The FBE expresses its continued grave concern at the situation of lawyers at risk in Colombia. Their role in maintaining access to justice, the right to an independent defence, the independence of judges and lawyers, and the defence of human rights upholds the rule of law in Colombia. Without which there would be no justice. Lawyers receive death threats, attacks and are murdered. Lawyers and their offices are under surveillance by officers of the State. In the last two years the following lawyers have been killed:
21 May: lawyer Paula Andrea Rosero, murdered in Samaniego, in the department of Nariño
16 July: lawyer Julio Enrique González, murdered in Bogotá
20 July: lawyer Yamile Guerra, murdered in Florida Blanca, Santander
21 December: lawyer Mariano Cuero Ruiz, nominated to be the municipal ombudsman of Candelaria in Valle del Cauca, was murdered
29 December: lawyer Alcibiades Libreros Varela, specialist prosecutor, murdered
8 June: lawyer Pierangelly Hugueth Henríquez, murdered in Ciénaga Magdalena
24 October, lawyer Arquímedes Getulio Centanaro Carriazo, murdered in Sucre
9 December: lawyer Freddy Agustín Gonzáles Barragán, Ombudsman’s Office, murdered in the city of Cúcuta – Norte de Santander
15 January: Fredman Arturo Herazo Padilla, lawyer, historian and Afrodescendant leader from the municipality of San Palenque, murdered
8 June: Esperanza Navas, prosecutor inTibú, Norte de Santander, murdered.
16 July: lawyer Julio Enrique González, murdered in Bogotá.
Protection must be given to lawyers who receive death threats and the cases of harassment, threats, attacks and murders while carrying out their professional duties, must be investigated by the appropriate state agencies.
The international legal community stands by human rights defenders, lawyers and judges in Colombia, and will do all in its power to monitor the situation of lawyers and support their work. The FBE calls on its members to remember the courageous defenders of justice and human rights who have given their lives and to dedicate their activities to supporting Colombian lawyers on 24 January, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer.