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The US Office on Colombia Blog is a bilingual space to discuss important news about human rights and peace in Colombia. Several of our articles come from prominent Colombian organizations and independent journalists. We encourage you to read our articles and participate by posting comments!

El Blog de la US Office on Colombia es un espacio bilingüe para discutir asuntos importantes acerca los derechos humanos y la paz en Colombia. Muchos de nuestros artículos vienen de prominentes organizaciones colombianas y de periodistas independientes. ¡Le animamos a Usted a que lea los artículos y participe con sus comentarios!

Monday, August 12, 2013

2nd National Award for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia

USOC is proud to take part in the 2nd National Award for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia.

Frequently we find ourselves focused on tragedies: the forced displacement, extrajudicial executions, torture and threats that so many Colombians suffer. While we are dedicated to reporting and denouncing these crimes, and advocating for their end, we occasionally get the opportunity to turn our attention to celebration and praise for achievements in human rights. This is one of those occasions.

This year, USOC is participating once again in the National Award for Defenders of Human Rights. This award has been sponsored since 2012 by the Inter-Agency Dialogue in Colombia to publicly recognize the work that has been achieved by hundreds of people in the defense and promotion of human rights in Colombia.

With this prize, we seek to recognize the defense of human rights as a mechanism of protection and increased visibility, for its contribution to democracy, and as part of a strategy to diminish the existing stigmatization and persecution of human rights defenders.

Additionally, we see this exercise as a tribute to the people whose courage and commitment have made great contributions to democracy and peace; who work in defense of the rights of those most affected by Colombia’s conflict; and who are frequently prosecuted, imprisoned, or assassinated for that work.

We pay homage to those who work for truth, justice, and the prevention of crimes against humanity, war, and other grave human rights violations. This prize recognizes those who struggle for victims’ rights to justice, an end to impunity, and the ability to enjoy the basic rights of man. Despite all of the challenges they face, their voices are never silenced.  To see testimonies of last year’s participants:

This year, the presentation of the 2013 Defense of Human Rights in Colombia Award will be on September 9th in Bogotá. There are 48 nominees -- 20 more than in 2012, reflecting the human rights movements’ increased recognition for this award. 


Muchas veces nos toca concentrarnos en las tragedias: el desplazamiento forzado, las ejecuciones extrajudiciales, la tortura y las amenazas que sufre la gente. Nos dedicamos a la denuncia, la organización popular y la incidencia. Pero también cantamos a la alegría, a la libertad y a en ocasiones hacemos el lindo trabajo de celebrar y regocijar. Ésta es una de esas ocasiones.

Este año, USOC está participando de nuevo en el proceso del Premio Nacional a Defensores/as de Derechos Humanos. Éste premio es un reconocimiento público al trabajo que realizan cientos de personas entorno a la defensa y promoción de los derechos humanos en Colombia y es promovido, desde el 2012, por el Diálogo Inter-Agencial en Colombia.

Con el premio, buscamos reconocer la defensa de los derechos humanos como mecanismo de protección y visibilización, de su aporte a la democracia y a la vez como parte de una estrategia para disminuir la estigmatización y persecución existente contra los defensores/as.

También vemos este ejercicio como un homenaje a las personas que con su coraje y su compromiso ético con la vida hacen grandes contribuciones a la democracia, la paz, que trabajan en la defensa de los derechos junto con las comunidades y personas más violentadas en medio de un conflicto social, político y armado que, en no pocas ocasiones, también los persigue, los encierra, los asesina, pero no por ello se logra silenciar sus voces.

Es un homenaje a esas personas que trabajan por la justicia, la verdad, la prevención y denuncia de crímenes de lesa humanidad, de guerra y otras violaciones graves a los derechos de los pueblos, el acceso a la justicia para las víctimas, el derecho a defender los derechos, contra la impunidad, en suma, que trabajan por las garantías y el goce pleno de los humanos. Véanse acá las palabras de participantes en el programa del año pasado:

Este año la entrega del premio a la defensa de los derechos humanos en Colombia 2013, será el 9 de septiembre en Bogotá. Y para esta ocasión el premio contará con la valiosa participación de 48 postulados/as, 20 personas más que en el 2012, lo que refleja el reconocimiento que el movimiento de derechos humanos hace a éste premio.


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