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Colombia at the crossroads

It is vital to show solidarity with Colombia's at-risk human rights lawyers, says Katie de Kauwe

5 May 2015

Sin abogados no hay justicia: without lawyers there is no justice. This was the slogan of the fourth delegation of the Colombia Caravana, a group of international lawyers which monitors the human rights abuses faced by the country's legal professionals, to Colombia in August 2014.

My first time in South America, as well as my first delegation, proved an inspirational and extremely humbling experience. Prior to the delegation, I had assisted the Caravana's UK advocacy group in letter-writing interventions to the Colombian government on behalf of individual human rights lawyers and defenders suffering persecution.

'Legal war'

Going to Colombia brought home two things to me: the extent of the obstacles that Colombia's lawyers face in conducting their duties and the importance of international solidarity. Our Colombian colleagues painted a harsh and tragic pi...

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