President Juan Manuel Santos met with members of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective

Lunes 25 de julio de 2011, por Prensa - Colectivo

On Monday, July 18, 2011, members of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’
Collective (CCAJAR) met with President Juan Manuel Santos, along with
Vice-President Angelino Garzón, Minister of Interior Germán Vargas Lleras,
Director of the Protection Office María Paulina Riveros, and General Oscar
Naranjo, National Director of the Police. The purpose of this meeting was
to discuss the attacks and insecurity faced by the Lawyers’ Collective,
which have been instigated by structures within the Colombian State and
establishment, as well as paramilitary groups.

Defensores de derechos humanos |

These forces have also
discredited our work, equating the defence of human rights to a “legal or
political war” and our legal representation of victims to that of a
domestic enemy that must be destroyed.

The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective presented its grave security
situation, requesting that the national government take effective
political measures to prevent further persecution and new attacks.
President Santos expressed his profound concern for the attacks and
threats against CCAJAR. He also reiterated that his government was
seriously committed to human rights and the legitimacy and protection of
the important work carried out by human rights defenders in Colombia.
Lastly, with reference to the Law of Victims and Land Restitution,
President Santos expressed his determination for these crimes not to
remain unpunished.

The Lawyers’ Collective also expressed its concern that the repeated
attacks and threats against our organisation were not being investigated
as a whole; rather each act was investigated separately. In this respect,
General Naranjo proposed suggesting that the Attorney General’s Office
unify the investigations in order to facilitate them and establish the
patterns of persecution.

Likewise, the Ministry of Interior expressed the need to find solutions
for physical protection measures, bearing in mind that CCAJAR will not
accept that intelligence agencies or private security companies provide
these protection measures. CCAJAR does to make use of armed bodyguards and
has been accompanied by Peace Brigades International since 1996.

The National Government also promised to facilitate opportunities for
dialogue with the military high command in order to develop recognition of
the legitimate work carried out by human rights defenders before Colombian
and international courts as the legal representatives of victims in cases
of grave human rights violations.

We trust that the important commitment taken on by the National Government
at its most senior level will develop into clear and effective policies
that protect human rights defenders and the victims presently demanding
their rights in Colombia.


Afiliado a la Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos
y la Organización Mundial contra la Tortura
Estatus Consultivo en la OEA

José Alvear Restrepo

Nace en Medellín el 1 de julio de 1913 en el seno de una familia de profundas convicciones religiosas y bajo los parámetros de la ideología del partido conservador. Realiza sus estudios en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Antioquia, donde se gradúa de Abogado con una brillante tesis titulada: "Conflictos del trabajo: la huelga"

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