YULI VELÁSQUEZ AND OTHER ENVIRONMENT DEFENDERS AT GRAVE RISK
Amnesty International is sounding the alarm about continuing attacks on the lives of environment defenders in the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia.
The latest attack targeted Yuli Velásquez, president of FEDEPESAN, a federation of artisanal fishers who seek to protect wetlands, rivers and the right to a healthy environment.
On July 5, two unknown persons approached Yuli on a motorcycle and opened fire. Yuli managed to take cover but the bodyguard granted to her by the National Protection Unit, following previous threats to her life, was shot.
Amnesty International is calling for strengthened protection for Yuli Velásquez and other defenders of FEDEPESAN.
Yuli Velásquez (left) is interviewed by press during a protest against fracking. Photo:©FederacionFedepesan
Colombia is the deadliest country in the world to defend land, territory and the environment, according to Global Witness and Frontline Defenders. Amnesty International is concerned that Colombian authorities are failing to respond to threats agaianst defenders and stop an escalation of assassinations.