The signatories to this statement would like to reaffirm our support for the human rights defenders of the Inter-Church Commission of Justice and Peace (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz, CIJP) in the context of increased attacks that threaten their lives and attempt to undermine their legitimate and essential work for democracy and peace in Colombia.
In the last three months, the defamation and surveillance of members of CIJP, specifically Father Alberto Franco, Mr. Danilo Rueda, and Mr. Abilio Pena, has intensified. The risk analyses carried out by the Colombian government found that 18 members of CIJP that work in Bogotá, Putumayo, Meta, Valle, Cauca, Chocó, and the Caribbean Coast are under “extraordinary risk.” On February 13, the windshield of an armored car belonging to Father Franco was shot three times while it was parked in front of his home. According to a preliminary report by the SIJIN, the firearm used had a silencer. Father Franco denounced various incidents of the surveillance of his home throughout 2012 and more recently on February 4, 11, and 13 of 2013.