Colombian Human Rights Lawyer Eduardo Carreo Wilches examines the legal framework for the current paramilitary demobilisation process in Colombia and the extent to which it brings truth, justice and reparation to the victims.
Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a human rights defender. In 2005, at least 41 human rights defenders were reportedly assassinated or forcibly disappeared. In Colombia, human rights lawyers are unable to freely follow their profession without the fear of being threatened and intimidated. They are forced to work in a hostile environment that severely restricts their ability to do their job.
Eduardo Carreo Wilches is a member of the leading Colombian law firm "Jose Alvear Restrepo" Lawyers' Collective (the Colectivo de Abogados de Jose Alvear Restrepo - CCAJAR), which currently works on some of the most well known human rights cases across the country. CCAJAR has been involved in working for the victims of human rights abuses for the last 25 years, and was instrumental in supporting the organisers and founders of the 'National Movement of Victims of State Crime' in their fight to claim truth, justice and internal reparation.
Peace Brigades International UK is a charity that places international observers and accompaniers in areas of conflict and repression in order to protect the lives and the working space of human rights lawyers and defenders. The physical presence of PBI volunteers alongside lawyers like Eduardo Carreo backed by networks of diplomatic, parliamentarian and civilian support enables them to continue advocating for the human rights of victims.