Criminal group Los Costeños Auc sent a death threat to Mayerlis Angarita, a leader for victims of violence in Colombia, after she spoke out during the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict’s delegation to Colombia last month.
Shortly after the delegation, a sealed envelope was delivered to Mayerlis’ home – it contained a threatening letter and a photo of a woman who had been quartered.
The Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia has denounced the threat and called on the government to evaluate the risk against Mayerlis. It also wants the Colombian government to investigate the risk to other human rights defenders and offer them more protection.
This is not the first time Mayerlis has been threatened. In 2012, she survived an assassination attempt and received state protection.
Mayerlis leads the Narrating for Living Foundation, an organization that uses the power of words and collective memory to heal from conflict and raise awareness of women’s rights. She is scheduled to speak about gender issues during the next delegation of experts to the Colombian peace talks in Havana.
Planting the seeds of healing: moving from words to actions to restore the rights of female survivors in Colombia, UN Women, 14 November 2012.
Amenazan a portavoz de mujeres que participará en diálogos de paz de Colombia, ABC.es, 27 February 2015. (Spanish only)
Amenazan de muerte a Mayerli Angarita, líder del colectivo Narrar para Vivir, El Universal, 28 February 2015. (Spanish only)
Support human rights defenders in Colombia! Send a letter of support for Martha Díaz and the members of MOVICE (Movement of Victims of State Crimes) who are currently facing death threats.