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Human Rights Activists in Colombia Receive Record Number of Threats

Bogotá, September 29 (EFE-RHC)-- More than 150 human-rights defenders, journalists and politicians have been threatened in Colombia in less than 30 days, in the most massive intimidation campaign since peace talks began between the government and the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The wave of threats began early this month with a list of 91 people to whom the paramilitary group Aguilas Negras gave 15 days to leave the country for "messing with the peace."

That was the beginning of a list that was completed by the paramilitary offshoot Los Rastrojos, a criminal gang that in succeeding days increased the number with the names of journalists, politicians and more activists.

"This is a Black September because we have not seen a massive threat of this size since 2009," said the coordinator of the NGO “Somos Defensores” which looks out for the security of human-rights activists in Colombia, Carlos Guevara.

Guevara added that this was a critical moment in terms of threats, now on a scale previously unknown during the peace process between the government and the FARC, which began in Havana in November 2012.

Of the more than 150 people threatened, none has been killed, though one person was assaulted: Alberto Yepes, coordinator of the human rights observatory of the Colombia-Europe-United States Coordination, made up of 240 NGOs. He has now been given additional government protection.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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