See video below about latest development in Colombia!
MONDAY, MAY 17th AT 3 PM
Protests, State Violence, and Human Rights Crisis in Colombia.
After a National Strike, fueled by widespread opposition to a regressive tax reform turned into a nationwide protest against the Colombian government, protestors have been met with deadly force by military and police officers.
Between April 28th and May 5th, the Colombian government deployed the deadliest assault against democratic demonstrations in the country’s recent history, murdering around 40 people and injuring 1,500 more*.
This event will bring together scholars and human rights activists for a conversation on the roots of the social unrest, the broader human rights and social crises amidst the pandemic’s deadliest peak, as well as to discuss how to support the protesters’ demands for military and police reform and for sociopolitical and economic transformations.
Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín. Professor at Universidad Nacional de Colombia’s Institute for Political Studies and International Relations (IEPRI) and director of the Institute on Land Restitution, Rights, and Rural Ownership. Author of Clientelistic Warfare: Paramilitaries and the State in Colombia, 1982-2007 (Peter Lang, 2019) and ¿Un nuevo ciclo de la guerra en Colombia? (Debate, 2020). Gutiérrez is also a columnist for El Espectador, one of Colombia’s largest newspapers.
Alejandro Lanz. Colombian lawyer, human rights defender, and executive co-director of the Bogota-based organization Temblores ONG, working on human rights promotion and supporting community-led initiatives to achieve profound and long-lasting social change. For more than a decade, Mr. Lanz’s advocacy work has focused on defending the human rights of LGBTQ people, sex workers, and incarcerated people.
Gimena Sánchez. Leading Colombia human rights advocate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Ms. Sánchez is an expert on peace and illegal armed groups, internally displaced persons, human rights, and ethnic minority rights. Her work has shed light on the plight of Colombia’s more than seven million internally displaced persons, helping expose the links between Colombia’s government and drug-funded paramilitaries. She is active in promoting labor rights and implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Labor Action Plan.
Lizeth Montero Piedrahíta. Lawyer from Universidad del Cauca and Master in Human Rights and Democratization from Universidad Externado de Colombia. She has 11 years of experience defending human rights of peasant, indigenous and Afrodescendent communities, especially in the southwest region of Colombia. She served as advisor to the Commission for Follow-up, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the Final Peace Agreement (CSIVI) in relation to the process of normative implementation of provisions on security guarantees, human rights, and victims.
Latin American Institute, Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies, the Colombian Studies Group (A chartered organization of students at the CUNY’s Graduate Center and the New School for Social Research), NYU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Colombian Studies Initiative (an organization of students at NYU, and the Universidad del Rosario Bogotá).