Report Findings

In Colombia, most killings of human rights defenders are taking place in rural areas where the FARC-EP was historically present. Indigenous Peoples are among the most affected. There is a persistent stigma of associating Indigenous Peoples with guerillas.  Since the signing of the peace agreements with the FARC-EP in 2016, some 50 indigenous leaders have been killed. Furthermore, the continued presence of the ELN and the increasing threats and attacks from former paramilitary groups aggravates the situation. The Human Rights Ombudsman continues to raise early warning alerts over attacks and threats against Indigenous Peoples in various regions, and the Constitutional Court has alerted that a number of Indigenous Peoples in the country are at risk of extinction. The Special Rapporteur has sent several communications on the killings of indigenous leaders by armed groups, arbitrary detention, prosecutions, and the excessive use of force by government forces against indigenous protesters.



ONIC (Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia)


Aida Marina Vivas

Notable Quotes

7:20: “I'll give you a very important example of one thing that happens very often in Colombia, and—I’m sure—in many other countries as well. This is the case of Feliciano Valencia, who was prosecuted because the local authorities judged an intelligence agent working undercover in a mine. I served as counselor for nine years during that time. So, they charged him for torture, kidnapping…, for many things, and he had to serve three months in the INPEC and after this, he was transferred to the Centro de Armonizacion. These are things that people don’t really think about. Our own justice system, just as the ordinary justice system, have judges recognized by the Constitution of Colombia. But, in Colombia, these justice systems persecute each other. The ordinary justice system includes everything, and judges the actions of natural judges."


12:14: “For example, there are some community landholders that live, for instance, near the pacific coast, near the ocean. When these people are under threat, they are first given what is called a “panic button.” When someone feels threatened, they are supposed to push this button. But this button won’t work in the pacific coast because that’s only for the city. So, these types of solutions don’t actually work. Or, they’ll give you a bulletproof vest. For a poor indigenous brother that, according to his culture, to his practices or knowledge…I have a bulletproof vest, but I almost never use it. Why? Because it’s not in my way of thinking to wear one. So, in Colombia, not a lot has been done about this. Currently we’re in the same process of mobilization that we were in last year.”

© 2018 by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition of 15 Partners, 7 Affiliated Networks, 14 International Fellows, and more than 150 collaborating international, regional, and community organizations dedicated to advancing the forestland and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The views presented on this site are not necessarily shared by the agencies that have generously supported this work, nor by all the Partners and Affiliated Networks of the Coalition. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0. View our privacy policy,


© 2018 por la Iniciativa para los derechos y recursos (Rights and Resources Initiative, o RRI por sus siglas en inglés). RRI es una coalición mundial de 15 socios principales, 7 redes afiliadas, 14 miembros internacionales y más de 150 organizaciones colaboradoras a nivel internacional, regional y comunitario, que se dedica a
fomentar los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades locales sobre la tierra y los recursos forestales. Los puntos de vista presentados aquí no necesariamente los comparten los organismos que generosamente patrocinaron el presente trabajo o todos los socios y redes afiliadas de la coalición RRI. Este trabajo es bajo Creative Commons License Atribución Creativa CC BY 4.0.