As Colombia strives to pave the road to just peace, new death threats against social, union and religious leaders and institutions were issued by paramilitaries in July 2018. The World Council of Churches (WCC) is closely following the developments and reiterates its full support to those committed to working for peace in the country.
The paramilitary group “Águilas Negras” launched a communique on 14 July threatening a group comprising social leaders, human rights defenders, and journalists. Justapaz, the Mennonite organization for justice, peace and nonviolent action in Colombia, was listed among the targets of the statement.
“Together with our member church, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and local ecumenical partners, we call for prayers to sustain the lives of those in danger and we join all those committed to just peace in actions to protect the lives of peace-builders in Colombia”, said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olay Fykse Tveit.
“We also call upon the Colombian government to investigate and judge those responsible for such threats and to provide protective measures for those working at Justapaz and all those publicly targeted”, added Tveit.
Since the signing of the peace agreement in Havana, more than 300 Colombian social leaders have been killed. During the last months, these numbers have increased.