Human rights defender arrested


Carolina Rubio is part of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) and recently met with European Institutions to report human rights violations in Colombia.

Carolina Rubio took part in the Oidhaco Assembly in Brussels just two weeks ago

Arrested in Colombia: activist who recently met with the Belgian Senate and members of the European Union to report human rights violations

The human rights defender, who is part of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes
(MOVICE) is eight and a half months pregnant, and recently represented Colombian organizations during the Oidhaco Assembly in Brussels on 27 October 2010. This European organization calls for guarantees for the defense of human rights in Colombia.

Brussels, 17 November 2010. The International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia (OIDHACO), which has offices in Brussels and more than 30 European member organisations, has expressed concern that a human rights defender who is about to give birth, has been arrested in Colombia after recently denouncing in Brussels the serious human rights situation affecting her country.

Carolina Rubio presented a report from the Colombia-Europe-United States Coordination Group during the OIDHACO Assembly, on the human rights situation during the first 75 days under the new Juan Manuel Santos government. The report also describes the serious situation for human rights defenders, explaining that during the first days of the current government at least 22 activists were murdered, and that there has been continued legal pressure against human rights defenders.
The arrest of Carolina Rubio is the latest in an extensive series of aggressions against human rights defenders. The report Rubio presented in Brussels, also explains that while there has been a change in the kind of language used to describe human rights defenders by the new administration, in practice there have been no real changes in their situation. According to this report, which was also presented before the Inter American Commission of Human Rights in Washington, it is reported that to date the new government has not drafted any new legislation to fight Impunity, which has reached levels of 97% in cases of crimes against human rights defenders.

During her visit to Brussels, Rubio spoke with Belgian Senators, members of the European Commission and several diplomatic representations before the European Union, calling upon them to demand that the Colombian government implements real changes to respect human rights, given that the serious crisis in the country is not acceptable in a democratic country.

OIDHACO calls upon the Colombian authorities to define Carolina Rubio´s legal situation today, given that her health and that of her unborn child are under serious risk; to guarantee due process; and to guarantee the right to defend human rights in Colombia. Oidhaco also asks that the European Union, via its representatives in Colombia, monitors this case, which is one more example in the growing list of cases involving human rights defenders.