently being tried, and two army generals are due to be charged. Since the court case began in 2010, Alfamir and her family have been persecuted, attacked and threatened with death. They are suffering a permanent state of terror.
Take action to protect Alfamir today
War on Want’s partner Nomadesc, which works to defend human rights and empower marginalised people to defend their own rights, provides support to Alfamir and her family. Nomadesc’s Berenice Celeita said: “The more high ranking the military officer, the higher the level of danger to the victims. We are very worried about the safety of Alfamir and her family as the legal case progresses. One of the mechanisms of impunity in Colombia is the intimidation and murder of witnesses in cases of human rights violations.”
The next court hearing is scheduled  to take place in May and the situation is critical.
War on Want is campaigning for the Colombian government to take immediate action to protect the lives of Alfamir and her family. The coming period, leading up to the court case against the generals, is vital. Already, hundreds of people have taken action.
We’re asking you to stand by her today
When Alfamir visited the UK in March she said: “I’m so worried about what might happen to me and my family when I get home. In Colombia to speak out about injustice is seemingly a crime punishable with death.”
Take action NOW: write to the Colombian embassy in the UK
Thank you
Patrick Kane
Senior Programmes Officer- Resources & Conflict
War on Want

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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