KAIROS denounces the harassment by armed actors against the OFP

In the midst of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Organización Femenina Popular (OFP), a KAIROS women, peace, and security partner, reports that OFP members as well as the Women’s Centre in the municipality of San Pablo are being harassed through stalking by armed actors.  

Harassment, threats, and attacks against human rights defenders are a recurring pattern across Colombia. Since the ratification of the peace accords between the government and the former guerilla group (FARC) in 2016, violence has escalated against the very individuals and groups working on local peacebuilding efforts. 

KAIROS denounces any and all forms of intimidation and harassment against the OFP, its members, the Women Centres and calls on the Colombian government to fulfill the OFP’s demands presented in their statement below. 

Further, KAIROS implores the Government of Canada to be a more visible advocate and vocal champion of the implementation of Colombia’s peace agreement.  

Read the OFP’s statement below in English or the original in Spanish 

Harassment against the Organización Femenina Popular in the San Pablo municipality, southern Bolivar 

The Organización Femenina Popular (OFP), with 49 years of experience in the defense of women human rights in the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia, publicly denounces the resurgence, in recent weeks, of harassment through stalking by armed actors of our members and the Women’s Centre in San Pablo, in the south of the department of Bolivar. Therefore, we demand: 

First: The prompt and effective response of Colombian state entities to protect the life and integrity of women human rights defenders who are at serious risk, as well as our headquarters, which are protected by international humanitarian law. 

Second: Effective institutional responsive measures that take into account the context of serious risk in which civil society, social leaders, and human rights defenders find themselves in the municipalities in southern Bolivar due to the strong presence of state and non-state armed actors as well as organized crime groups; these armed actors are in a process of reconfiguring their territorial domain claims, which is made possible by the deceleration in the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement.   

Third: The collective integral protection of the Organización Femenina Popular and its members, as part of the guarantees of the non-repetition of violence to which they are eligible as a result of being recognized as a collective victim of the armed conflict and the Collective Reparation Plan.  

A CALL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY to pay special attention and accompany the OFP by recommending that the National Government and local authorities take into account women as political subjects of peacebuilding, recognizing the obligations of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.  

Filed in: Gender Justice/Women of Courage


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